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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Unlocking Your Company's Creativity

Forbes article How To Unlock Your Company's Creativity offers six steps to help unlock the creativity in your company:

  1. Let Everyone Contribute. Employees at every level should have a way to share their ideas. Begin by scheduling a group innovation strategy session - brainstorm ideas (no judgement) based on your organization's strengths. (Using innovating tools like the 100 Point Exercise from Six Disciplines helps to get ideas down, and prioritizes them quicker)
  2. Cross-Functional Ideas Teams. For the purposes of innovation, organize your company into cross-functional, creative teams with people from different departments, and with varying levels of experience, who meet on a regular basis.
  3. Prize Diversity. Sameness--of thought, background and experience--is a creativity killer. This is where multi-generational workforces can contribute.
  4. Rethink Assumptions. What has worked in the past may no longer work. And what hasn't worked in the past, may now be the innovative catalyst you are seeking.
  5. Identify Your (Truly) Precious Resources And Exploit Them. Conduct a SWOT analysis to determine what your organization's strengths are - and key in on them.
  6. Hammer It Home. Reward ideas that solve problems.

BOTTOMLINE: Remember - the point of unlocking creativity needs to be done in a purposeful way. Innovation is simply another name for problem solving. The creativity need to be focused on solving problems that will provide you with competitive advantage. Anything less is just... "ideation." (Thanks, IBM )

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