I am tired of seeing transformation & change becoming too dry, too logical, and too technical. It kind of misses the point of “Transforming.”
Creativity seems reserved for innovation, customer experience, or product design and for the big companies who can afford it with special fancy-looking innovation labs.
While coaching a transformation team and working with them on their program, their leader came by and said, “We don’t have time for this creativity shxxt, just get on with it and give me a plan by the end of this week!”
Creativity is misunderstood, limited, and made to be constrained… And worse, it is mostly not even invited, taught or activated in the workplace.
Creativity saves time, cuts across the noise, and allows you to take a leap to solve problems and create opportunities more than the traditional in-the-box; let’s- go-about-it-logically type approach. Creativity and logic are needed; combining both is an art and a true power.
I have had the opportunity to exercise creativity in solving complex transformation and leadership problems, and the results were miles ahead of the logical (we have always done this way) approach.
Creativity and imagination are the greatest tools in any leader’s arsenal, allowing them to see the future of their business through a new lens. By thinking outside the box, leaders can find unique solutions and come up with better ways to meet customer needs. Organizations can create meaningful transformations by adopting a more creative approach beyond improving existing processes and products. Creativity helps leaders focus on the business’s long-term growth by inspiring innovative approaches that open up opportunities for growth and expansion.
By tapping into one’s imagination, leaders can come up with multiple solutions and various ways of implementing those solutions. The power of creativity and imagination can’t be understated when it comes to transforming the business. Leaders should rely on their imaginations to explore new ideas and approaches that drive real progress and progress.
Creativity is not about following shiny objects and the latest technology trends. It is about creating more with existing resources in a way that cuts across the noise, moves the organization steps ahead in a way that is faster, better , and creating a forward momentum that is built on a solid foundation
Why use creativity & imagination in Business Transformation?
Imagination and creativity are essential for successful business transformation. The ability to step outside of conventional wisdom and come up with a range of innovative solutions to customer needs is core to successful leadership.
Rather than relying solely on rational and logical thought processes, rigid structures or a single path of solution implementation, Leaders should be open to tapping into their creative genius to identify multiple ways of solving problems and implementing strategies. With the rapidly changing business environment and customer preferences, it is important for organizations to reinvent themselves to stay ahead in the market continuously.
Successful business transformations require leaders to consider multiple approaches and leverage different forms of thinking — logical, analytical, intuitive, and imaginative.
Logic is safe … creativity is bold
What can get in the way?
Risk aversion: Many leaders and organizations may be hesitant to embrace creativity because of the risk involved. Creative ideas often involve a certain level of uncertainty, and there is no guarantee of success. Some leaders may prefer to rely on tried-and-true methods that have worked in the past rather than taking the risk of trying something new and untested.
Lack of understanding: Some leaders may not fully understand the value of creativity or how to tap into it. They may not see the connection between creativity and problem-solving or may not know how to encourage creativity within their teams.
Limited time and resources: Leaders are often under pressure to make quick decisions and solve problems in a timely manner. In this fast-paced environment, they may not have the time or resources to devote to the creative process.
Limited understanding of the problem: Some leaders may have a limited understanding of the problem they are trying to solve. This can limit their ability to come up with creative solutions. They might lack the necessary knowledge or data to understand the problem’s complexity and, therefore, cannot think creatively.
Over-reliance on data and rationale/logic: Some leaders may emphasise data and analysis at the expense of creativity. They may believe that data-driven decisions are always the best course of action and overlook the value of intuition and creativity in problem-solving
Fear of Failure: Some leaders might be afraid of the risk of making a mistake or that their idea might not be a success. So, they tend to hold back from suggesting creative ideas that could be a game-changer
In order to overcome these barriers, leaders can make a concerted effort to encourage and foster creativity within their organizations. This can include providing training and resources, setting aside time for brainstorming and idea generation, and creating a culture that values experimentation and risk-taking. Additionally, leaders can also look for external inspiration and collaboration to foster fresh perspectives and avoid the pitfalls mentioned above.
Where does Creativity come from?
Leaders can tap into several sources of creativity when looking to drive change and transformation within their organizations. Some examples include
Employee empowerment: Encouraging employees to take ownership of their work and giving them the freedom to experiment and try new ideas can be a powerful source of creativity. Employees who feel empowered and have a safe environment are more likely to be motivated and engaged and can often come up with unique solutions to problems.
Diversity of Thinking: A diverse group of people with different backgrounds, experiences, cultures, and perspectives can bring a wealth of new ideas and approaches. Having a diverse and inclusive workforce can help to foster creativity and innovation.
Customer feedback: Leaders can gather customer feedback to understand their needs and desires. This can provide valuable insights into new products, services, and features that customers want and help leaders identify new growth opportunities.
Industry Benchmarking and Research: Understanding the current state of the industry and what competitors are doing can help leaders identify new opportunities and trends and can also help to inform decision making
External collaborations and partnerships: Collaborating with other organizations, start-ups, universities or research institutions can expose leaders to new ideas, technologies, and methods, which can help to inspire new solutions and approaches to problems.
Mindfulness and Well-being practices: Leaders can practice mindfulness, meditation, and other well-being practices to help clear their minds, reduce stress, and tap into their inner creativity. These practices can help leaders to think more clearly, and be more open to new ideas.
Playful experimentation: Creating a playful and non-judgmental atmosphere can help leaders to let loose and not be so serious, which can lead to more open, fun, and less-restrained thinking
By tapping into these sources of creativity, leaders can gain a fresh perspective on business problems and come up with new and innovative solutions that can drive business transformation and change. Remember that Creativity is a muscle that needs to be exercised, so regular experimentation and idea-generation sessions, along with a mindset that embraces change and diversity, can help to foster a more creative environment.
Tools to use
There are several tools and techniques that can be used to foster radical creativity and generate new and innovative ideas. Aside from the classic tools you probably already know, like Brainstorming and mind mapping, here are some other tools that I use frequently (the bigger the transformation, the more I use these):
SCAMPER: This is an acronym that stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Rearrange. It’s a technique that can be used to generate new ideas by taking an existing product or service and brainstorming ways to change or improve it.
Reverse Brainstorming: This is a technique that involves thinking about a problem in reverse. Instead of trying to come up with solutions to a problem, the group is asked to brainstorm ways to make the problem worse. This can lead to new insights and innovative solutions.
Random Input: This technique involves using a random word, image, or phrase as a starting point for generating ideas. The idea is that the random input will spark new connections and associations, leading to creative solutions.
Provocation cards: These cards have a question or a provocative statement on them, designed to challenge assumptions and provoke new thinking. These can be used in brainstorming sessions to spark new ideas and perspectives.
Role Playing: This technique involves putting oneself in the shoes of a different person or group and thinking about the problem from their perspective. This can lead to new insights and solutions and an empathetic understanding of the problem.
These are only a few examples of the many tools and techniques that can be used to foster radical creativity. The key is to find the one that works for you, your team and your organization and experiment with a different approach. The idea is to find ways to break out of the usual patterns of thought and open up new possibilities for solving problems and driving change.
Creativity and imagination have the power to take us beyond what is known and transform our business practices for the better – not only for ourselves but also for our customers. So, let’s embrace the power of these two important elements and let our inner creative genius flow!
In the People of Change Community Mastermind, launching early this year, creativity and activating creativity to solve complex transformation problems and cut through the noise will be one of the topics that I will dive deep into.
I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on how you have used creativity to solve complex change & transformation programs. Comment below or send me a direct message
When you are ready to take your Change and Transformation career & impact to the next level, here are a few ways I can help:
1. Land an impactful and successful change & transformation program and make a bigger impact today. Lock in a Free 30-minute Impact-Maker Call for a conversation about how I can be your behind-the-scenes one-on-one consultant, mentor and advisor. I help leaders elevate their transformation & change practice mastery, expand their perspectives, be visible and respected, build high-performing transformation teams, elevate their leadership, accelerate their career progression, and bring their authentic voice and true expertise to the table. Message me to book your Free 30-minute Impact-Maker Call.
2. Ready to ELEVATE your impact now. Join ELEVATE, my group coaching mastermind program – for ambitious leaders, consultants, professionals and advisors already working on or in charge of change & transformation programs who want to get it right, earn a seat at the table, and elevate their leadership, all without the burnout, guesswork, or losing opportunities. If you are interested, reach out, as the next cohort is now open for registration
3. Express your interest in joining the PEOPLE OF CHANGE (POC) community membership program as an early-bird founding member. The POC community focuses on 5 different pillars: Build incontestable Mastery of world-class change & transformation practice, Be an effective and purposeful Leader, show up, be Visible and make a dent, accelerate your Growth and Career, and earn your Seat at the table. Send me a message to learn more and express your interest
Links to the published episodes of “The top 10 things to double down on in 2023” series for change & transformation leaders:
- The link to the People Of Change (POC) Launch announcement is here
- Link to episode 1: Focus here
- Link to episode 2-Part 1: Doing the Work (The Job) here
- Link to episode 2-Part 2: Doing the Work (The Inner Work) here
- Link to episode 3: The need to know more to move forward here
- Link to episode 4: Sell your Expertise here
Get in touch with me by commenting below or email me at Success@PeopleofTranormation.com