Change and Creativity. Part 4: The Creativity Cascade.

Posted by on October 27, 2010 in Blog | 0 comments

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The best way to manage change is to create your own! But for many people creativity as part of initiating change is a difficult process to understand.

Most people shy away from creativity because they hold a false assumption that they are not creative and that creativity is the domain of “arty” people. The ones you find at ad agencies.

In this 4th installment in the blog mini-series, I’ll show you that being creative in the face of change is in fact a very structured and analytical process.

The creativity process will help you in challenging your assumptions about the problem. It will help you to see it from a different angle, and to eventually come up with a solution. I call this “The Creativity Cascade”.

Step 1: Identify the problem and write it down. For example, “In order to achieve growth, we have to increase sales.”

Step 2: State the problem as a question. Have a look at your problem statement and then rephrase it as a question. The wording is quite important as your syntax will either stimulate your thinking or derail the process. In my experience “How?” questions are not very effective. Rather start the question with, “In what way(s) can we ….?” For example, “In what ways might we increase sales?”

Step 3: Replace / Rephrase the VERBS. This is vital – use a thesaurus if you have to, but find as many related alternatives to the verb in your question as you can. People are “doing” beings and thus verbs move us to action. The more options, the more possibilities.

Step 4: View the problem from a different angle. Restate it from a different perspective. When I got the Sales and the Marketing teams of a global electronics company together to find ways to sell “old” mobile phones, they each looked at the problem from each other’s perspective. They found a way to sell 60 000 handsets in 3 weeks – in a saturated market!!

Step 5: Look at the verb and the object. Then re-examine the function by asking “how” and “why” questions.

Step 6: Give it a go and learn from your mistakes.

(Step 7: Let me know how it goes. If you get stuck, I’m available to facilitate your session anywhere in the world.)

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