1. The Creative Process
Central to the innovation process is the importance of generating good ideas. In this module, we use the theme of the value of the contrarian viewpoint. We start with an examination of the “habits of mind” whereby we make unconscious assumptions which limit our ability to solve problems or to think “out of the box”. This is illustrated by various short demonstrations and exercises followed by techniques for recognizing and breaking such habits of mind. We then move to the role of debate and the value of differing views for creativity in teams and use a brainstorming exercise with discussion about the balance between cohesion and creativity in corporate cultures.
Audience: Any level, but primarily emerging leaders and middle management
2. Lessons from Highly Creative Individuals
This is a module aimed at senior executives who are reassessing their lives and looking to the future. We draw heavily on my own research which includes 11-12 hours interview time with each of 5 Nobel laureates in Chemistry and Physics (including the inventor of the laser, the founder of the transuranium elements, etc) in which the elements of creativity take on a human face-for example, the importance of loving what you do and insisting on pursuing that love. These are stories of lives well led which have provided great joy for the individuals and great rewards for society.
Audience: Senior Executives
3. Leading Creative Individuals
This module concentrates on the personality and temperament of highly creative individuals, especially on their need for “meaning” and autonomy. The implications of these traits are then explored in the context of managing, or rather leading, these individuals. There are different prescriptions for how to use incentives (and what kind) and the kind of management style and “culture” that is needed. Signposts for how to “kill” creativity as opposed to nurturing it are provided. Illustrations from highly creative individuals are used to illustrate the traits and milieu in which they have thrived. The module also serves to illustrate the traits which, when emulated, can enhance creativity in everyone in the organization.
Audience: Middle and Senior Management