News and Views on Creativity and Innovation
         
  
Creative Business Solutions
 
      June 2013


In This Issue ...
Dear Dave
Resources vs. Resourcefulness
Avoiding Premature Articulation
Creative Conversations


Dear David Cameron
Here is an opportunity to air alternative suggestions that might help or even solve some of our issues. Although called 'Dear Dave' because of our Prime Minister you can send your suggestions for your own country.

 

Our country is in a mess and you previously said 'we are all in this together'. Why did you leave 60 million people behind when you went on holiday to Ibiza?

 

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the June edition of Innovation Matters. 
 
It has been a while since the previous issue hit your Inbox. Much has been happening. First of all I have created a new website dedicated to speaking. This can be found at DerekCheshire.com and will be added to over the coming months. If you want a speaker for your event, this is the place to look.
 
Finally this will be the last newsletter produced and sent using Constant Contact. A new system will be in place soon which will be more closely tied to my website. If you have a whitelist to allow mail from certain senders to come through then please also add the sender derek@derekcheshire.com.
 
The first article this month takes a brief look at Resources and Resourcefulness. We also take a look at the topic of Premature Articulation and finally a look at why Creative Conversations might be important.
 
There is currently an offer on Creativity Masterclasses. BOGOF has come to town! Buy a full price workshop and get the other at no cost at all!.

Don't forget that previous issues of Innovation Matters can be viewed by visiting our website and navigating to the archives page. 

 

Happy Reading,

 

  Derek Cheshire
 
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Resources vs. Resourcefulness

 

I must admit to having a large bee in my bonnet about this topic. If you think of Innovation as a purely human activity then it is possible to innovate successfully amongst any groups of people, in any country in the world - in fact anywhere.

 

Before you run away to base your latest innovative enterprise in Tibet there are one or two issues to consider. First of all there is the subject of resourcefulness. People the world over are creative. They solve everyday problems in unique ways. I have trouble changing a bicycle tyre with tools from a cycle shop, can you imagine changing a car or even a truck tyre with just basic tyre levers and some soapy water? Who can accomplish this? Teenage boys in Malawi. Trade embargoes have brought countries such as Iran and Cuba to their knees but cars, trucks and factory machinery soldier on. This is old stuff right?

 

Not so! Motor manufacturers have left the production of prestigious prototypes to Indian design studios and Mexican factories produce high spec components for the US aircraft industry.

 

This is a long winded way of saying to the so called developed world 'watch out'. Resourcefulness abounds. Innovation is like a race run by humans. Some of us have a head start, some have good running shoes and some do not. Those still at the starting line are simply strapped for resources. When they finally get them, they are more than capable of running faster than everyone else. Why is that? The people that are left behind have had years (centuries) of having to think creatively. As they have developed, they have not overburdened themselves with education systems that strangle creativity. Cultural systems have allowed knowledge to be collected and passed down through generations. Creativity and Knowledge is a very powerful combination indeed.

 

Anything is possible given the resources! Who are you backing to win the Innovation race?  

Avoiding Premature Articulation

 

This is just another way of stating one of the fundamental precepts of Creativity 'Cycle Often and Close Late'. Why is this a good idea?


Have you ever rushed to complete an assignment, project or proposal just to get it out of the way, even though the actual deadline is a week or more away? Come the deadline you are aware of new material that you could have included to make it better or perhaps you realised that the grammar was less than perfect?

By all means get the work done but resist the option to 'close'. You might deliberately revisit your work or just let the creative side of your brain work away on its own but stand firm. If you have many projects on the go then you might have to be good at time management and learn to live with a little ambiguity.


The results might be worth it though, your proposals will contain the latest information and your problem solving initiatives will have thoroughly explored all of the possibilities.


Premature Articulation is a condition that can be cured in all cases!

Creative Conversations

 

The organisation of the future will not have a hierarchical structure chart like most of today's organisations. It is most likely to resemble a Twitter or social media connection map where people and functions are connected by many lines and importance (if it is measured at all) is determined by the number of connections.


These connections are not simply routes for passing data such as telephone lines, these are routes where data, information and knowledge flow backwards and forwards. These are multi level conversations and they are key to Innovation.

Currently such conversations do exist but not throughout organisations. They are often identified as 'water cooler' or 'coffee machine' conversations and many backward thinking managers brand them as gossip or a waste of time. In some cases they do have a point!

Why do we want such conversations in the first place? Ideas tend to come into being when problems are aired amongst groups of people. They then get refined as part of conversations and solutions created or retrieved from the rich banks of knowledge that exist in our heads, libraries and computer systems. Conversations are something that we are used to having, after all we are social creatures.

So how do we make these conversations mainstream and encourage them? First of all the attitude of management must change to allow a whole range of things to happen. We could encourage conversations around the water coolers but Health and Safety issues might prevent too many gatherings. We should identify a) where people converse b) for how long c) for what purpose d) how we capture results. If conversations are short then having white boards or flip charts near to our coffee machines might help but for long exchanges then we might need more seats around our desks or a number of small 'islands' in our buildings where impromptu conversations might take place.

Employees also need to know that it is ok to have these conversation and that they can be continued using other modes of communication if need be. They should also be encouraged to eavesdrop on conversations that might be of interest to them.
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