• Jonathan Moss

Creativity? Then save the business…..oh..you have 20 minutes!

Save the Company…you have 20 minutes!! We have all been there, the end of the day, the end of the meeting, you hear the words the entire team fear, and for good reason, spoken. “Now we require some ideas to solve X (produce X, save X, generate X, sell more X) and we can brainstorm ideas, we have 20 minutes.

Following this is the worst 20 minutes of the day. (your life) Nearly everybody falls out with one another, ideas are few and poor at best. There is one-upmanship and the Boss is undoubtedly trying to get you to guess their idea and there is a winner, and you can all go home. This scenario sounds dreadful and is dreadful and could do real damage to your business if you don’t get this in check. Your business’s creativity ends up being nowhere and your innovation ability becomes inconsequential.

This scenario plays out, everyday across the land and across the world. It’s time for this to stop and for business leaders to embrace the whole idea of creative problem solving, and specifically a ‘Structured Creative Problem Solving’ process that uses a system of behaviors, environments, communication and creativity techniques that build immensely powerful individuals and creative teams. Opportunities can be captured and messy problems solved through creativity and creativity is no accident. Make it deliberate and repeatable!!

The world is a complex, messy place and not only that, it’s changing, and at a pace, all the time. It presents us with lots of problems, and these problems need solving or things will go West. Unfortunately, most of these problems provide us with too little information to get a handle on them, or to use traditional analytical problem solving and produce ‘logical’ responses. Sometimes even when we do something, we find ourselves further behind the curve than we expected, but it’s often too late. Business leaders agree innovation processes should be a key investment in their business, however, few leaders follow through on this because, by its nature, creativity is chaotic, irrational, unimaginable, unpredictable and fuzzy. This doesn’t sit comfortably in an environment where foreseeable outcomes, spreadsheets and targets that must be achieved need to be prioritised and predictable.

There is a WAYOUT of this predicament and that is ‘Creative Structured Problem Solving’.

I believe there are 3 key ways in which businesses, organisations and teams can use Creative Structured Problem Solving, these are MEETINGS, PROJECTS and OGANISATIONAL CREATIVE CAPACITY. Meetings are where your most important asset (Individuals) are brought together to bring about solutions or find new opportunities that will help your business. It is important these meetings are useful, meaningful and bring about great results. Time is money.

To ensure this happens, I believe it is the responsibility of the business to ensure teams are provided with the right tools for the task and the ideal environment, otherwise you are just preparing for an ‘IDEA BRAWL!’. This is profoundly damaging and helps nobody.

A team trained in structured creative problem solving ensures time is well spent and creative meetings are successful. In its simplest form structured creative problem solving meetings are a series of skills and behaviours when combined produce powerful outcomes. I break these tools down into five areas and these are;

1. Rules of communication.

2. The perfect creative environment.

3. Powerful idea generation techniques.

4. Choosing ideas without fear.

5. From idea to form. Shipping innovation.

These five ‘tools’ are how you ensure your teams become the ‘Front End’ to your innovation machine. They provide teams with the right skills, attitudes and behaviours required to plan, run and maximise powerful outcomes to your meetings. They increase positive energy, massively increase the outcome of high quality ideas and ensure even the wildest ideas (The ones that Will get you fired!) survive first contact and go on to become real, innovative solutions or opportunities. By piggybacking off ideas, new opportunities spring seemingly from nowhere and all become a part of your solutions.

Being aware new ideas are scary, having skills in facilitating and choosing with intrigue from a mass of new potential solutions ensures you don’t dismiss ideas too soon and throw out the greatest idea ever!! Remember ‘It is easier to build feasibility into an innovative idea than it is to build innovation into an idea that’s already feasible!!’

Like a farmer preparing the soil, it needs to be in the right condition to produce first class crops. In creative thinking and problem solving, this is the same as preparing the team. A team with a set of masterful skills can find opportunities, solve problems, create the perfect environment for creative problem solving and have an extraordinarily positive energy that will ensure results produced are of the highest quality and serve you well.

Want to find out more? Click the link below to go to the wayoutthinking site. You can arrange a 15 minute confidential call.

WAYOUT THINKING.com (Innovation by design)

#creativity #businessgrowth #businessinnovation #problemsolving #innovation #entrepreneur

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Wayoutthinking is an Innovation Consultancy based in Lancashire, in the North West of England.

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