C rafting an organizational culture that feeds creativity and innovation is by no means an easy feat. It certainly entails striking a delicate balance between the comforts of continuity and the discomforts of change. And yes, it requires patience, commitment and courage.
Create an environment that nourishes innovation
To embed innovation in your culture, you need a number of things to fall into place: you need to know what innovation means to you and your customers. You need the right people with the right skills in the right place. And you most certainly need the right management behaviors and organizational practices.
This may sound like a daunting task. And indeed it is. Especially since there is no formula that can mindlessly be applied to all organizations. We work with you to create a roadmap that enables you to embed innovation in your culture. Then, we help you navigate the minefields of implementation.
The Creative Peas approach to building innovation cultures is based on applying, extending and refining insights from established theories of innovation, leadership and decision-making. We strongly believe in taking a systematic approach based on repeated measurement, experimenting with small scale-interventions before rolling out major changes and in promoting effective leader behaviors.
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B y gaining an accurate understanding of the current innovation climate in your team, department or organization you can plan and implement targeted interventions that have a higher likelihood of generating desired results.
Identify the factors that stimulate or inhibit your innovation efforts
To this end, we have developed a tool that provides a clear picture of your current innovation climate: the Innovation Climate Survey
.The survey measures the innovation climate within a certain team, department or organization. It assesses specific managerial behaviors and organizational practices that have been found to influence creative work performance. The Innovation Climate Survey
- Is grounded in solid, recent scientific research on organizational innovation and leadership.
- Identifies your strong areas as well as those climate areas that are in dire need of attention.
- Paints a clear picture of the factors that stimulate and inhibit innovation within your team, department or organization.
- Provides clear guidelines on how you can develop your innovation climate.
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T o help you kick-start and manage innovation interventions, we provide a range of bespoke workshops that zoom in on four areas key to the innovation process: Problem Exploration, Systematic Idea Generation, Effective Decision-Making, and Leading for Innovation.
Hands-on, immersive, experimentation-based curriculum
The express purpose of these workshops is to endow you with the tools and techniques needed to spark creative problem solving and effective decision-making. As a rule, our workshops promote active inquiry and experimentation. They help you leverage innovation within your company by arming individuals with the skills necessary to generate creative ideas and transform them into practical and marketable solutions.
Any innovation process starts with solving the right problem. As logical and simple as this may sound, identifying the right problem is not a given. Our entrenched ways of ‘seeing’ and thinking bind and blind us into focusing on certain things and ignoring others.
Problem exploration workshops introduce you and your team to the essential principles of effective problem exploration. You will learn and apply the skills you need to break free of pre-existing frames and tackle existing challenges with a fresh pair of eyes.
- You will learn to recognize and overcome the traps that limit you in defining problems effectively.
- You will learn and practice to challenge your assumptions.
- You will experiment with actively shifting perspectives.
- You will discover how to effectively reframe problems.
Systematic Idea Generation
Generating ideas is easy. The challenge rests in bringing to light the ones that transcend the obvious and are genuinely creative.
Countless research studies show that conventional group brainstorming results in few, if any, truly original ideas that add real value. Simply gathering people in a room and asking them to be creative may turn out to be fun, but will not yield fresh breakthrough ideas. For this to happen, you need a systematic approach coupled with relentless persistence.
In our systematic idea generation workshops you will learn to break habitual thinking patterns, discard conventional idea-generation strategies, apply a flexible mindset, and combine ideas in new ways.
As a result, you will be able to revive flagging group creativity, create a large pool of potentially novel and useful ideas and apply a systematic approach to any future idea generation initiatives.
Generating creative ideas is a necessary, and yet, insufficient condition for innovation. The first step towards actual implementation implies selecting the best idea(s) out of the pool of generated ideas.
Research repeatedly shows that individuals perform surprisingly poorly at picking creative ideas. Indeed, very often, they don’t do better than chance. Whereas there is no magic formula for picking a ‘winning’ idea, you can increase your odds by optimizing your decision-making process.
In our effective decision-making workshops you will learn to identify common decision-making traps and practice strategies to avoid and overcome them. As a result, you will develop practical skills for better decision-making at work and at home.
Leading for Innovation
Leaders are key in creating cultures that either nurture or kill innovation. Indeed, the success or failure of organizational innovation efforts disproportionately hinges upon prevalent management practices and behaviors.
Research has consistently identified a set of leader behaviors positively associated with creating a work-environment conducive to employee engagement, creative performance and innovation. In addition, a mounting body of evidence clearly shows how specific management practices can harm creative performance and innovation.
In our leading for innovation workshops you will practice leadership behaviors that are conducive to innovation. You will also learn which behaviors block your innovation efforts and how to avoid them. As a result, you will be better positioned to set the stage for creating a work-environment that fosters creative work performance and innovation.
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Creative Peas performs customized company- and industry-wide research projects in the fields of leadership and innovation. The ultimate goal of these projects is to help our clients understand and solve the dilemmas they are currently facing.
Creative Peas founder, Dr. Diana Rus, is an experienced, engaging speaker regularly called upon to inspire and educate audiences with lectures and interactive discussions on topics related to leadership and innovation. She has delivered talks at large-scale international conferences as well as in front of bespoke groups of managers and professionals, in for-profit businesses, and non-profit organizations.
Sample topics have included, but are not limited to: Leading for Innovation, Building Innovation Cultures, Managing Open Innovation, and Organizational Learning. Regardless of the topic, Diana uses a mix of exciting practical examples and theoretical insights to engage people, open up new perspectives, and encourage action. Content can be tailored to suit the unique needs and circumstances of your industry and audience.
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