Home » Posts tagged 'innovation and change'

Tag Archives: innovation and change

Vibrancy and energy are born of risk

 

Fig. 1. In Dracula mode

I was up at 3.30am and I’m not even presenting. It brings out the vampire in me.

I use these early hours to write – pulling together ideas before they blow away in the wind of daily life in a household where the number of teenagers has suddenly doubled. We have the older teenager couple, and the young teenager couple … and the parents of two of this lot looking at each other and thinking ‘we’re teenagers too’.

Three hours of short presentations and without exception each has an impact and contribution to my thinking an practice.

This despite the presence of a lorry full of blokes with pneumatic drills who attacked the house an hour ago – cavity wall insulation.

I am sitting here with industrial strength headphones – for a ‘test to destruction’ I’d say that these Klipsch headphones are doing their job admirably. I ‘suffer’ from having acute hearing … I do hear the pins drop a mile away. I need headphones like this whenever I leave the house otherwise travelling is a nightmare.

Is this normal?

The great value of a session like this is to listen to your fellow students – a voice, more than a face, evokes character and conviction. Not that I ever doubted it but everyone is clearly smart, focused and keen to ‘play the game’ when it comes to using online tools.

There isn’t enough of it.

The OU has a habit of designing the life and risk out of a module. Bring it back. Vibrancy and energy are born of risk.

Advertisement

10 mind-maps of the precepts required to deliver creative problem solving successfully

1

2

3

4

From OU MBA B822 'Creativity, Innovation and Change'

5

From OU MBA B822 'Creativity, Innovation and Change'

6

From OU MBA B822 'Creativity, Innovation and Change'

7

From OU MBA B822 'Creativity, Innovation and Change'

8

From OU MBA B822 'Creativity, Innovation and Change'

9

From OU MBA B822 'Creativity, Innovation and Change'

10

From OU MBA B822 'Creativity, Innovation and Change'

Creative Problem Solving and the Buffalo in the room

A week away from an end of module exam completing the Open University Business School Module ‘Creativity, Innovation & Change’ (B822) explains my unusual absence from the blogosphere (or at least this part of it). I am re-learning how to write long hand. The last time I sat an exam I used a fountain pen, this time round I am resolved to using biros. As a sports coach I should understand that I am about to put my hand through a marathon and that lack of the right kind of training means I will get cramp.

When will it be possible to sit an exam and type up a response?

Meanwhile I stumbled upon this. It is timely for anyone faced with an exam on 24th April for B822 ‘Creativity, Innovation and Change’, so much so I am going to transcribe this, analyse and learn its lessons as going through old exam papers this short video, in a fun and engaging way, answers to questions precisely.

This is why I chose to study B822 as an elective within the Masters in Open & Distance Education.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFYLeT9q8tk

Creative Problem Solving Workshop (B822: Creativity, Innovation & Change)


I had a Swim Plan; the idea worked on several levels.

As a professional swimming coach (squads to Regional & National Standard) I am used to planning many hours or ‘activity’ that in some cases operate within tolerances of PB+/- 5 seconds. i.e. within 5 seconds of their ‘Personal Best Time’. With this exercise I built in +/- 5 minutes with a set of exercises where none lasted longer than 15 minutes.

For the fun of it the group were shown how to scull in a couple of minutes at the start, then how to flutter kick at the end.

I doubt this used up more than 90 seconds in total of a 90 minute CPS workshop.

There were several formal CPS techniques, two quite physical the others more cerebral.

  1. Samurai, Mother-in-law, Tiger
  2. Human Sculpture
  3. Problem Definition
  4. Help/Hinder
  5. Problem Review
  6. Time Line
  7. Advantages, Limites & Unique Qualities

There diverge/converge pattern was followed, though I am glad I came across the idea of ‘clustering’ as this better represented an intermediary phase that occured more than once.

It worked.

I am looking at where to go next with these as being someone who clearly likes being on their feet, directing and coaching (I have directed well over 150 training & information videos in my career, often with actors or large teams) I rather took to the unscripted, guided improvisation that is the lot of the facilitator.

Last Saturday I was a Wembley Arena for the induction of some 10,000 of us ‘Gamesmakers’.

Now that would be a group to facilitate!

REFERENCE

Ackoff, R. “Systems, Messes and Interactive Planning” Portions of Chapters 1 and 2 of Redesigning the Future. New York/London, 1974.

App. I (2011) B822 Tutorial 21 Jan 2012 Guilford

Henry, J (2010) Creative Techniques Library

Henry, J with Martin, J., Bell., R and the B822 Course Team(2010) Book 2 Managing Problems Creatively

Kirton, M.J. (1987) ‘Adaptors and Innovators. Cognitive Style and Personality’. In S.G. Isaksen (ed.), Frontiers of Creativity Research, Buffalo: Bearly Ltd.

Osborn, A.F. (1993) Applied Imagination, Principles and Procedures of Creative Problem Solving (3rd revised edn, 1st edn 1953). Creative Education Foundation Press, Buffalo.

Ritchey, T; (2007) Wicked Problems: Structuring Social Messes with Morphological Analysis, Swedish Morphological Society, last revised 7 November 2007.

Rittel, H (1972) ‘On the planning crisis: systems analysis of the “First and second generations”, Bedriftsokonomen, No. 8, pp. 390-6.

Tassoul, M & Buijs, J (2007) Clustering: An Essential Step from Diverging to Converging. Creativity and Innovation Management. Vol. 16, Number 1.

Wherret, R (2011) B822 Residential School 12th January 2011, Marriott Hotel, Heathrow.

Creative Problem Solving Techniques Library : Human Sculpture & Timeline

Fig.1 Bodies in urban spaces 

Image Credit Flickr User Andrew Russeth // Bodies in Urban Spaces 

(These are not the original participants though it may be interesting to introduce a fun version of ‘human sculpture’ as a Christmas Entertainment. As a team creating a tableau from a movie or some such?)

The Human Sculpture

We were invited to offer a personal problem; it was made quite clear that we had to be comfortable with this. Without saying what the problem was and with the facilitator’s help a ‘human sculpture’ was made to represent the problem. In this instance there were forces pulling him in two directions (partner and ego) with this person’s current/former employer behind and his future employment/employer in front.

There were therefore FIVE participants who made up the ‘sculpture’.

It was fascinating to have each factor comment on how they felt, even if this ‘factor’ was an entity, psyche or ‘unknown’ future.

This was recognised as a way to see the problem for what it is, for the problem owner to see it as others see it, to get the sentence that an entity, played out as a person, can have feelings.

I particularly liked the idea of being able to talk to the desired or possible outcome in a kind of role play.

The technique from the B822 Technique Library where you do something similar is with ‘Timeline’ placing people at points now and in the future. In a way I did this years ago to visualise a careers advice video using members of a Youth Theatre who had to be someone 1, 5 and 10 years along a career path based on different decisions they took at 14/16 regarding school, a job, training or university.

From the B822 ‘Creativity, Innovation and Change’ Residential School

P.S. The image above might offer part of our conclusion, that all the factors should be brought into consideration. What is more, where the problem isn’t too sensitive or the individual/participants want an aide memoire then a series of pictures could be taken.

When is it appropriate to use Creative Problem Solving?

B822 Techniques : Human Sculpture & Timeline

‘Human Sculpture’ isn’t one of the 168 techniques in the ‘Creativity, Innovation and Change’ Handbook, though it could be. Indeed the facilitator/tutor said he had 200 activities in his toolkit (or was it 500). I saw this as representing what could be achieved with ‘Timeline’ and related it to an activity I did with 40 Youth Theatre actors age 11-16 trying to plot and thinking out a careers advice video.

(These are not the original participants though it may be interesting to introduce a fun version of ‘human sculpture’ as a Christmas Entertainment. As a team creating a tableau from a movie or some such?)

The Human Sculpture

We were invited to offer a personal problem; it was made quite clear that we had to be comfortable with this. Without saying what the problem was and with the facilitator’s help a ‘human sculpture’ was made to represent the problem. In this instance there were forces pulling him in two directions (partner and ego) with this person’s current/former employer behind and his future employment/employer in front.

There were therefore FIVE participants who made up the ‘sculpture’.

It was fascinating to have each factor comment on how they felt, even if this ‘factor’ was an entity, psyche or ‘unknown’ future.

This was recognised as a way to see the problem for what it is, for the problem owner to see it as others see it, to get the sentence that an entity, played out as a person, can have feelings.

I particularly liked the idea of being able to talk to the desired or possible outcome in a kind of role play.

The technique from the B822 Technique Library where you do something similar is with ‘Timeline’ placing people at points now and in the future. In a way I did this years ago to visualise a careers advice video using members of a Youth Theatre who had to be someone 1, 5 and 10 years along a career path based on different decisions they took at 14/16 about school, a job, training or university.

From the B822 ‘Creativity, Innovation and Change’ Residential School

P.S. The image above might offer part of our conclusion, that all the factors should be brought into consideration. What is more, where the problem isn’t too sensitive or the individual/participants want an aide memoire then a series of pictures could be taken.

Think different? Because you are?

Reading the Steve Jobs biography, without taking notes (a sin, but it is the holidays), while also studying B822 ‘Creativity, Innovation and Change’ I am increasingly inclined to ditch all techniques in favour of ‘being yourself’. This is how Steve Jobs lived; he was himself, often without compromise, therefore difficult, particular and obsessive.

Some advertising creative types are laughable because of the way they go about things yet the simple act of behaving differently over an extended period of time is bound to create in that plastic mind a slightly different mind set. All it takes for an ad to stand out is for it to be different; to be effective it has to have relevance and resonance.

Having taken no notes at all on Steve Jobs I’ll be obliged to read it again, notepad or iPad by my side.

If you thought there were rules or ways of doing things then this will throw your mind. Most of us can’t be Steve Jobs, to realise his dreams someone has to put the ideas into action.

Had Steve Jobs done a Myers Briggs Type inventory what would he have been?

Creative Problem Solving Technique Library ‘Fishbone’

Continuing through the B822 ‘Creativity, Innovation and Change’ Technique Library handbook.

I’ve put book marks into some 30 of out 150 problem solving techniques, approaches or games. As the opportunity arises I’ll come back and give some of these a go.

Prof. Kaoru Ishikawa

‘It can encourage development of a comprehensive and balanced picture, involving everyone, keeping eveyone on track, discouraging partial or premature solutions, and showing the relative importance and inter-relationships between different parts of a problem’.

Fig. 1 From SmartDraw. REFERENCE Adapted from: Marjao, S. (1988) The Creative Gap, London, Longman, pp. 133-7

B822 Creativity, Innovation and Change (AUDIO PACK)

I am listening through a 28 minute audio on creativity, innovation and change.

This is part of the OU MBA programme, but for me an elective 30 credits as part of the Masters in Open in Distance Education having already taken H807, H808 and H800.

I need a transcript.

I would skim read it, then listen once.

Instead, on the third listening I find I am writing a transcript, bullet points becoming sentences, sentences becoming paragraphs, those interviewed gaining a picture from Google Images and a resume from the institute where they are currently based.

Where the interviews intercut, I am taking them back to FOUR single interviews.

I am deconstructing, as if I had conducted the interviews myself.

(Two hours later I have a fourth listen. Why? Because I believe that the effort made to extract learning from these audio tracks will pay dividends. The ideas will begin to mean something)

(24 hours later I have the Media Book that supports the audio. Not the transcript that I desire, but notes from the Course Chair Jane Henry. I am struck both by what I HAVE picked up from the audio, as well as arguments/opinions that totally escaped me, that I’ll have to seek out simply to be sure that these things were ever said. As I am currently on Jury Service I am struck how we as humans are, indeed have to be, selective regarding what we see and hear. We cannot take it all in. Context is everything. We are not a sponge, at best a Gouda cheese).

Creativity. Innovation and Change

Charles Handy (born 1932) is an Irish author/philosopher specialising in organisational behaviour and management. Among the ideas he has advanced are the

Two major things:

1.Globalisation: organisations have got bigger to be there and smaller to be human

2.From things to knowledge/ideas.

People are identifiable people with names who have to be cossetted.

Reorganise into projects and teams so that people know each other.

  • Importance of informal contacts.
  • People reach out to people.
  • Inside and outside organisations.
  • Groups are there to deliver something.
  • Informal cells made official.
  • Managers can say what is wanted at the end of the project, but not how to get there.
  • Creativity will blossom.

People will have to reinvent themselves.

  • People want to feel they are giving their lives, or a bit of it, to something that matters.
  • What is it that people need?
  • Businesses that grow out of frustrations (Michael Young, Richard Branson)

Prof. Rossabeth Moss Kanter

Professor Kanter holds the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School, where she specializes in strategy, innovation, and leadership for change. Her strategic and practical insights have guided leaders of large and small organizations worldwide for over 25 years, through teaching, writing, and direct consultation to major corporations and governments.

Interviewed for the Open University’s module B822 ‘Creativity, Innovation and Change’ Module she talks for the need for:

  • Less bureaucracy
  • Emphasis on team work
  • On sharing leadership
  • Emphasis on customer responsive decisions … working on feedback directly from customers.

To be like leaders of volunteers.

  • I’m the leader here’s my vision, so that you can bring to it the best that you can do.
  • A sense of mission.
  • Motivated by the chance to learn.
  • Or if you have to leave.
  • An enhanced reputation.
  • You’ll get recognition.
  • People being owners of the business, to share in the value they create.

The ladders aren’t there anymore.

What’s my profession? What’s my skill set.

__________________________________________________

The Hollywood model

  • Where you get the best producers and directors, and some investors and actors. These sets of projects can be in the same company … if the company is providing.

______________________________________________________

For me this is a concept that rings most true having contemplated how to assemble a team of people with different skills, indeed, why a variety of skills are necessary and that these should be distinguishable and come from the contrebutions of several people. Currently, social media, is vested in one person, whereas it should be shared across several skill sets. The creative teams in advertising are made up of a copywriter and art director, in a web agency we had an editor, designer and programmer. In each case a producer is required too.

_________________________________________________________________

  • Employment relationships are shorter term. Employees have to recommit each year.
  • Engaging the minds and hearts of the people.

Prof. Charles Hampden Turner. The Judge Institute, University of Cambridge.

Charles HampdenTurner (a dilemma enthusiast), they talk these days not so much of country stereotypes as the need to understand individuals. He received his masters and doctorate degrees from the Harvard Business School and was the recipient of the Douglas McGregor Memorial Award, as well as the Columbia University Prize for the Study of the Corporation.

Networks and accelerating returns.

  • A critical moment when the network becomes incredibly valuable.
  • The concept of the employee society is going to die.
  • A buffalo and being hunted down by Indians again ?!
  • Vs. being fad proan.
  • Think in terms of paradox.
  • Time and motion studies.
    But it ran to its own limits.

____________________________________________

Professor Henry Mintzberg, OC, OQ, FRSC (born in Montreal, 1939) is an internationally renowned academic and author on business and

  • People who are truly empowered don’t need to be empowered by managers. It doesn’t bring about more creative organisations.
  • Learning organisations as they have a healthy culture.
  • Build cultures that support maverick, a ‘why not?’ culture that a ‘Why?’ culture.

(See more about organisational configurations)

%d bloggers like this: