The information age is over. The sun has officially set (at least in the developed world). Everyone with access to an internet connection can find out anything they need to know in an instant and Google has become a verb.
The new age is the creativity age. Those with the ability to take the information, twist it through the ringer of opportunity and bring something new into the world are this decade's sunrise. I recently heard a great quote courtesy of Katherine Allen of The Writers Studio who defines creativity as the "dance between structure and imagination". How good is that? With solid structure the imagination can be captured and translated into effective action.
"Creativity is the Dance between Structure and Imagination"
Successful future businesses, teams and individuals will be those whose can spot the opportunity fastest and combine their imagination and structure to create wonderfully effective solutions. So how successful are your team at creating brilliant solutions and how successful are you at leading your team to create brilliant solutions?
Tips on Growing Team Creativity
- Ensure your team has a good mix of structural and imaginative people and they get to work together on opportunities
- Train the imaginatives to use structure and the structuralists to use their imagination
- Use the GROW coaching model and spend solid time on the Options section - ask for safe ideas, good ideas, cool ideas, wild ideas, effective ideas, cheap ideas...
- Encourage creativity by demonstrating it yourself.
- Take your team into environments that display creativity as well as the key elements of the opportunity - for instance, if there is a need to communicate better with clients, take your team on a walk across (or over) a great bridge like the Sydney harbour bridge, finish up in a place where you can still see the bridge and ask: 1) what are the key attributes of the bridge that means the north can communicate with the south so effectively. 2) Use those attributes to ask how we can communicate in the same way with our clients.
There are infinitesimal ways to grow creativity in yourself and others, just dance between structure and imagination and you will find the answers for you and your team. Feel free to share to share your discoveries.