What does creativity look like inside a creative organization?
How might it be possible to get a snapshot of the internal creative workings of a company that generates creative products (artistic productions, biotech breakthroughs, education/training programs, advertising campaigns, etc.), to see both how they do it, and how well they’re doing? Could we lift up the lid and take a peek at the inner workings? Examine internalized strengths and hidden blind spots? Take a stab at a recipe for creativity in creative companies?
To answer these questions, I’m embarking on a consultative exploration of a creative organization, a company that creates learning environments and opportunities for a variety of applications, from team-building, to exhibit design, to educational materials, to branding, and more.
I’ll be taking a look at this organization (for which, full disclosure, I have worked as content designer and trainer/facilitator) from the perspectives of their internal creative process, their creative climate, the creative preferences of the core team, and the development of a creative product. Throughout, I’ll be bringing in elements of Creative Problem Solving as a sort of process guide and framework for skill development. The specific project I’ll be observing is the concepting phase of an exhibit design for a small museum.
I’ll be posting regularly here on the process of observing a process… and the creativity that manifests in the creation of creative products. Something of a hall of mirrors? I’m seeing it as peek behind the curtain. Names will be changed to protect the innocent. I expect later in the project I’ll be able to give you some more information as to what, where, and when, for those who are curious. The “how” will be on full display throughout.
What do I expect to find out in all this? Well, the first major insight will come at the end of this month, when I present the findings to the team on their FourSight profiles. FourSight measures preferences for different phases of the creative process: clarifying the situation, coming up with ideas, developing them, and implementing them.
Is a company whose stock in trade depends on coming up with strong ideas full of people who love to ideate? Does a company which also develops and implements great ideas attract people who love to do that, too? Where are the strengths, and where are the blind spots? We’ll know that next week.
I’ll also be posting episodic snapshots of the organization’s creative process in action. Look for these under the category Pulling Back the Curtain/Diary of a Process. Also see the program page Pulling Back the Curtain for a quick program overview.
If you work for a creative organization (and even if you don’t) I hope you’ll find it to be an interesting journey. Please stay tuned…