You can tell when you are walking into an organisation that is fully alive and successful—you can feel it, can’t you? Vital, vibrant organisations are like attractive people—they draw customers, staff and resources. They are good to be around and a joy to do business with. How do they do it?
Successful organisations and communities harness the creativity of their people, are naturally innovative, full of spirit and know how to engage all of their people—that is each person/stakeholder and their creative or ‘right-brain’ capabilities in addition to their logical skills.
Here are some ideas about how to revitalise organisations and communities—awakening the energy, passion, creativity, spirit and commitment of every member. We’ll look at creativity, innovation, spirit in practice and Right Stuff (the term we use to encapsulate various ways to access the non-logical treasures in people).
It is both strategically and practically possible to ensure that creativity is more than the preserve of a specialist few in an isolated department.
Creating the right environment psychologically and physically is key. So issues of culture, structure, physical space, plus personal and professional development form the bedrock for creativity. Creativity tools and techniques have their place only when the right foundations have been established. At Wikima we work with you to build those long-term foundations and move beyond a quick injection of fun activity—though enjoyment is key to this work!
The Wikima approach to innovation owes much to our colleague Jack Martin Leith.
Innovation can be defined as ‘creating new stuff that adds value’: new products, services, customer experiences, business concepts, ventures, visions, strategies, processes, ways of thinking, ways of relating, ways of living… any kind of new stuff.
How can this be accomplished?
Here are a few of the key aspects of successful and rapid innovation:
- Move beyond problem solving
- Create and live and the future now—in the present
- Create and preserve value for the entire stakeholder system
- Motivate innovation with purpose, vision and rewards
- Enable innovation through culture, structure, processes and resources
- As leaders, model the innovation you want to see
- Provide new ways for people to meet, pool knowledge, ideas and perspectives and reach agreement on courses of action
Here are some more key aspects:
- Replace message-based communication with conversations
- Gather the whole system together to address complex issues and develop plans for collaborative action
- Retain and process ideas that at first glance appear impractical
- Allow ideas to progress quickly through fuzzy (conditional) stage-gates
- Include key players who may be threatened by (and block) new concepts
- Learn how to work in the invisible world, beyond time and space (eg. through Constellations)
- See resistance to change as feedback, useful information and a sign that the change is happening
- Acknowledge the change formula: D x V x F x C > R
- Ensure that command and control has genuinely been replaced with appropriate co-creation and self-organisation
- Abandon ‘buy-in’ (to someone else’s ideas) in favour of ‘join-in’ (collaboratively designing our idea)
- Connect your people to a purpose (reason for existing), which is motivating and includes a contribution to the greater good
- Make sure your vision embodies values that are heartfelt by the people, projected into the future and expressed in an inspiring way
- Aim to liberate and harness the passion, courage (coeur = heart), wisdom and inspiration of everyone in the organisation or community
- Identify the activities which make people’s hearts sink—shift the focus to heart singing work
- Master the art of letting go of the old: transform fear of stepping into the unknown into excitement and exhilaration
Spirit in Practice
- How do you create a vibrant spirit in practice?
- How do you release and nurture a sense of spirit?
- How do you remove the stifling controls of bureaucracy while ensuring appropriate structure and feedback systems?
Find out more about Spirit in Practice—one of the key Wikima practices.
In order to consciously access the deeper intuition and wants of the people, plus their whole-hearted commitment, Wikima use the focused inclusion of theatre, music, poetry, visual expression, dance, storytelling, clowning, masks and other creative arts in our work.
Find out more about Right Stuff—another of our key practices.