We all know how important creativity is at work. New ideas, fresh solutions, and innovative approaches are always talked about, but rarely ever practiced.
Sticky Wisdom is a short easy to read book that centres on encouraging creative thinking within yourself and the workplace you lead.
Organisations have two worlds: the analytical and the creative. While both sides are necessary to be an effective organisation, this book suggests we spend far too much time being analytical without encouraging creativity and innovation to the same degree. The authors believe there are six specific behaviours that are necessary to start a creative revolution:
freshness, greenhousing, realness, momentum, signalling and courage.
Perhaps considering just a couple of these may give you a taste for the book.
Greenhousing is a behaviour that protects young ideas when they are at their most vulnerable and nurtures them into healthy growth. Most activity within an organisation is rapid and fast firing and is based on experience, usually involving some degree of judgement and criticism of behaviour. Within this environment it is difficult for new ideas to emerge. In some senses the analytical side of the organisation is in dominant mode. What do young ideas need — they need the SUN! The authors use SUN = Suspend + Understand + Nurture when discussing new ideas. It is too easy to criticise new thinking therefore we need to suspend our judgement for the moment, try and understand what might be emerging and then nurture that idea into a safe place where it can grow.
Too often analytical organisations, with a preference for comfortable and reliable structures, simply RAIN down on new ideas. RAIN = React + Assume + Insist. How many people do you have in your organisation who would frequently react against anything that is new, assume that they know the landscape and therefore start instantly judging, and finally insist that because they know best the idea could never work. If Einstein was correct in his deduction that 'problems cannot be solved by thinking within a framework in which they were created' then who are the people within your organisation who are going to move you out of this critical financial climate within which we find ourselves and give you the angle you need? Those who RAIN on your organisation or those who bring some SUNshine — it’s your call! Ask yourself this question — when was the last time that you as leaders created some SUNdays during the week for the creative people who want to go where the structures will not allow them? The authors insist that recognising this diversity of thinking within your company will help create real added value. Greenhousing creates this environment for growth — is this within your toolkit?
Realness is another tool that the authors suggest builds on our earlier work when nurturing new ideas. How can we make these new ideas as real for our customers as possible and achieve this — right now?
Realness therefore is about bringing your idea to life in whatever way you can rather than simply 'talking shop'. Realness in other words is the deliverable! In order to achieve realness it is critical that it remains an integral part of our creative environment — help your people 'learn and inspire' by doing. The ideal loop therefore would be: have and improve an idea — make it real — this creates fresh learning and insight — which creates an even stronger idea. Realness creates a focus in the organisation by pushing people towards creativity and action rather than talking and writing memos. The benefits are better ideas, more momentum and greater fulfilment at work.
So before you just get on with things as normal, remember your present with the book Sticky Wisdom inside. Start thinking (greenhousing) about how you can add a new kind of value to your organisation — and then make it happen (realness).