Creativity in Conservative Org LO12879

Leon Conrad (100755.1675@CompuServe.COM)
13 Mar 97 09:26:50 EST

Replying to Geof Fountain's LO12860

"given our culture, what strategies/tools/processes would be most useful
in supporting a creative pursuit to resolving this problem ?"

Trust people to be creative ...
Create a space within which people can be creative.
Start with yourself. Believe in your ability to make this thing happen.
Create this space within yourself.
Communicate your vision to others from that space.
Invite others into the space you have created to participate in remoulding
that vision with a view to making whatever joint vision you come up with
together a reality.
Be the cornerstone for the project. Arrange times, places, atmospheres
within which creativity can happen ... anything goes from meetings in a
pub after hours to a chat in the canteen over lunch ....
Make it regular.
Make it fun.

Communication and people will be the keys to finding a solution! Make
communication the central focus of the project ... keep communication
alive ... something will come out of it. Where communication is effective,
creativity will live!

A hint: if trying to tease creativity out of a seemingly 'locked'
organisation, get people to question everything they say. An example

You say: "A chemical processing facility needs to transfer large amounts
of salt solution and sludge out of large storage tanks to allow the
solutions to be further processed."

Lots of in-roads in this one statement, Geof ...
Question everything ....

"A chemical processing facility" ... is it? How do different people in
different parts of the organisation see the organisation as a whole? What
is it to them? To its customers? To its neighbours? To the nation?

"needs to transfer" ... does it? (I presume the answer to this is yes, but
what if the answer were to be no ... what kind of thinking would engender
this reply?

"large amounts of salt solution and sludge" is there any use for this in
the state you describe? A brainstorm exercise might reveal some mad things

"to allow the solutions to be further processed." any alternatives?
methods? raw materials? etc.

"to mix up and pump out the sludge and salt solutions." can't a large
mechanical dough hook and a hole in the bottom of the container with a tap
in it work just as well? (I'm no scientist, as you can tell!)

"In addition, due to process contaminants, the pumps can not be re-used
for other tanks." Can you get rid of the contaminants or find a way to
de-contaminate the pumps to allow multiple use?

"dwindling budgets and with over 90 % of the project monies going to
support just the hardware" Here's your incentive statement! Keep
communicating it! If support dwindles, or mountainous challenges seem to
obscure the horizon of illumination, keep revisiting the incentive.

"the organization has a conservative, highly regulated culture where
consistency and control, not innovation, are the norm." That doesn't mean
it doesn't contain innovation ... look at you!

>Collectively pursuing creative options could be a challenge.

Could be? Do you mean 'will be, however hard I try', 'is likely to be' or
'might be - but on the other hand, might not'. Does challenge imply
failure? Is it worth going for?

Hope this helps.


Leon Conrad
The Conrad Voice Consultancy


Leon Conrad <100755.1675@CompuServe.COM>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>