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CREATIVE CAFFEINE

A dose of creativity stimulation

 to ignite fresh thinking

Inspiring women

In celebration of Women’s Day in South Africa, we would like to shout out to some of the incredible women in our network who inspire us. These creative thinkers are using their skills and insights to help women around the world grow and by showing us what is possible.

Kgomotso Matsunyane, One Man Studios

Kgomotso is a multi-talented producer, writer, director, editor, businesswoman and television presenter. She hosted the late-night TV shows Pillow Talk and  Late Night with Kgomotso, and afternoon drive radio show, Uncaptured, on Kaya FM. She is a serial entrepreneur and director of production company, One Man Studios. 

Kgomotso uses her influence and network to advocate for Positive Sexual Health through her Golden Triangle Initiative. She has also established a free, public, multimedia Feminist library that archives, documents and celebrates feminism, especially African Feminism.

Kgomotoso introduced us to the THNK School of Creative Leadership, where she attended...

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When not letting go impacts your business

Last week I wrote about having to let go of our much-loved and well-used record collection and vinyl turntables. (The turntables went yesterday. Boohoo. See photo at the end of this post.) Since then, many of you have reached out to say that you are experiencing something similar, so the story seems to have have hit a chord.    

I’ve been digging deeper into the importance of letting go and I think you’ll be interested in my findings. It seems businesses have an even harder time letting go. I guess in business there is the multiplier effect of not just one, but many minds unwilling or unable to let go.

Is your business making the mistake of not letting go?

 Are you limiting creativity and innovation in your business by hanging on too tightly?

Here are three ways that not letting go can hold your business back from innovation and growth:

  1. Incapacitated learning
  2. Functional fixedness
  3. Sunk cost bias

1. Incapacitated learning

‘Incapacitated...

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Do you have what it takes to lead innovation?

They had what it takes.

One group of leaders took a nation from zero to hero in less than a century. In fact, in the first 30 years of the turnaround, they achieved the industrial growth that took Europe 100 years to achieve.

When I first heard about this country’s transformation, I was amazed. Just over six decades ago, it was one of the poorest nations in the world. Years of war and exploitation left families scarred, separated and destitute. 

Recognise this place? Kayelitsha?

Cities looked like slums. Food was so scarce that people scoured the hills for edible herbs and plants. Their prospects looked pretty bleak!

A country decimated by decades of war

Then came a dazzling national transformation. Under strong, creative leadership, South Korea (you guessed it!) steadily implemented a new vision. In addition to massive infrastructure development and government support for new business growth, the country was opened up to foreign markets with export-oriented policies....

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Why the United Nations prioritised creativity

 

Marci Segal, founder of World Creativity & Innovation Week, 15-21 April

Four years ago, the UN General Assembly recognised creativity development as a global imperative. Here is why.

 

A global movement is born

When the headline, “Canada in Creativity Crisis” appeared in the National Post in 2001, Canadian creativity expert, Marci Segal, decide to take action. Having studied creativity in the 70s at the International Centre for Studies in Creativity, SUNY Buffalo, she understood the power of creative thinking and how it can be developed. She knew that with deliberate effort and training, people can learn to generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes, to solve problems and achieve success.

Watch Marci's full talk here (15 mins) : Marci Segal/World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21

Segal knew she had to think big, so she started a global movement by founding World Creativity and Innovation Day. She chose April 21, the...

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9 areas of your business that could use creativity - Part 2

Businesses are innovating at a rapid pace. What is your business doing to keep up? Don't get left behind.

Ask yourself: Where could I use more creativity in my business?

The Business Model Canvas designed by Alexander Osterwalder is a helpful tool for getting a bird’s eye view of your business. At Creativity Wake-Up, we find this a useful model to share with our clients to spark ideas for applying creative thinking.

In my last blog, we looked at four of the nine blocks in the Business Model Canvas where you could begin to apply creativity.  Let’s take a look at the rest of the blocks.

 

 

5.     Channels

Channels are ways that you communicate with and distribute your value to your customers. Channels serve various functions including raising awareness about your products or services, allowing your customers to evaluate your offerings, enabling them to purchase physically or virtually, delivering the value and providing post-purchase...

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9 areas of your business that could use creativity - Part 1

Imagine you are being interviewed by a reporter for an article about creativity and innovation in your workplace. You are asked: “Where could you use more creativity in your organisation?”

What’s the first thing that springs to mind? Product innovation? Installing a funky ‘thinking room’?

We tend to narrow down the scope of creativity at work to a few areas, typically involving R&D, an innovation team, marketing and/or creative touches to the office.

This narrowing down of the power of creativity is done at our peril. Every employee has the capacity to think creatively and to develop creative solutions to problems. Every area of the business can benefit from creative thinking.

In this two-part blog, I will use the Business Model Canvas to highlight nine areas of your business where you could apply creative thinking for innovation. We'll start with the customer-facing part of the business this week and cover your internal operations next week. 

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How do I train my people to be more innovative?

Follow our simple recipe.

Picture the scene:

A blue screen flickers and glows. Faces peer out of little video rectangles. It is the sixth virtual meeting of day. Nineteen pairs of eyes stare wearily at Kevin’s section of the digital vista as he implores his team: “We need to find another way, team. We must make this year work for us. The way we used to do things is just not working any more. We need to think out the box, here. C’mon everyone.” (The eyes blink silently back at him. Sighs are breathed. Tony scratches her head and thinks: How?)

Businesses across the world are under pressure to innovate.

In a study last year, McKinsey concluded that prioritizing innovation today is the key to unlocking postcrisis growth, yet few consider themselves equipped to face the challenge. In addition to the seismic impact of the pandemic, automation is displacing jobs and cutting down on process-oriented tasks. Businesses urgently need to get people thinking creatively to...

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As a manager, am I enabling or killing creativity?

 

‘Enable creativity’: a new requirement for managers.

As a manager today, you are now required to nurture creativity and lead your teams to innovate. Where creative thinking used get your team ahead of the pack, now it is a survival skill.

This duty to enable creativity has been placed in your arms which are already carrying: masses of meetings, countless communications, deadlines, deliverables, and the unenviable task of keeping everyone motivated and engaged whilst working remotely.  Eish!

If it is any consolation, you are not alone. You are amongst a throng of professionals worldwide who are doing the best they can in the situation that they find themselves. CEOs are in it with you too. In a recent Financial Times article, it was reported that when it comes to homeworking and productivity, CEOs are saying that “creativity is the biggest single issue.” (Emma Jacobs, Financial Times, 18 Jan 2021)

So as a manager, how can you enable creativity...

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7 Signs that You Aren’t Thinking Creatively

… and how to do better.

None of us want to be left behind. With reality morphing quickly and our business landscape shifting unnervingly under our feet, we need to be able to nurture fresh thinking and enable innovation in our teams.

Dr Roger Firestien, esteemed professor of creativity and author of Create in a Flash, puts it this way:     

“When the rules change, creativity is key.”

In the past, fresh thinking got us ahead of the pack. Now we need fresh thinking just to keep up.

You have most likely seen the need to reinvent some part of your work life this year so far. You probably needed to innovate for how you motivate your team, how you maintain team well-being, how you engage your clients or how you attract customers. There is no getting away from the need to innovate!  Therefore, there is no getting away from the need to develop creativity.

First let’s get clear about our definitions of creativity and innovation.

Before I...

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What difference will creativity make in my business?

The demand for creativity is growing

It’s hard not to notice all the limelight that creativity is getting in press and on social media lately. The clarion call is sounding ever louder.

  • Creativity is first on the list of soft skills that companies need today (Sourced: LinkedIn Learning 2020 Workplace Learning Report)
  • Creativity is in the top three most important skills for the workforce, along with complex problem solving and critical thinking (Source: World Economic Forum)
  • Creativity is the number one capability that businesses require in order to navigate an increasingly complex world (Source: IBM survey of 1,500 CEOs)

We get it. Creativity is important!

Yet, we are not investing in creativity

Despite the ground swell of demand for this skill, the investment in creativity is lagging. Leaders are not putting their money where their mouth is.

We are still in a creativity crisis.

  • Average creativity scores for the total population have been falling since 1990 (Source: Prof....
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