Creativity SeriesDevReady PodcastTools to foster creativity with Andrew Grant | Creativity in Start-ups Series Part 2 | Episode 73

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On this episode of the DevReady Podcast, Andrew and Anthony continue their conversation with Andrew Grant, Director of Tirian International Consultancy, and co-author of ‘Who Killed Creativity?… And How Can We Get it Back?’ and ‘The Innovation Race’.

In the previous episode, Andrew talked about all the killers of creativity and what that meant for an organization’s/business’s ability to innovate and in this episode, he talks about the tools that can be used to leverage people and businesses to generate more creativity and innovation.

“A lot of people get creative thinking and artistic creativity mixed up.” – Andrew Grant

Andrew starts by delving a bit into the past: how he and his partner have worked with numerous fortune 500 companies over the last 15-20 years; how tools of creativity was the original area that they used to teach in and how the realization dawned on him that teaching people just about the tools was not enough as there was a need to make them understand why it was valuable. He then goes on to talk about creativity blocks have a lot to do with organizational culture and the environment around a person and not just what’s inside a person’s head.

Andrew talks about how our workplaces are not built to foster creativity and are in fact characterized by blockers. So, in order to deal with the blockers of creativity, the suspects as he calls them, he and his team developed a game, not necessarily a competitive game, but one with a theme and a metaphor that people can hide behind so that they have a safe place to talk about some of the issues they are facing. He says that using the metaphor of a crime scene has helped people explore how killed their creativity and with what weapon in a fun and interactive way.

Saying that the concept of design thinking often gets too complicated and time-consuming, he explains how his approach can get the same results over a much shorter span of time. He advises using the four phases to creative thinking:

  1. Enquire: Ask the right questions and find the ambiguities within those
  2. Explore: Brainstorm and set structures to allow for collective ideation
  3. Solve: Make unusual connections and find the right solution
  4. Apply: Learn practical implementation skills and find out what works

He ends this edition of the podcast by asking listeners to think about why children, in spite of being so creative (98% of children have divergent thinking and are creative while the number drops to just 2% for adults) are not the CEOs of companies.

Topics Covered:

– Need to set up an environment that encourages creative thinking.

– How to use the CSI board game and digital game to understand creativity blockers.

– How to ask the right questions and find ambiguity within the questions.

– How to ideate, brainstorm and map out creative ideas.

– How to connect seemingly distant things and find solution to a wicked problem.

– How to figure out what works and then implement it.

Additional Resources:

To learn more about the game and the many courses that are available, please click here.