Sunday, August 17, 2008

Formulating a flight plan for creativity


Formulating a flight plan for creativity
By Sarun ChantapalaboonPublished on August 15, 2008
Sarun Chantapalaboon is the chief learning officer at 37.5 Degree Celsius.
Just as we use a "road map" for strategic development, why not use a "flight plan" for creative development? Creativity can help organisations defy gravity and soar higher than ever before.
"Do you have your boarding pass to fly to new heights?"
Do you want creativity to be included as part of your organisational-development segment? Have you integrated creativity within your organisational goals, vision or mission statements, values or core competencies? If the answer is yes, you are ready to fly. If not, let us go buy the ticket! When you are ready, we will be waiting for you!
"Greetings, captain! Your seat in the cockpit awaits."
Approval from the big bosses from the very beginning is crucial before you start weaving in creativity. At the outset, the consultant should meet the big boss, get his or her directions, clarify and acknowledge expectations. Define the objectives with the top brass before proceeding. Now, with a nod from the big boss, by being involved in the project and securing financial support for the journey, we are ready to take flight.
"We'd like to invite VIP passengers to our executive lounge."
Be sure to get everyone on the top-management team, the vice presidents and directors, involved. One way to ensure their support is for the creative consultant to present a compelling workshop well before implementing anything. Let them discover the benefits and see the big picture of the entire process. Encourage their input. Assess the creative climate at all levels in the organisation and point out where open climates can be preserved and enhanced, and closed ones can be improved. Also, ask them to nominate people at every level to be part of the Creative Flight Crew.
"Calling all crew to come to a creative briefing."
Let us work with our "Creative Flight Crew", or the creative task force. Have them design the system from within, that will work best to encourage creativity and be there every step of the way, nurturing them until final implementation. Reward them right from project's launch, all the way through to the end of the cycle.
"Attention passengers, this is the boarding call, including for all the senior passengers."
While the creative task force is formulating the system, the leaders should be trained on the art of creative leadership. Introduce three characteristics of creative leaders into their hearts and minds: learn how to be a creative coach, inspire subordinates to flex their creative muscles, and blend seniors' skills and experiences with these new ideas.
"We are so sorry that the flight has been delayed, as traffic on the runway is congested. All passengers please stay put."
We have run out of space. The creative flight plan will be continued in this space, a week from next Friday. During the past two weeks, if you have been interested in assessing the creative climate in your organisation, please send an SMS to 089 5009 289, or e-mail to, complementary to The Nation's members only. See you again, same time, same place.
Note: The above flight plan comes from research on creative organisational development worldwide and from my experience as a consultant in Thailand.