Fall is in the air here in New England, my favorite
season. I even saw a bit of red in the trees two
weeks ago in a drive through southern Maine. Enjoy
these last few weeks of summer and this short and
Of course, for those of you who may have been
affected by the disaster wrought by Hurricane
Katrina, these last few weeks have been
catastrophic. My thoughts and prayers go out to all
of you. Let those who can help find deep pockets of
creativity to discover the best solutions for the
incredible challenges in New Orleans and elsewhere!
|Join Lynne online!
Be sure to save October 18, 2005 at 12 Noon EDT for
"Tapping Creativity for Top Performance:
Breakthrough Techniques for Smarter Leadership and
Optimal Teamwork." In this complimentary online
seminar, Lynne will
describe ways that the eight creative talents can
enhance leadership skills, such
as decision-making, team building and strategic
This complimentary one hour seminar is brought to
you by Microsoft® Office Live Meeting as part of
the Leadership Forum, where the best in business meet.
Live Meeting seminars are an incredible resource for
current topics on leadership. This past week, over 800
people from all over the world logged on to the webinar!
Sign up today at
And be sure to mark the date and time down for this
easy and no-cost way to learn how to increase your
capacity to explore new horizons, confront tough
challenges, and lead through times of complexity and
Feel free to pass this information on to
interested colleagues and friends.
|The Art of Making Change Initiatives Stick
Just in case you missed it, Sloan Management Review
highlighted the article, "The Art of Making Change
Initiatives Stick" in its summer issue. In the
article, Professor Mike Roberto and I describe four
ways to help change initiatives become part of the
fabric of the organization.
|More tips for achieving greater creativity on your teams
In the last issue, we explored techniques to improve
the productivity of a creative brainstorming
session. In this issue, you'll find additional tips
on getting the most from such
sessions, which are too often tailored for those who
enjoy sharing ideas spontaneously in groups.
Besides following the "brainstorming rules"
described in the last newsletter, make sure you tap
into all eight creative
talents -- a wide variety of creative preferences --
to let everyone's creativity emerge.
During a "brainstorming" session, the team should
make sure it pays attention to the perspectives of
these who prefer the
Harmonizer and the Poet talents, the talents that
use subjective, values-based criteria for making
decisions. These talents can
provide often-overlooked issues around people,
values and politics. Too often, we fail to listen
to these ideas or consider
such issues. Creative ideas then meet with resistance
and fail to get recognized, appreciated or
implemented. The Harmonizer and
Poet talents can help prevent such failures if they
are allowed to be heard.
Be sure that team
members with preferred talents that are extraverted
don't overwhelm the session but instead allow those with
introverted preferences to contribute. And, explore
other techniques besides
brainstorming to generate new ideas. Team members
who prefer an introverted talent, for example, might
comfortable with a reflective tool, such as
brainwriting, brainwalking, or journalling. In
members of the team might benefit from these more
introspective tools as they get in touch with the
introverted sides to their creativity. (Michael
Michalko's book "Thinkertoys" has descriptions of
these more reflective tools.)
If all talents are not represented on the team,
assigning team members to take on those talents is
one technique that not only adds fun to the session.
It will also provide new perspectives.
The talents are briefly described on my website and
in more detail, along with their incorporation into
the creative problem solving process,
in my book, "Breakthrough Creativity: Achieving Top
Performance Using the Eight Creative Talents."
Innovative ways to be sure all the talents are
available to your team will be posted soon on
|Juggling acts and the eight creative talents
Recent research has highlighted the struggles
leaders face in balancing the often competing
demands of the job: long-term and short-term,
people and profits, strategic
and tactical, the big picture and details, and the
list goes on!
The challenges facing leaders today often require
them to be able to manage paradoxes and dilemmas.
Yes and no decisions are fewer and fewer these days.
Instead, there aren't any easy answers, as
Ron Heifetz has so ably pointed out.
So what can leaders do to develop the ability to
balance these often conflicting demands? One way is
to become conscious of which talent (talents in this
case can be just like "mental models" or
"paradigms") is predominating and affecting your
perception of the challenge. You can often get
frozen into one point of view without realizing it
as a result of the stress that dilemmas and tough
choices can cause.
The next is to question
whether that talent is the appropriate talent to be
at this particular point in time. Maybe you want to
zoom in and take a more detailed view or perhaps
step back and see the bigger picture around the
And the third technique is
to tap into other creative talents to be sure you are
considering the broadest spectrum of perspectives.
Perhaps the more spontaneous, improvisational
approach that the Adventurer talent brings might
help you see the challenge differently?
We'll explore other ways for dealing with dilemmas
in upcoming issues of this
This issue of the Practical Innovator Newsletter is
brief. I am not quite finished with my summer
which is going to conclude with a trip to
Ireland. As readers who are familiar with
past issues of this newsletter know, I often use my
trips to recycle and refresh my creativity. An
example is the above picture, taken several years ago in
Sydney, Australia. You just never know what you are
going to find when you turn the corner!
I hope you are able to turn your vacation days into a
time for exploring your curiosity and renewing your
creativity as well as your health!