It’s very easy to talk a good game about creativity.
Putting it into practice is another story.
Gary Hamel, Harvard Business Professor and author of The Future Of Management, has this insight on innovation:
“Today innovation is the buzz word du jour, but there’s still a yawning chasm between rhetoric and reality. If you doubt this, seek out a few entry-level employees and ask them the following questions:
- How have you been equipped to be a business innovator? What training have you received? What tools have you been supplied with?
- Do you have access to an innovation coach or mentor? Is there an innovation expert in your unit who will help you develop your breakout idea?
- How easy is it for you to get access to experimental funding? How long would it take you to get a few thousand dollars in seed money? How many levels of bureaucracy would you have to go through?
- Is innovation a formal part of your job description? Does your compensation depend in part on your innovation performance?
- Do your company’s management processes — budgeting, planning, staffing, etc. — support your work as an innovator or hinder it?”
Here is a scoring instrument you can easily use to find out just how much creativity is really happening in your organization. It’s a simple tool I put together building on Hamel’s questions, above. It only takes a few minutes to score, and will give you a lot of good feedback about where you are.
Don’t let innovation be a buzz-word. Like and share with your team, get their radar turned on around this topic. You never know what might happen!