These days, when i kick-off an innovation workshop, i ask the participants “tell me about your hobbies/interests when you were 16-18 years old”.
The answers and the resulting effect are surprising.
- First, it opens up people in a way they are not used to. The come out of their “i-am-at-work” comfort zone. Some people that you expect to be “emotional zombies”, suddenly have sparkles in their eyes and show leadership throughout the workshop. Having genuine interest in people unleashes nuclear creative energy.
- Second, it is amazing how many creative juices you gave in your average workshop. People tell me about their dancing, painting, music instruments, fashion design, about crazy little (and big) things they did in life
I don’t know where it comes from, that attitude of “withholding” the best of yourself. Something that is for sure, is that once you tap into this creative well, the energy and engagement and idea generation increase by a factor 10.
Another example: a colleague from our German office came to see me on what our innovation team could mean for one of his customers. In stead of showing him a whitepaper or a slide show, i decided to show him some of our past productions. Again those sparkling eyes.
With hindsight, it is interesting to see how we almost unconsciously added some creative art/visual/audio layer to most of the things we do. You can call them “innovation productions”.
My German colleague was clearly surprised on the quality productions we do with relatively small means. “I have to let this sink” he said. “It’s all a bit overwhelming at this moment, but i am trying to grasp it all and how i can transfer the same excitement to my customer when going back to Frankfurt this evening”.
The point i am trying to make is that there are creative juices everywhere, and it only takes a little scratching or motivation to get the best out of people.
Here is an example of getting out the best in people. You remember by blog post on the Medici Effect ? Apparently it inspired my colleague Mela to some really video collage.
It’s beautiful. It touched me emotionally. Watch it. It’s only 5 min. You can use it as an inspiring start of your day as well. Or imagine starting a workshop after having played this video. The energy in the room is high. It’s a soft energy that makes you feel comfortable to share.
This video is used in our company to launch the next wave of internal innovation challenges.
Innovation Challenges are small competitions where we incentivize our creative people at all levels and locations in the organization to come up with ideas around a certain theme. The projects are presented to a judge panel that includes the CEO. The winner gets implemented. So the price is not money but personal fulfillment.
The Challenges of this wave are all run under the banner of “Create the Medici Effect”: bring together people of different expertise and with different creative and/or engineering skills, and let the power of intersections play.
It’s a powerful model.
You can expect this video at many of our events and workshops. Also at Innotribe @ Sibos this year in Amsterdam, where one of our labs will have a specific focus to amplifying the Medici Effect.
Nobody asked Mela to do this video. But she followed her own compass and did not wait to be called. Mela should not only start to blog. She should start her own “Mela Productions” company.
“Inspire other people to dream” seems to have worked. Creative juices are everywhere. Imagine if you could unleash this energy in a systemic way in your company and in your eco-system. Maybe we have to do a creative lab at Sibos where we ask teams to make a similar video on the topic Generation-Y and Banking and have it ready by the end of the conference for the closing plenary ? Any thoughts ?
I have to run now, but will polish up this post later in my usual way, but i wanted to get this off my chest and into the world as soon as possible.