Innovation Jitters? Let Creative Process Take the Edge Off

Boardroom Meeting

When Creativity Meets Resistance…

Chances are you’ve been part of a cross-functional team, working to solve a problem or leverage an opportunity. You sit around the table with colleagues from the IT, accounting, communications, and policy departments, who contribute their broad array of skills and perspectives.

You know that such diversity is key to discovering and developing new ideas, but when called upon to innovate, you know resistance will crop up somewhere in the room. Perhaps even within you. It might manifest loud and clear: “I’m not a creative type. Just tell me what you decide, and I’ll draft the press release.” or slink around silently, identified by a sudden vow of silence or a commitment to shooting down every idea that emerges. The truth is, venturing “outside the box” gives us all butterflies. For some, it’s exhilarating. For others, it’s downright scary. So when creativity meets resistance… trust the process of Design Thinking!

Design Thinking Can Help Reduce the Stress 

What can you do to prevent that inner or outer voice from stealing the show? Start by applying creative processes with a track-record of success in recognized organizations. Design Thinking is one good place to start, with aficionados including Stanford University, Apple, Save the Children and the Danish Government.

Design Thinking has clearly defined steps, each with their own repertoire of techniques, providing a clear path forward for those reticent to engage in ambiguous, open-ended exploration and a vector for the productive flow of ideas.

design thinking

Creative processes demand crucial discussions about objectives, direction, and timelines. When explained at the onset of a project (as they should be), they supply a degree of comforting predictability and structure to reluctant participants. As a bonus, they also help to contextualize and contain the loudest voices in the room (yes, even your boss’s).

Scholar and author Brene Brown reminds us: “There is no such thing as creative and non-creative people; only people who use creativity and people who don’t.” So when trying to get your team to “use it,” leave behind tired old meeting formats. Select a proven, structured process. You may be surprised by whose ideas soar above the crowd.

Do you want to discuss how a facilitator can help foster innovation in your team? Contact us for details.