Flirting with innovation

Communication, creativity, innovation, engagement seem to be difficult to control, especially in the business environment where assess the final results or explain them with numbers is a standard. And yet we can help you.

Monika Sońta

Monika Sońta

Organizational consultant and researcher rooted in Human-Centered Design. Balances between the world of science (she works at the Leon Kozminski Academy's Management In Digital Society) and business consulting. During her workshops she uses 21 kilograms of LEGO® blocks or a huge FORTH Innovation map.

★ 3 minutes czytania

Just imagine that you enter a bar and you see a girl or a boy you like. Even if you believe in love at first sight, you probably offer her/him a drink and introduction first and not starting conversation by offering marriage. You don’t ask for demo, references and expected outcomes but start flirting and see how it goes. There is similar situation when managing innovative projects – how can we declare being responsible for the end results of the project if we hardly know where the starting point and the (expected) finish line are? Yes, we are equipped with some tools such as situation mapping, stakeholder analysis, but before we commit to something serious, we also need some time to get each other better and see if we get along well. The reality emerges in front of us, even if we plan our lives.

Relationships without commitment

In this complex, hybrid and liminal environment (let’s call it VUCA for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity), we need to understand stakeholders’ verbalized needs and unconscious expectations by adapting fluid management rules (you can call it agile approach to make it easier to start the conversation). Thank to design sprints or design thinking sessions, after a couple of days, we have the feeling of completing stages and being ready to move forward. If we apply methodologies such as FORTH Innovation, we set a long-term narrative around innovation but still, there is no control over the process, while we start sensing ‘it is getting serious’ tension. Why not to start a ‘small talk’ first? We can define the common understanding of ‘innovation’ in the context of our company. From the Day 1 we work on your company’s real-time situations. Step by step we gain confidence about potential of our cooperation and future projects.

Having fun in a well-structured way

“Creativity is intelligence having fun” – what about streaming a conversation about innovation in an empowering way? Actually, we did it 🙂 The structure and tools in this ‘innovation small talk’ were tested during Organizational Creativity Lab which was a course offered in the International Summer School at one of the business schools in Warsaw. See the photos.

How the Organizational Creativity Lab can look like

Day 1

  • Introduction to creativity (yes, we need some theoretical background to set the stage)
  • Innovative Organisational Diagnostics (focused on qualitative research methods)

Day 2

  • Identifying Pain Points (get the canvas and paper tablecloths ready!) 
  • Designing Innovation Alignment (to make sure that we are on the same page and we won’t get too abstract)

Day 3

  • Generating Creative Ideas (using LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®)
  • Scenario planning (and presenting ways for continuation of creative conversation).

We can apply some modifications, we can negotiate. That’s life. You don’t risk a lot. In the worst case, we end up with the 3-day creativity training for your employees, explaining some recent and fancy creative techniques to them. Every innovation starts with the first conversation and let’s see how it goes.

Kategorie: school of contentic, B2E

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