Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Striving for Creativity

October 23, 2012 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

It is somewhat common to hear that an organization is seeking to lead their industry in growth or revenue, but how often do those organizations seek to become a creative leader?

At Disney, creativity is defined as the collective expression, analysis and implementation of new ideas within an organization. It would be easy to assume that an organization must have a flashy or cutting-edge product to be perceived as "creative," yet every business has the potential to be creative. Creativity is the process by which an organization cam break through the status quo on a path towards achieving continuous innovation.

So how is this creativity born? Start simple. Keep some crayons on your desk. Work with others in an unfamiliar setting. Eat something different. Breaking routine is a great way to spark your creative energy.

Have you brought a sense of creativity to something unsuspected? When are you most creative? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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Posted in Business Excellence | Tagged Creativity & Innovation | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Striving for Creativity

  • Mike says:

    on October 23, 2012

    I work in one of the most unlikely departmets for creativity - Internal Audit Yet, in my 30-year career, I've done everyhing I can to instill creativity within that department, which helped us become one of the most innovative internal audit shops around. I've used a lot of creative techniques including having the auditors play "1,000 Blank Cards" (a game where you make up the cards and the rules), write audit reports as sonnets, and go through a number of brainstorming sessions including one where the challenge was "How do we make an audit as exciting as a visit to Disneyland". This last led us to a reanalysis of who our customers were, what they wanted, and how we should deliver it to them. And one other thing, I always like to ask people when they've gotten their best ides. Never once has anyone said "When I was working real hard."

  • Dexter says:

    on November 25, 2012

    In one of the other postings the question of what to do when confronted with "writer's block" was considered. There is another type of block, several in fact, which can hamper one's creativity. James Adams referred to them as Conceptual Blocks and discussed them - and how to overcome them - in depth in his book "Conceptual Blockbusting". Briefly, they are; Perceptual, Emotional, Cultural, Environmental, Intellectual and Expressive. Techniques to overcoming these include, forced association, games, sensory switching, crossing cultures and changing environments. (There is a much longer list of methods in the book.) I highly recommend it. Another interesting tool are the IDEO Method cards, which are available from the iTunes store. More than anything else, I have found the willingness and ability to think laterally to be of great value. This skill is can be a bit of a challenge for some, as it involves overcoming fear and inhibitions - which is why feeling that you are in a truly safe environment is crucial to creativity. For some insight to that I suggest the works of C Terry Warner. (A Google search is probably sufficient). His thinking on the effects of having a responsive or resistant mind set is very interesting and instructive.

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