Creativity and Innovation

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
— Alvin Toffler

Why it Matters

In the turbulent environment we live in today, where change of all kinds – technical, social, political, climatic – comes at us at an accelerating pace, creativity and innovation are strategic necessities.

Creativity is the ability to generate new and useful ideas. Innovation is the effective implementation of those creative ideas. Conversational capacity is a pivotal competence for both. The ability to engage in constructive, balanced dialogue – with low defensiveness and a tight focus on learning – helps you not only generate more creative ideas; it helps you put those ideas to work.

This matters more than ever. Our world isn’t getting more simple and sluggish – it’s growing more complex and dynamic. So it is increasingly important that we build teams that can deal with a host of arduous, multifaceted challenges in an inventively practical way.

In this interactive workshop you’ll explore how to build your team’s collective conversational capacity as you foster a more creative and innovative workplace.

Creative Dialogue

Teams with high conversational capacity enjoy a profound competence unavailable to less disciplined teams: the ability to transform base conflict into learning gold – a game-changing ability that converts a traditional source of team weakness into a powerful source of team strength. They’re better at generating novel, higher-order ideas. The conversational capacity mindset, after all, places a sharp focus on exploring and integrating a variety of perspectives to expand and improve our thinking. There’s a strong emphasis on leaning into difference, not to settle on agreement, but to spark creative insight.

This has a direct bearing on ingenuity. Research shows that creativity flows from the ability to find associations between different points of view and seemingly unrelated fields of knowledge. This requires people with high levels of candor, curiosity, intellectual humility, and cognitive flexibility who can create and explore connections that others fail to see.

It is not the biggest, the brightest or the best that will survive, but those who adapt the quickest.
— Charles Darwin

Learning Outcomes

Participants will learn how to:

  • Adjust their thinking to fit a new problem rather than interpret a new problem so it fits with their old thinking.
  • Apply integrative thinking – the ability to use conflicting ideas to generate creative, higher-order solutions.
  • Adopt a more improvisational, “yes to the mess,” learn-as-you go mindset.
  • Ensure good ideas get the traction they deserve by overcoming the defensive reactions that often kill creative ideas before they get a fair shake.
  • Provide the structure – and the cover – for creative risk taking.
  • Spark more “aha” moments – those flashes of creative insight by which a new perspective begins to take shape.
  • Implement a set of practices that foster greater creativity, experimentation, and adaptive learning.
  • Employ a more powerful, research-based approach to brainstorming.
  • Help creative ideas get implemented — the definition of innovation — in a more focused and effective way.
  • Cultivate a vibrant conversational culture that fosters greater creativity and innovation.

Complementary Workshops

This course works well in conjunction with these courses:

Length: 2 hours

Format: Virtual or in-person