Jeff DeGraff was recently interviewed by Bitrix24 in an article titled “Want Innovation? Embrace Constructive Conflict, Says Innovation And Creativity Guru Jeff DeGraff.” Below is a preview of the interview. Read the full interview here.

There are a lot of different techniques for personal creativity. But how do you create a creative organization?

The keys to producing a creative organization are culture, competency and momentum.

First, culture is by far the most important element and the hardest to develop, establish and maintain. The reason is that culture is not a thing in itself but an attribute of leadership and work practices. This is why the removal of the leadership team of an underperforming firm is the first step in any credible acquisition. Look for where your organization has a successful creative culture and give these leaders a greater voice.

Second, competency comes in many forms and is always domain specific. For example, the creative competencies of medical device company and a fashionable restaurant have little in common. However, there are four aspects of creative competency that are shared across all organizations. These include the ability to form a shared creative vision, goals, processes and values. The ability to sync these up across boundaries, regions and fields of endeavor is essential for an organization to move fr om ideation and opportunity to implementation and value creation.

Talent matters most. Enlist deep and diverse domain experts with great range to serve as organizational emissaries. Third, momentum is the main reason most creative initiatives fail. They lose energy as they try to overcome organizational barriers and boundaries. The key is to hedge your bets with a wide array of relatively small, inexpensive and short term projects like a venture capitalist. This way you can proof the concept before trying to gather the resources to bring it to scale. In the process you will overwhelm the defenses of the bureaucracy. Take multiple shots on goal to quickly discover what really works and what doesn’t and make real-time adjustments.

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