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Un-Managing
Unleashing the Creative
    Beast in your Team
      by Tara Hunt, Citizen Agency
outline

• the beast
• the innovative beast
• the creative beast
• the unleashing
the beast
the starfish:
small pieces, loosely
joined
starfish principles

•   autonomous individuals & teams

•   catalysts

•   champions

•   distributed responsibilities

•   common ideology & goals
the innovative beast
now, how did I
get stuck in this
darned lightbulb
    again?!
on innovation


• myths of innovation (Berkun 2007)
• conditions for innovation
• ways to kill innovation
• ...onto a new direction: creativity
the myths of innovation


               Scott Berkun, 2007
myth #1:
the ‘eureka’ moment
myth #2:
there is a clear path to innovation
Unmanaging: Unleashing the Creative Beast
myth #3:
people dig new ideas
Unmanaging: Unleashing the Creative Beast
myth #4:
the lone inventor
myth #5:
“I’m not really that creative”
myth #6:
you’ll know innovation
       when you see it
myth #7:
the best ideas win
myth #8:
innovation is always good
“don’t focus on ‘innovating’,
 focus on trying to solve a
          problem”


                    Scott Berkun, 2007
conditions for
 innovation
conditions for innovation:
“my terms are as follows...”
there has to be a mix of...

•   A motivation or direction

•   Creative thinking / experimenter mentality

•   Ability to convert dead ends into new motivations /
    directions

•   Desire to challenge (or sometimes ignorance of) the
    status quo

•   Threshold for risk & comfort w/uncertainty

•   Time + $$$ for work

                                          Scott Berkun, 2007
three types of people needed for innovative teams
“more, but no less...”




            creator                    champion
                        catalyst
innovative teams include:


•   creator - high-level thinker, extremely “wacky”
    ideas

•   catalyst - a ‘connector’ who recognizes those
    ideas and connects them to solutions

•   champion - paves through the nay-sayers to
    get the idea to market
case study:
Post-itTM Notes
how to kill innovation
        101
innovation killers
•                             •
    more management               risk aversion
    layers (hierarchies)
                              •   skewing to high-level
•   paperwork, reports &          thinking
    reviews
                              •   valuing deadlines over
•   overplanning                  doing it right

•                             •
    competition                   demanding consensus

•   favoring the go-getters
kathy sierra on consensus:
instead of saying this:

“Sounds like an interesting idea, but it doesn’t fit into this
                     year’s budget…”
say this:

 “I have a budget set aside for employee initiatives. Put
together a cost analysis and let’s see if we can make it
                         work…”
instead of saying this:

“That project just doesn’t fit into our current priority
                        list…”
say this:

“Tell me about how this will improve our customer’s
                  experience…”
instead of saying this:

   “It won’t work…”
say this:

“We tried something similar a couple of years back and it
  didn’t fly, explain how your idea/plan is different…”
instead of saying this:

“Senior management won’t ever go for it…”
say this:

“Let me arrange a meeting for you with [insert Sr. Manager
                     name here]...”
or even better:

“You should contact [insert Sr. Manager name here]. This
      seems like an idea that is right up her alley…”
the creative beast
Thinking about solving the innovation
question in the framework of encouraging
every day creativity is more helpful. People
  are more happy when they are being
         creative (not innovative).




                                               why creative &
                                               not innovative?
conditions for creativity
•                              •
    a safe space (ability to       celebration of risk-taking
    say potentially ‘dumb’
                               •
    things)                        transparency +
                                   openness
•   start from simple, move
                               •
    to difficult – game flow       change of environment

•                              •
    moving from personal to        fun, laughter &
    communal                       enjoyment of activity

•                              •
    introducing different          clear understanding of
    perspectives                   rewards

•                              •
    experimentation                oodles of
                                   encouragement
creative work
environments
open spaces
“great for collaboration”




                            thoughtworks pune
room for personalization
“to feel at home”




                           pixar studios
close to parks, coffee shops, etc.
“don’t lock them in the office”




                                     google hq
healthy snacks & drinks
“provide brain food”




                          citizen space
out in the open meeting spaces
“there are no secrets here!”




                                 the hive
creation of personal connections
“do team stuff apart from work”




                                   architectural firm
the unleashing
how to unleash


• don’t manage, motivate
• the myths of motivation
• how to motivate
• random ideas (throw ‘em at the wall,
  see if they stick]
Unmanaging: Unleashing the Creative Beast
the myths of motivation
myth #1:
People aren’t
intrinsically
motivated
myth #2:
Rewards (employee
of the week, free
stuff, bonuses, etc.)
will motivate people.
why not rewards?

1. It’s not sustainable – As soon as you withdraw the
   punishment or reward, the motivation disappears.
2. You get diminishing returns – If the punishment or
   rewards stay at the same levels, motivation slowly drops
   off. To get the same motivation next time requires a bigger
   reward.
3. It hurts intrinsic motivation – Punishing or rewarding
   people for doing something removes their own innate
   desire to do it on their own. From now on you must
   punish/reward every time to get them to do it.


                                                [source: Alfie Kohn]
myth #3:
The threat of severe
consequences (job
loss, demotion, etc.)
will motivate people.
how to motivate 101
what motivates?
intrinsic motivation


          [Malone and Lepper (1987)]
promoting intrinsic motivation

    •    challenge

    •    curiosity

    •    control

    •    fantasy

    •    self-imposed competition

    •    cooperation

    •    recognition


[http://education.calumet.purdue.edu/vockell/EdPsyBook/Edpsy5/Edpsy5_intrinsic.htm]
silly random ideas
•   Use the rules of Improv games: “Yes, and…” “Make the other
    guy look good” “No apologizing”

•   Celebrate the risk takers: fail gloriously

•   Use an internal social network with awesome silly things like
    ‘sending virtual presents’

•   The Open Door policy is dead: Use the Managing by Wandering
    Around method. Not to ‘watch’, but to engage.

•   Trade jobs days: the Senior Management works with customers
    and vice versa. Discuss afterwards.

•   Take the boardroom tables out of the boardrooms and replace
    them with moveable furniture.

•   Have an internal BarCamp, where everyone presents whatever
    they would like to
licensing:
about those rockin’ images:

•   Most are from iStockphoto.com (totally cool site)

•   except for:

    •   aeron chair (google image search p.14)

    •   image from Kathy Sierra’s site Creating Passionate
        Users (diagram on consensus p.28)

    •   images of cool workspaces thanks to Flickr CC-share
        alike licensing and Veerle Pieters awesome group:
        Inspiring Workspaces! (p.42-47)
Tara Hunt

tara@citizenagency.com
    415.694.1951
  skype: tarahunt747


www.citizenagency.com
www.horsepigcow.com

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Unmanaging: Unleashing the Creative Beast

  • 1. Un-Managing Unleashing the Creative Beast in your Team by Tara Hunt, Citizen Agency
  • 2. outline • the beast • the innovative beast • the creative beast • the unleashing
  • 5. starfish principles • autonomous individuals & teams • catalysts • champions • distributed responsibilities • common ideology & goals
  • 7. now, how did I get stuck in this darned lightbulb again?!
  • 8. on innovation • myths of innovation (Berkun 2007) • conditions for innovation • ways to kill innovation • ...onto a new direction: creativity
  • 9. the myths of innovation Scott Berkun, 2007
  • 11. myth #2: there is a clear path to innovation
  • 15. myth #4: the lone inventor
  • 16. myth #5: “I’m not really that creative”
  • 17. myth #6: you’ll know innovation when you see it
  • 18. myth #7: the best ideas win
  • 20. “don’t focus on ‘innovating’, focus on trying to solve a problem” Scott Berkun, 2007
  • 22. conditions for innovation: “my terms are as follows...”
  • 23. there has to be a mix of... • A motivation or direction • Creative thinking / experimenter mentality • Ability to convert dead ends into new motivations / directions • Desire to challenge (or sometimes ignorance of) the status quo • Threshold for risk & comfort w/uncertainty • Time + $$$ for work Scott Berkun, 2007
  • 24. three types of people needed for innovative teams “more, but no less...” creator champion catalyst
  • 25. innovative teams include: • creator - high-level thinker, extremely “wacky” ideas • catalyst - a ‘connector’ who recognizes those ideas and connects them to solutions • champion - paves through the nay-sayers to get the idea to market
  • 27. how to kill innovation 101
  • 28. innovation killers • • more management risk aversion layers (hierarchies) • skewing to high-level • paperwork, reports & thinking reviews • valuing deadlines over • overplanning doing it right • • competition demanding consensus • favoring the go-getters
  • 29. kathy sierra on consensus:
  • 30. instead of saying this: “Sounds like an interesting idea, but it doesn’t fit into this year’s budget…”
  • 31. say this: “I have a budget set aside for employee initiatives. Put together a cost analysis and let’s see if we can make it work…”
  • 32. instead of saying this: “That project just doesn’t fit into our current priority list…”
  • 33. say this: “Tell me about how this will improve our customer’s experience…”
  • 34. instead of saying this: “It won’t work…”
  • 35. say this: “We tried something similar a couple of years back and it didn’t fly, explain how your idea/plan is different…”
  • 36. instead of saying this: “Senior management won’t ever go for it…”
  • 37. say this: “Let me arrange a meeting for you with [insert Sr. Manager name here]...”
  • 38. or even better: “You should contact [insert Sr. Manager name here]. This seems like an idea that is right up her alley…”
  • 40. Thinking about solving the innovation question in the framework of encouraging every day creativity is more helpful. People are more happy when they are being creative (not innovative). why creative & not innovative?
  • 41. conditions for creativity • • a safe space (ability to celebration of risk-taking say potentially ‘dumb’ • things) transparency + openness • start from simple, move • to difficult – game flow change of environment • • moving from personal to fun, laughter & communal enjoyment of activity • • introducing different clear understanding of perspectives rewards • • experimentation oodles of encouragement
  • 43. open spaces “great for collaboration” thoughtworks pune
  • 44. room for personalization “to feel at home” pixar studios
  • 45. close to parks, coffee shops, etc. “don’t lock them in the office” google hq
  • 46. healthy snacks & drinks “provide brain food” citizen space
  • 47. out in the open meeting spaces “there are no secrets here!” the hive
  • 48. creation of personal connections “do team stuff apart from work” architectural firm
  • 50. how to unleash • don’t manage, motivate • the myths of motivation • how to motivate • random ideas (throw ‘em at the wall, see if they stick]
  • 52. the myths of motivation
  • 54. myth #2: Rewards (employee of the week, free stuff, bonuses, etc.) will motivate people.
  • 55. why not rewards? 1. It’s not sustainable – As soon as you withdraw the punishment or reward, the motivation disappears. 2. You get diminishing returns – If the punishment or rewards stay at the same levels, motivation slowly drops off. To get the same motivation next time requires a bigger reward. 3. It hurts intrinsic motivation – Punishing or rewarding people for doing something removes their own innate desire to do it on their own. From now on you must punish/reward every time to get them to do it. [source: Alfie Kohn]
  • 56. myth #3: The threat of severe consequences (job loss, demotion, etc.) will motivate people.
  • 58. what motivates? intrinsic motivation [Malone and Lepper (1987)]
  • 59. promoting intrinsic motivation • challenge • curiosity • control • fantasy • self-imposed competition • cooperation • recognition [http://education.calumet.purdue.edu/vockell/EdPsyBook/Edpsy5/Edpsy5_intrinsic.htm]
  • 60. silly random ideas • Use the rules of Improv games: “Yes, and…” “Make the other guy look good” “No apologizing” • Celebrate the risk takers: fail gloriously • Use an internal social network with awesome silly things like ‘sending virtual presents’ • The Open Door policy is dead: Use the Managing by Wandering Around method. Not to ‘watch’, but to engage. • Trade jobs days: the Senior Management works with customers and vice versa. Discuss afterwards. • Take the boardroom tables out of the boardrooms and replace them with moveable furniture. • Have an internal BarCamp, where everyone presents whatever they would like to
  • 62. about those rockin’ images: • Most are from iStockphoto.com (totally cool site) • except for: • aeron chair (google image search p.14) • image from Kathy Sierra’s site Creating Passionate Users (diagram on consensus p.28) • images of cool workspaces thanks to Flickr CC-share alike licensing and Veerle Pieters awesome group: Inspiring Workspaces! (p.42-47)
  • 63. Tara Hunt tara@citizenagency.com 415.694.1951 skype: tarahunt747 www.citizenagency.com www.horsepigcow.com