The creative and innovative analyst


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In an ever changing economic environment, it is essential that analysts demonstrate added value by developing creative and imaginative solutions to our everyday business challenges. Creativity, as the root of innovation needs to be nurtured and encouraged in any business, yet it is all too often neglected. It is true that some analysts are naturally more creative than others, however there are tools and techniques that can be learned and practiced by all analysts that will drive out better business solutions when applied. This thought provoking and interactive session will explore a range of creative techniques and methods of ensuring that the most suitable innovation is achieved as a result, arming delegates with tools, approaches and a re-invigorated creative outlook to take back to the workplace.

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The creative and innovative analyst

  1. 1. The Creative and Innovative Analyst 27th March, 2014 Ian Richards, CBAP, Dip. BA Senior Business Architect Serco Global Technology Delivery
  2. 2. • Creativity is the generation of ideas while Innovation consists of transforming these ideas into action through a selection and an implementation “Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.” Einstein CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION
  3. 3. ●Our brains are built for creative problem solving, and it is easy to both uncover and enhance our natural inventiveness. CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION ●Our highly evolved brains are always assessing our ever-changing environment, mixing and matching our responses to fit each situation
  4. 4. NOT SO CREATIVE PEOPLE? Harry M. Warner, Warner Bros Pictures, 1927 "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" Charles H. Duell, Director of US Patent Office 1899 "Everything that can be invented has been invented."
  5. 5. NOT SO CREATIVE PEOPLE? “you can’t win anything with kids” MOTD 1995
  7. 7. PATTERN RECOGNITION AND LATERAL THINKING We need to use lateral thinking techniques to break out of this patterned way of thinking Pattern Recognition Logic
  8. 8. WHO ARE THE MOST CREATIVE PEOPLE? ●They have the ability to go wrong ●They are inquisitive ●They think innovatively ● They are praised for being creative ●Have they had less time to learn patterns?
  9. 9. SO WHAT IS STIFLING OUR CREATIVITY ? ●Are we as adults afraid to be creative because of senior management and colleagues? ●Do we tend to go with the tried, tested and trusted? ●Is it too risky to look for creative alternatives in case they fail? ●Do we think that we don’t have time to be creative? ●Do we think that quirky people are the only ones allowed to be creative?
  10. 10. ●What is wrong with simply following due process to produce what the customer is asking for? ●Surely discipline done well is the difference between a successful and a struggling project? So why do we as Analysts need to be creative?
  11. 11. STEVE JOBS
  12. 12. So why bother being creative ? Ability to stay ahead of a changing marketplace and the competition. Creative and Innovative organizations don't copy what others do........they use innovative ideas from others to come up with a unique application, product, or service for themselves More creative companies tend to distance themselves from the competition rather than compete with them.
  13. 13. CAN CREATIVITY BE LEARNED ? ●Talent ●Training, tools and techniques Is creativity is a mysterious trait like charisma? You either have it or you don't!
  14. 14. SO LET’S HAVE A LOOK AT OURSELVES......... •Unsure of your creative talent? •Haven't been given opportunities to be creative? •Convinced that you're simply not a creative person? •Your creativity is a "work in progress? •You've had some successes? •Interested in how to become more creative? •Creativity is one of your strengths
  15. 15. SELF PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDE Often the only difference between creative and uncreative people is self-perception Think of themselves as methodical and logical.. ...Do not give themselves the opportunity to create See themselves as creative and give themselves the freedom to create
  16. 16. HOW ABOUT THIS FOR STARTERS? Being creative may just be a matter of setting aside the time needed to take a step back and allow yourself to ask yourself if there is a better way of doing something
  18. 18. GOOGLE
  19. 19. GOOGLE
  20. 20. GOOGLE
  22. 22. ICE BREAKERS / WARM UP Keep the warm-up unrelated to the main topic
  23. 23. CREATIVITY WARM UP A big, old, hungry dog appeared at our door every morning
  24. 24. CREATIVITY WARM UP A big, old, hungry dog appeared at our door every morning
  25. 25. CREATIVITY WARM UP You shouldn't sell this fossil very cheaply because it is a rare specimen
  26. 26. CREATIVITY WARM UP You shouldn't sell this fossil very cheaply because it is a rare specimen
  27. 27. CREATIVITY WARM UP The new law hit everybody's pocketbook pretty hard
  28. 28. CREATIVITY WARM UP The new law hit everybody's pocketbook pretty hard
  29. 29. CREATIVITY WARM UP A man went to a party and drank some of the punch. He then left early. Everyone else at the party who drank the punch subsequently died of poisoning. Why did the man not die? The poison in the punch came from the ice cubes
  30. 30. CREATIVITY WARM UP They were two of a set of triplets (or quadruplets etc.) A woman had two sons who were born on the same hour of the same day of the same year. But they were not twins, and they were not adopted. How could this be so?
  31. 31. DUNKER’S CANDLE Subjects are given a candle, a box of drawing pins, and a book of matches, and asked to affix the lit candle to the wall so that it will not drip wax onto the table below. The test challenges functional fixedness, a cognitive bias that makes it difficult to use familiar objects in abnormal ways
  32. 32. THE SUBJECT MATTER State and scope the Opportunity that needs solving Get the right people in the room Appoint a skilled facilitator
  33. 33. SCOPING THE OPPORTUNITY x2 x1.5 x1 Agree acceptance criteria Feel free to add weighting Make sure that everyone understands
  35. 35. BRAINSTORMING There should be no right or wrong Ideas at this stage Quantity, not Quality Everyone has equal opportunity “Great Ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds.”: Albert Einstein
  36. 36. MIND MAPPING - A PICTURE SAYS MORE THAN 1000 WORDS! It works like the brain, building a network of interconnected information Thinking is not a linear process, but a very complex one, during which new associations and structures are produced, generated by key words. Possible to switch between different trains of thought Details can be added, varied or removed
  37. 37. REVERSAL To find new approaches for ideas by reversing questions Collect answers and ideas for the reversed question “lets not make the link to this page very prominent” “lets make the route confusing” Formulate the “reversed” question e.g.: “how can we get less traffic to this page?”
  38. 38. SCAMPER Substitute Combine Adapt Magnify Put to other use Eliminate Rearrange/Reverse Use it to stimulate new ways of thinking about the problem, perhaps to kick you out of your current rut
  39. 39. SCAMPER Substitute What can I substitute to make an improvement to a product or service? Examples If I swap this, would it appeal to more people?
  40. 40. SCAMPER Combine What materials, features, processes, people can I combine? Examples What can I put together to come up with something more efficient or more appealing?
  41. 41. SCAMPER Adapt What other products or ideas could I use for inspiration to adapt to a different circumstance or environment? Examples How could I adapt this product to serve another purpose or use?
  42. 42. SCAMPER Magnify/Minify What happens if I make it higher, wider or apply it with greater frequency? Examples What happens if I make it smaller, slower, lighter or apply it with less frequency?
  43. 43. SCAMPER Put to other use How would this product behave differently in another setting or location? Examples Who else could use this product?
  44. 44. SCAMPER Eliminate What’s non-essential or unnecessary? Examples How could I streamline or simplify this product?
  45. 45. SCAMPER Rearrange/Reverse What would happen if I sequenced things differently? Examples What roles could I reverse or swap? Not Authorised
  46. 46. SO, WE NOW HAVE PLENTY OF IDEAS TO ANALYSE...... All ideas should be clear for all participants There shouldn’t be any lack of clarity concerning an individual idea Any idea can be improved; any idea is open to interpretation Be open to different perspectives on your ideas
  47. 47. SO WHAT NEXT? Creativity is sterile if action does not follow from it – Innovation
  48. 48. EVALUATION Bad Ideas Treat the ‘bad ideas’ with special care, explore their trains of thought and define their shortcomings. Good Ideas Be wary of accepting good ideas too quickly. Good might seem satisfactory, but satisfactory is a long way from that feeling of creative delight Perfect Ideas Last, be wary of ‘perfect ideas’ – the kind of idea that makes you blind or deaf to other ideas and different opinions.
  49. 49. SELECTING THE BEST IDEAS Idea 1 Idea 2 Idea 3 Idea 4
  50. 50. EVALUATION MATRIX Criteria Idea 1 Idea 2 Idea 3 Idea 4 Criteria 1 Criteria 2 Criteria 3 Total
  51. 51. EVALUATION MATRIX Criteria Idea 1 Idea 2 Idea 3 Idea 4 Criteria 1 4 3 1 5 Criteria 2 2 2 3 3 Criteria 3 5 2 4 5 Total 11 7 8 13
  52. 52. EVALUATION MATRIX Criteria Idea 1 Idea 2 Idea 3 Idea 4 Criteria 1 8 6 2 10 Criteria 2 3 3 4.5 4.5 Criteria 3 5 2 4 5 Total 16 11 10.5 19.5
  53. 53. EVALUATION MATRIX Criteria Idea 1 Idea 2 Idea 3 Idea 4 Criteria 1 8 6 2 10 Criteria 2 3 3 4.5 4.5 Criteria 3 5 2 4 5 Total 16 11 10.5 19.5
  56. 56. “That is what you asked for, so that is what you've got?” Where is the added value in that? WHAT IS THE FALLBACK FOR US ANALYSTS? Isn’t the bad perception of IT is as a result of an army of diligent and dedicated IT professionals doing precisely what they were asked to do?
  57. 57. FASTER HORSES?
  58. 58. ●“Your idea of doing it like that was genius !!” One thing is for sure, without the drive to come up with breakthrough ideas and the confidence that a creative and innovative solution exists, it is unlikely that one will be found ADDING VALUE
  59. 59. SO WHAT NOW? Not only with the products that you have contributed to but with the culture you have developed within your teams Some of you will identify a need for a slight amendment in attitude, approach Some of you have the right attitude and just haven’t known how to apply it Take a moment to reflect on the legacy of creativity and innovation that you have left in your wake personally
  60. 60. CORRECTIVE ACTION •Look for opportunities •You'll be surprised by how creative you can be if you give yourself a chance •Share your ideas and perspectives with others, and ask them how they view problems. •Adopt a collaborative approach to problem finding, and work actively with others to create and innovate. •Don't hide your ability! •Share your creativity process with others and promote creativity in your team and organization. •You can always be more creative
  61. 61. QUESTIONS?