There has been a lot of talk in recent years about how everyone, not just the high level manager and creative professional, needs to work in new and innovative ways for organizations to stay competitive in our rapidly changing world. Yet without a predefined method to formulate and execute ideas, how can an organization truly be innovative?
One systematic approach, as detailed in Roger Von Oech’s book: A Whack on the Side of the Head, is to assume each of four different creativity roles in our work. By sequentially placing ourselves or our team members into each of these roles for an appropriate length of time, we can formulate and execute innovative, actionable ideas.
- Explorer: Curiosity is king during this first role. Asking questions and being receptive to new ideas and perspectives allows the Explorer to gather raw materials for ideas such as facts, concepts, knowledge, and experiences.
- Artist: The Artist takes the raw materials for ideas discovered during the Explorer role and applies them in creative and imaginative ways. During this role playfulness overrules practicality in order to think outside of the box and freely formulate ideas.
- Judge: This role is where ideas are finally assessed. With a critical and analytical eye, the Judge determines if the Artist’s ideas are feasible in the real world. Only workable ideas are then approved and acted upon.
- Warrior: With a feasible idea established in the Judge role, the Warrior then executes. The warrior stands up to resistance and pushes aside barriers that stand in the way of bringing the idea to completion.