On Building The Creative Culture And Learning How To “Forget” Creatively.

We had our Idea Couture Christmas staff part last week. Looking back there were a lot being accomplished and a lot more to do. What started as a little experiment bringing multi-disciplinary design thinkers together and now becoming a key driving force and intellectual engine advancing the practice of design thinking in innovation and business applications. Idea Couture is where multidisciplinary thinkers come together with shared purpose and where creativity flourishes. I am looking forward to have our London and Mexico City offices running in 3-6 months. I feel I have the right people in place and that's a great start.

At Idea Couture, creativity means more than just novelty ideas. It means new ways to frame problem, using new lenses and developing new perspectives. I am so happy when I see happy people in the company doing great things. I am happy to see people growing and that's gives me tremendous satisfaction.

At the end of the day, we're in the business of producing the non-conforming super smart and creative thinkers and doers. I am pushing the envelope everyday and so far no one is complaining. Heartiest thanks to my management team who did a great job of putting togther the first Idea Couture Award.  You guys rock!

On the road this week and spending time with people hearing them talk about their innovation challenges and how they apply design thinking. Lots of great meetings. We're aware of the big changes coming ahead. Every business, government and instirutions will be impacted. Change does not creep up on us every 10 or 20 years, it is an ever-present business and organization phenomenon that is disrupting industries and causing firms and industries to disappear. Although the degree and velocity of change is unprecedented.

Everyday we’re dealing with more and more unknown and unknowable, but decisions still need to be made. Many of the challenges today are unique and have few or no precedents, so textbook solutions (and no guru don’t waste time buying whatever best sellers) or trying to find aHarvard Business School case study. Past solutions do not necessarily apply today. The external environment is constantly absorbing shocks from technological advancement, cultural change and systems failure.

Creativity is needed everywhere to rethink and reimagine products, experiences, companies, processes and even industries. Top executives are looking everywhere for new thinking and solutions that are outside the routine of orthodox strategies and old paradigms. So where can you look for new ideas? And how can you design an environment in which creative people can survive, thrive and flourish? We can begin by asking, how can you make people creatively forget what they know in order to reinvent the future? This is where sensemaking comes into play.

A big part of sensemaking is creative “forgetting” and it is first thing you must do. We all create our own environments and then constrained by them. Being able to aware and realize the impact of our own behavior in creating the environment in which we’re in is a very important first step. Forget who we are is something worth practicing. There may not be any scientific evidence to suggest that those who know what to forget can think more creatively about the future, but in the formulation of business strategy, creativity can be seriously constrained if it is burdened by the past. The problem lies in the notion of “core competencies,” which suggest that companies should stick to what they know best. If that’s the case, then why many of those once great companies should still be around.