What are you doing for yourself and your team to cultivate creativity?
Professional services and customer success frequently require creative understanding and solutions to customer challenges. But the pressure to deliver and the isolation of Covid can sap creative energy. Have you found ways to keep your teams engaged and creative, and searching for the solutions that will inspire customers?
The critical things seem to be (i) carve out time for reflection, (ii) carve out time for design research and design. In order to carve out time for design research and design, I find it helps to have a formal, documented process for design. At Ibbaka we take three approaches depending on the nature of the challenge:
The problem is known and the solution is understood - apply standard Agile Process
The problem is known but the solution is not understood - apply standard Design Thinking (as defined by IDEO)
The problem is poorly understood - apply Frame Innovation (as defined by Kees Dorst)
At a team level, formally build in two hours for reflection every two weeks (as part of our sprint cadence)
At an individual level, formally build in reflection each week and share with team
At an executive level, formally build in reflection each month and share with team
All this sounds rather dire and not very creative. One thing I am doing personally that is really helping me stay mentally agile, is working with my nine year old granddaughter to co-author a fantasy novel. We get on line together every Sunday morning, work in a shared document, she is writing three characters, I am writing two, and we are both writing the narrative. We also have some people helping us with the backstory - the world's history, geography, fashions, ecology and so on. This collaboration takes me into a mental space quite different from work, and that lets me work more creatively.0