Posts Tagged ‘innovation’

  1. If brainstorming is dead – what should we do? A different approach to innovation.

    You may have seen the recent headlines. Brainstorming is dead. It’s counter-productive, ineffective. A waste of time.

    As someone who’s been part of many a brainstorming session over the years, I can’t say I found this too surprising. I’ve seen a lot of ideas come out of brainstorming sessions, but I can’t say that I’ve seen a lot of those ideas actually work.

    So how does one foster innovation at an organization in a process that actually yields results? A recent article by Daniel Sobol in Fast Company suggests this intriguing alternative to brainstorming, which he outlines in five easy (or at least, easy-to-understand) steps. He works at Continuum, a company which offers “innovation consulting.” He also has a background in the performing arts. The solution?

    Deliberative discourse–or what we fondly call “Argue. Discuss. Argue. Discuss.” Deliberative discourse was originally articulated in Aristotle’s Rhetoric. It refers to participative and collaborative (but not critique-free) communication. Multiple positions and views are expressed with a shared understanding that everyone is focused on a common goal. There is no hierarchy. It’s not debate because there are no opposing sides trying to “win.” Rather, it’s about working together to solve a problem and create new ideas. Read the full article.

    The five steps of the “Argue. Discuss. Argue. Discuss” process are:

    1) No Hierarchy
    2) Say No, Because…
    3) Diverse Perspectives
    4) Focus on a Common Goal
    5) Keep it Fun

    Give this article a read and let us know your thoughts. Is this an idea that should be brought into the orchestral world? Anyone out there already doing this?

  2. A more structured approach to creativity: prototyping

    So often it seems arts organizations take a “build it and they will come” attitude towards innovation. If you get lucky, you’ll build exactly the type of experience that a new audience (or an existing one) will want… but too many times a new programming idea falls flat after a lot of investment of both time and money.

    That’s why I found this case study on prototyping featured on the ArtsFWD website so interesting. They argue that prototyping is important both to test out new ideas and to make sure you can show an early “win” to stakeholders so others at the organization get behind what you’re doing:

    Implementing an innovation doesn’t happen all at once. We suggest you take a measured approach to introducing your new strategy, rather than betting the house on it. For all sorts of reasons, you want to establish an early “win” that will help others see that this could be important, and that encourages their support. So design an event or activity incorporating the innovation, and make it one where the stakes are low. Read the full article.

    They also show prototyping in action at the Denver Center Theatre Company in a video case study. It was fun to see the three very different events they tested out on a Denver audience and the learnings from each. Is this more structured approach to creativity something the orchestra world should adopt?