Look Backwards to Start Positively

Want to get the best start to the new year?  The answers may be in your past & in positive thinking. 

Whether it be preparing your company to prosper in the new year or setting personal goals we tend to start by looking at what's missing, what we regret or what is negative. But what if instead of starting with the deficits you used Appreciative Inquiry, a strength based approach to planning.

AI has you look at what are you good at, what has worked well & should be celebrated & then has you look at what resources & advantages you have and envisions a future where you maximize them. The big idea is that by starting with the negatives you set the stage for only focusing on small, corrective actions. After a SWOT analysis and a discussion of all the barrier that stand in the way of your success organizations and people have a hard time seeing new opportunities or being innovative. But change the starting point and identify all the good - what have you achieved, what advantages and resources do you have, where do your outshine others - people tend to see more opportunity, take larger leaps and have for courage to champion change.

What Can You Do Now:
1. Start by creating a list of your 2015 accomplishments. What good things did you do? When was the organization most effective and productive (and why?) When and how did you create the most value for the organization and for the consumer?

2. Then create a resource and skills list you or your organization have. Prioritize them in order of uniqueness and by how important them might be to others.

3. Add to this a list of competitive advantages you have in the marketplace and why a consumer might value this.

4. Then ask yourself, with the things listed above - what of these things should you be doing more of, be using more, be maximizing and leveraging.

5. Finally write out a desired future for you or the company should you really make the most of your positives. Write it in the present tense as if it is already happened and you are celebrating all the success that has come to you AND TO YOUR CUSTOMER as a result. Share it with others.

Now take a peek back to all the good you have and step forward on a positive foot.

Dana/SeriouslyCreative

Four Skills that Drive Innovation

Four skills that drive innovation - empathize (with people in order to identify their deep needs that need new solutions) visualize (solutions so that others can understand the new ideas that can be understood with numbers and analysis alone) co-create (with stakeholders in order to end up with richer, deeper and more meaningful concepts) and iterate (through a process that goes from insights to ideas to prototyping to doing to assure you are making progress, improvements and change happen)

How do you get people to understand how others judge the trade off of taking risks?

One of the things we do at SeriouslyCreative is help organizations navigate difficult decisions, issues and conversations. As creative facilitators we know that sometimes the best route is not the direct one so we often use metaphors to get people thinking indirectly about an issue. 

In this past several days we have been designing a "game" to help a team talk about how their clients and customers navigate risk taking and decision making when very serious life changing issues are in the balance. To do this we have designed a game around getting a castaway off an island and to various choices of better/worse islands to allow people to discuss the "issue" before the discuss the issue. It is a very exciting process for us to design something so complex that must work so simply. Let the fun continue!

Innovation is more than that.

Innovation is the over used, little understood catch all phrase for being creative in business. But it is more than that and much more complex to do. It is about corporate policies, company culture, defined strategies, approach and process, time allocation, being willing to say 'yes' when others say 'no' and 'no' when others say 'yes'. It is tools, skills and technique. It is the production line of new value and competitive advantage. It takes effort, attention, investment and aggressive dedication to resisting mediocrity in management. It can be learned, harnessed and made more reliable. What it is not is optional, something you start doing when you have tried everything else, an objective or this year's business planning, something that just happens or a assignment for a committee.

Innovation is the over used, little understood catch all phrase for being creative in business. But it is more than that and much more complex to do. It is about corporate policies, company culture, defined strategies, approach and process, time allocation, being willing to say 'yes' when others say 'no' and 'no' when others say 'yes'. It is tools, skills and technique. It is the production line of new value and competitive advantage. It takes effort, attention, investment and aggressive dedication to resisting mediocrity in management. It can be learned, harnessed and made more reliable. What it is not is optional, something you start doing when you have tried everything else, an objective or this year's business planning, something that just happens or a assignment for a committee.