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Making creativity and innovation happen
Making creativity and innovation happen

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6.1 How can creativity thrive?

Renowned management thinker Charles Handy (1991) long-ago recognised four factors that can combine to create a creative climate:

  • Curiosity – to fuel a continual desire to explore, enquire, experiment, probe, challenge and try to understand.
  • Forgiveness – curiosity will be stifled unless there is acceptance of the blind alleys that are part of all exploration.
  • Love – genuinely valuing the people around you and the context you work in, so as to provide the emotional space and security for confident exploration and learning.
  • Direction – a sense that the totality of the work is moving in a constructive and desired direction.
Figure 15 Charles Handy

If you are curious, forgiving, loving and directed, creativity may surge. If not, and you settle into a life that is too comfortable to change, you may be caught out when you find that other people have moved on without you.

Adversity can also force you to rethink taken-for-granted assumptions and encourage creativity. If critics can show you where you are going wrong or provide you with more convincing alternatives, you may want to learn more. There’s no guarantee that what they say will be useful but, if you do not listen, you cannot hope to learn.

Next you will look at one approach to developing new ideas, known as creative swiping.