Saturday, October 19, 2013

Embedding Creativity in Change Management

The change shall not always be stressful and reactive; make it as fun & proactive as possible.

Too often changes are made as a reaction to outer impulses, crisis, and demands. This is the bureaucracy’s way of meeting the challenges. The perspective is often rational, an automatic cultural response; defending already existing structures, all that we take for granted, without questioning the underlying premise. So in order to make change both proactive and sustainable, shall you or how to embed creative mechanism in change management.

At the enterprise level, successful change is often linked to the DNA of the organization itself. Perhaps more so within the creative industries or organizations that have extensive innovative product development regimes. It would follow that the use of creativity would be more welcome in these areas, than perhaps industries where it is not openly valued a heavily regulated or controlled business, but regardless of vertical sector, make change a fun and innovative journey, not just a stressful one-time project. 

Finding ways to satisfy key players takes a lot of creativity: Each one has a different agenda and rarely is it centered on what's best for the organization. Creativity is key to satisfying these agendas and achieving the benefits of the change. It's what keeps things moving forward and actually gets the programs delivered. The main perspective or focus is usually either the outside in; or the inside out. The outside-in is too often the approach for change management; we try to make a difference by shaking the old bottle, stirring up the existing structures and patterns, without shifting either the bottle or the content. Or we try to condition to the circumstances, still dancing with the same partner; in a context where the answer is to change the fundamental premises with creativity.

Creativity today asks for a new mindset: Real change and (existential) creativity is deprogramming old mindsets, letting go of "the voices from the past,reprogramming our minds with new values, norms, and attitudes; establishing a new blueprint for how we want to create our future reality. This is a task for visionary or entrepreneur-minded leaders to convey and make an impact, as traditional management may not agile enough to adapt to the changes. Creativity is incredibly useful. Both in terms of making an impact with change management communications and tactics, because these days it is pretty tough to get attention as there is so much going on, but also in terms of strategies and solutions. Still, we need all approaches to succeed in the overall betterment. 

At the project/small group levels, there is no reason why creativity cannot or does not form part of the Change Management practices: From the workshops through to implementation, it is CREATION that always questioning everything, not only that seems proper to the management, pleasing existing patterns and positions. To succeed, businesses need a united “one sight” focus, a dynamic balance between the inner and outer, “yin” and “yang,” dancing together, we need deeply to understand the relation and dynamics between consciousness (thinking), energy (emotions) and information, the manifested creativity is so important to change management; it can serve as a tool for cognitive dissonance to support adoption. When developing a change strategy, think of a creative mechanism that has this outcome to embed the change.

At Individual level, human beings are not only 'reasonable' but they also have imagination: All happens through imagination and change is living, there cannot be any change without imagination... which means creativity; being creative helps in finding new solutions, in working differently and building a new world. Overall speaking, to overcome resistance, we need to feel safe; to overcome our fear, to be convinced that the new solutions are better than the old ones. We need to be so deeply motivated and invigorated that we realize and stick to the three most evaluated qualities of life: AUTONOMY, MASTERY, and MEANING (the last one is definitely the most important). This can only be effectuated by empathy and wisdom, Reduce the fear of real change, and we give way to a new, playful creativity. Indeed, change is a strategic imperative, make it a creative journey, not a stressful project.


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