Posted by: Katherine Raleigh
Programme Manager on Tue 23 May

At this month’s Innovation Day, we welcomed Dr Sara Jones, Cass Business School, to share her research and insights on the tools – digital and physical – you can apply to generate and enhance creativity, and how to get the balance right for your organisation in the partnership between human and computer.

Computers are great at processing, storing and letting you search through huge amounts of information, and most individuals and organisations are digitally mature in this aspect. However, in recent years, artificial intelligence has shown great ability within more creative fields, such as composing music. As computers’ “talents” are developing, so must how we use them. Reaping the benefits of both physical and digital is not a question of either/or, but the opportunity of both/and.

Organisations that are successful with integrating digital capabilities in their creative processes are more likely to be able to improve their creative thinking and innovative ideas. When considering what digital tools can do for your organisation, reflect on these key points:

  • The creative process is like a heartbeat. For creativity, you need the balance of two kinds of thinking; the kind that opens-up and searches for many possible solutions to a problem, and the kind that narrows down and refines the solution. Remember both are equally important.
  • Explore the universe of digital tools. Digital can be applied to different parts of the creative process suitable to your needs. For example, Google to narrow down a search, StumbleUpon to facilitate serendipitous online encounters with information, or Yossarian to return several ways of thinking about a concept.
  • Review your current landscape. Where are you, what do you need, and where do you want to go? Identify the area you want to innovate in, focus on the problem, and find the tool that fits the specific task.
  • Create the climate for creative thinking. Make sure people are confident enough and have the space to generate and contribute new ideas. The conditions such as climate and emotions are very important and trust is simply a prerequisite.
  • Be creative across borders. Digital tools offer the potential to share information with people who can’t physically join a brainstorming session due to, for example, remote working or multinational offices. It is crucial to bring people together from different fields, backgrounds, or cultures to share knowledge and connect ideas in new ways.
  • Don’t go digital for the sake of being digital. Keep what you are good at and embed digital tools into the processes where it works for you. The advantages should out-weigh the potential downsides. Encourage and allow flexibility around the use of digital tools, and make sure not to mandate them.

These are just some key highlights taken from May’s Innovation Day. Each month, clients of the Innovation Programme receive a full ACT report, capturing the guest expert’s research, the implications, and next steps for leaders to apply back in their team and organisation. For more information, please get in touch.

Next, Innovation Programme clients – including Interserve, PDSA and Cafcass – will explore the new and emerging opportunities augmented reality can provide for organisations to engage with their customers. For more information, please view the Innovation Day page.

Integrate digital tools into the human creative process to get the best from both.

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