In a world of continuous change, climbing complexity, and constant confusion, the ability to navigate chaos is essential to survive yet alone thrive.

To do this you must innovate to create unique solutions to problems, improvise to deal with the unexpected, and iterate to rapidly evolve and continuously improve.

This is only truly possible with a culture of collaborative creativity and systems and tools that can harness creative work at scale.

Seeking to reduce costs and leverage the global workplace, organizations are moving more work to regions where intellectual labor is cheaper. As more work becomes routine, commoditized, and achievable or more efficient through automation, the work that will be the most critically in-demand, and the work that offers the most freedom to those who seek and thrive in liberating environments, is creative work.

Creativity is highly necessary not just for innovation but for all decision making. The best decisions require people to continuously destroy existing mental concepts and replace them with newly constructed concepts that consider recent observations. Doing this requires effective logical and creative capabilities. Quite simply, creativity allows people to be open to possibilities, including those of extreme change. The ability to think creatively is essential if one is to effectively manage change, especially extreme change that could profoundly affect a situation. People who can think creatively are better at improvising in response to the unexpected.

Most organizations talk a lot about innovation, the divergent and convergent process of solving problems with unique solutions. However there is no such thing as innovation without creativity, the process of creating new ideas. 

Creativity at scale is about harnessing creativity in teams and across organizations whether it be in dynamic, fluid environments or those that are more structured and somewhat static. It’s like a group of jazz musicians innovating and improvising together but at the scale of hundreds, thousands, or even more people. An organization that can do this is one that will be truly agile and innovative.

The most effective organizations are those that help people do their best work whether that work is best done alone or in a team. This means that everyone in such an organization needs to be great at both individual and collaborative creativity.

Challenges

In addition to the unique challenges that exist for every situation there are challenges that affect almost all people, teams, and organizations.

Principles

Change requires concrete practices and tools but there are valuable principles to guide you along the way.

Levers

Levers obviously provide leverage but the trick is knowing which ones to pull, when and how hard to pull them, and how to make the levers longer to increase their leverage.

Culture

It’s the most important thing and the hardest thing to change.

Tools

Systems and tools are essential to operating at scale.