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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Becoming a Creative Instigator

For strategic thinking sessions at Baker University last month, we got an insane amount of work done – three ideation exercises and prioritization within a 50 minute class. Going in, I was skeptical about completing it all in time. In retrospect the key was having a person assigned to each group to not only help, but to serve as a “creative instigator.”

While Jan Harness, who has the official title of Chief Creative Instigator at her company, was among the group, each person on the team filled that role for the students. Going beyond simply facilitating, a creative instigator’s role involves:

  • Being an energy source – using enthusiasm to spark excitement within a group
  • Providing approbation – reinforcing people for sharing ideas, creating a verbal reward that engenders more ideas
  • Making connections – listening to what people suggest and tying things together the group might miss in the throes of ideating
  • Drawing out non-participants suffering from self- or group censorship – going out of the way to solicit input from reluctant group participants
That’s the job description. If you’re good enough, maybe you can be a get to the C-level of creative instigation some day yourself!

P.S. April 22 is Jan's birthday, so visit her blog and leave her a birthday wish!

1 comment:

Jan Richards said...

Great description and graphic!

And this is an absolutely essential role in so many situations.

Thanks for this excellent post.