SPA Conference session: Brainstorming Considered Harmful: Effective Coaching for Creativity and Innovation

One-line description:Exploring ideas and techniques around group creativity to energize self-organizing teams
Session format: Workshop (150 mins) [read about the different session types]
Abstract:Coaching often focusses on performance, or effectiveness, or on educating teams and individuals in particular tools, techniques and processes. We think Innovation is a missing piece of the puzzle.

Innovation is not just about creating exciting new product concepts, feature definitions and business ideas. We use our innovation muscles every time we solve a problem in technology, design, collaboration, process. A team with innovation at its core is willing to learn, to create new ways of working individually, as a team, and with other groups, and to respond to changes in its social, technical and organisational environment. We believe this level of group creativity is essential to effective self-organization: without it energy flags and practices become stale, particularly as often we fall back on a limited and unhelpful set of tools for fostering innovation. There are many better ways of facilitating creativity than the "Brainstorming Session".

The workshop will

* explore the role of creativity in the day-to-day work of teams
* motivate the exercises by reviewing some of the research in innovation and group creativity
* provide an opportunity to try a number of coaching and workshop techniques for enhancing innovation
* invite participants to provide scenarios from their own experience with which to explore these techniques
Audience background:The session is suitable for anyone wanting to improve the creativity of the teams in which they work.
Benefits of participating:* Develop innovation thinking as a core approach to working in teams
* Learn new and novel ways of helping teams to shift perspective
* Apply some of the latest thinking in motivation and group creativity to your team or coaching work
Materials provided:Props, cards, objects in support of the exercises
Process:The workshop will be mainly experiential, with emphasis on practical, hands-on activities applied to real scenarios. These will be supported by brief presentations of research on innovation, creativity and motivation.
Detailed timetable:00:00 - 00:10 warm-up exercise
00:10 - 00:25 group creativity
00:25 - 01:15 exploration of techniques
== break ==
01:15 - 01:30 generation of scenarios
01:30 - 02:00 three rounds of innovation exercises around the scenarios
02:00 - 02:30 review, presentation, reflection
Outputs:Summaries of innovation narratives developed around the scenarios identified and workshopped by the participants, on the SPA wiki
History:The session draws on material developed and presented in coaching workshops and innovation training for several organisations.
1. David Harvey
Teams and Technology Limited
2. Ben Fuchs