Creativity Lessons for Business

Lessons for Business

In business, Creativity is a competency. And now it is deemed indispensable.

It has officially been promoted from “recreation” to “work”, and it’s time to get to work!

For organizations that assess themselves as not being creative enough, the sense of urgency to “become” creative most often translates into action as “getting” something they don’t “have”.

Business is good about committing to plans. Yet reports about satisfaction with this pursuit are highly mixed.

Most organizations say that it is more difficult than they expected, and many have stopped what they were doing about it, without a planned successor.

So what next?

The smart thing to do when your idea of something stops working is to see if someone else has a better idea. As it turns out, business doesn’t need to re-invent creativity to make it work. It could just decide to use it the way it already works…

Go here for a fast look and description of how it gets done, as drawn from two areas where creativity doesn’t just “have” performance… it IS performance.

Afterwards, take a coach or a theater company director to dinner.

The breakout annotates the illustration shown below.


Autonomous IT: Can Governance Save the Enterprise?

IT Governance

Autonomous IT is the next normal.

While all of IT’s useful availability for twenty years or so has gradually converged to the status of “product”, the parallel and more powerful movement is that as IT users we know less and less about what “I.T.” is included in what we use.

As users, what we call “IT” is really the capabilities that are based on IT. Less and less as users do we care or control how IT generates capability, as long as we can use the capability ourselves.

IT-based capabilities emerge from an ecology of co-operating systems. Those systems become more and more able to intelligently decide, without our intervention, to interact and in that way synthesize capability, which becomes both opportunities and events.

Granted, the “intelligence” originates from seeds planted by people. While that is not decreasing in relevance, IT interactions now grow a capability to synthesize intelligence that people don’t already have, and thus to decide and/or do things that people don’t already expect. Some of those things are easily discoverable; others, not so much.

As IT becomes more independently animated, we might find an increasing need to negotiate with it, for the purpose of influencing the probability of desirable events and outcomes.

This entirely resets the comprehension of what the Enterprise is. In this reset, it is mandatory to recognize a “root” meaning of the word “enterprise”, which is “to undertake”. In other words, the enterprise is an identified and acknowledged effort.

We generally rely on being able to draw a boundary “around” that effort, to distinguish it from others, and to make it proprietary. But much, and soon most, of what we acquire as IT-based capability is not proprietary. Instead, the main distinction is simply the difference between what is “held within” our grasp and what is not.

Property remains a holding mechanism, but even property is actually useful for a deeper reason. What makes something effectively proprietary is having an authoritative presence as a user or operator of what is “capable”. Today, beyond rights and permissions, little more remains to establish that authority with persistence, and the presence need not be exclusive in order to be effective. Arguably, being aggressively effective with a capability establishes momentum as a binding force, if it avoids throwing or enticing the organization out of balance.

In essence, the constellation of ways that capabilities are held becomes the enterprise. In the next normal, the big question for the enterprise is why and how that constellation is continually regenerated and appropriately constrained within the vast range of options continually produced by autonomous IT.


As IT is now so pervasive, getting IT to co-operate is a multi-dimensional, multi-level pursuit. Understanding where it has impact requires understanding that more than ever before it is likely to have impact on its own terms .

How can that influence be synchronized with the real needs of the organization conducting the enterprise? An extended and evolving walk-through is found here.

The Who Cares Test


The difference between Investment and Commitment explains a lot about whether people will go with a proposed change.

The conventional take is that if they are not committed then they will not invest. If nothing else, 20/20 hindsight shows us that this is apparently true.

But what about before the fact? Something happened on the way to being committed or invested.

Let’s look at both investment and commitment simply, as things that can go from not being there to being there, and did. What can we say is the featured reason for the difference between being committed or not, and being invested or not?

The key feature of investment is not commitment, but familiarity. When someone has already expended the effort to understand, engage and maintain something, they associate strongly with it, and we know that they are invested. Those same features also give us great clues as to how an investment decision can erode over time: things that make understanding, engagement and maintenance difficult will tend to create alienation and undermine the logic of continuing to be invested. Meanwhile, if things have gone well, giving up that investment can be a tough decision. Why should they give it up?

On the other hand, the key feature of commitment is opportunity. Commitment is, simply, a level of desire for the opportunity. The effect of the desire is to maintain attention to the probability of the opportunity, and to give it higher priority when it seems to have arrived. Because desire can rise and fall, we know that commitment can do the same. But without an opportunity, there is nothing for desire to do.

Logically, then, the punchline is that we want to invest in someone’s opportunity. It’s not a new thought. But what too often escapes attention is what that actually means.

Unfortunately, commitment can go a long way without becoming an investment by the committed party.

If you are the proposer of the change, you want commitment from others. But the other committed party is not the primary investor.

Instead, you are the primary investor. Your first move is to invest in the opportunity of the party that you ask for support, so that you’re making it more probable. Your second move is to make it easy for them to invest in their own opportunity.

One danger to be wary of is getting an investment from a party lacking commitment. Commitment means “I care”. Investment only means “I accept”. If your plans are dependent on their acceptance, your dependency means you need to understand this difference between what is necessary and what is actually sufficient.

Solving IT’s Business Implementation

A Logical Goal: Sustainable Transformation

All well-known companies are powered by IT Services for internal and external business users. For managers, the standing requirement is to efficiently provide the required operational performance of services for users at the required level of quality — regardless of continual change.

But the standing risk is that the right services will not be in place at the right time. The impact of the risk is equally significant whether an existing service is off-target, or a new needed service is on a define-to-deployment path.

Contact us to help. We work with you to coordinate the range of solution implementation changes that make the difference between meeting the standing requirement or not.

Our description of Sustainable Transformation points out how we approach the problem with your organization.

The true nature and distinction of the challenge of implementation is an intense focus of Archestra Research, affecting change management, planning, innovation and reorganization. See the Solution Implementation Framework at the Archestra Research site.