Mar 2022 - ongoing
A supportive guide to boost creative confidence through the facilitation of a creative climate in an online environment
The need for creativity has never been bigger. Technological changes, raised expectations in the area of sustainability and safety, increased focus on customer experience ask for pro-active innovation. On top of that has Covid-19 changed the world fast and radically the past half year. The world went in lockdown and because of that organisations have accepted work-from-distance as the new normal. In order to stay relevant and be adaptive to the rapidly changing landscape, organisations have recognised creativity as catalyst for innovation. Organisations initiate innovation programs to evoke culture change by fostering experiential learning in creativity. Employees are expected to adopt a creative mindset by applying trained skills and knowledge into daily practice. However, uncertainty of learning something new and the ambiguity of creativity create resistance under employees making them fall back into their old routines. In order to make this cultural change stick, an employee-centered approach is necessary. To understand how employees can be guided/supported in learning experientially using creativity in their way of working, the central aim of this research is to define how creative confidence can be boosted. An extensive literature study showed that there are seven creative culture factors to empower employees in their confidence to use creativity. The extent employees feel empowered is interdependent on the culture factor work climate (domain-specific). A creative climate has the ability to empower autonomy and thereby the confidence to use creativity. Therefore, the other five creative culture factors need to be established, namely: integral strategic vision, supportive leadership style, flexible organisational structure, accessible professionalism and available resources. To develop a creative climate twelve dimensions are derived from insights of both literature and multiple exploratory research activities. These dimensions are either comfort (stability and direction)- or freedom (exploration and own interpretation) orientated. To boost creative confidence a creative climate should be evolved in which these orientations are experienced in balance. To be able to bring this balance into practice, a guide has been conceptualised focusing on online project meetings. Facilitators can use this guide to build-up an effective meeting flow for their weekly online progress meetings. This DIY-guide is called ‘Creative Rooms’, which includes a basis structure with different ‘meeting rooms’, a folder with extra templates and facilitating notes. With Creative Rooms a facilitator can build-up a meeting flow regarding guidelines based on the creative climate dimensions. Each meeting room in this flow contains activities and features to enhance a creative climate relevant for position in the meeting flow. The facilitator navigates the meeting group through the flow in order to achieve alignment, connectivity, implementation and creativity. These are the four success indicators for effective meetings with a creative climate (the 12 dimensions). The use of Creative Rooms has been evaluated with employees, faciliatory experts and a meeting group to test the clarity and effectiveness of the guide. These evaluations led to the revised design in the shape of a package containing: DIY guide, reference manual and implementation assistance from a customer support manager. Thereby the Creative Rooms package is a guide to boost creative confidence within and beyond online project meetings.