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Riding the Creative Rollercoaster

So heißt das neue Leadership-Programm von nowhere, das wir nun bereits zum 4. Mal auch in Österreich anbieten. Es ist aber auch der Titel des neuen Buches von Nick Udall, dem CEO von nowhere. In diesem Buch beschreibt er die Zukunft von Leadership und Innovation.

„Innovation ist der heilige Gral von Wachstum und Fortschritt“ – gemäß diesem Credo beschreibt Nick Udall die Herausforderungen, denen Organisationen, Regierungen und die Gesellschaft heute gegenüber stehen. Das Buch zeigt aber auch Wege auf, wie Kreativität und Produktivität in Teams, Abteilungen und Unternehmen gefördert und nachhaltig in einer Innovationskultur implementiert werden können – allerdings sind dazu neue Arbeitsformen und neue Wege des Denkens und Handelns notwendig.

Im Zentrum des Buches und auch des nowhere Beratungsansatzes steht der „Rollercoaster Prozess“. Hier ist ein Auszug aus dem Buch, der diesen Prozess überblicksmäßig beschreibt.

The Rollercoaster Process

 

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The double exclamation marks (!!) at the end of the creative rollercoaster are what we design to. They represent a twin breakthrough. The first exclamation mark represents the innovative output that needs to be generated, whether that is a new product, service, solution, process, strategy or pathway. Sometimes it needs to be a relational breakthrough between key leaders or stakeholders, which if shifted would unleash exponential value in a team, or across a function or organization, or across multiple organizations. What is important is this innovative output is tangible, objective and measurable. It is generated by the team, yet is other than the team, in that it has inherent value in and of itself. The second exclamation mark represents the transformational outcome, ie. we have changed through the process of having the breakthrough. We can no longer go back and see the world or each other in the same way again.

Next come the three carriages. The first is about building the container.

The second carriage refers to our self-awareness. In the fourth realm, subject and object are intimately interconnected.

The third carriage takes this even further. It refers to our relational and our systemic awareness. We are all defined by our relationships and our interdependences, whether we know it or not. How we are in relationships, and how we pay attention to wider systems at play, will either enhance or diminish our collective ability to ride the creative rollercoaster. All it takes is one dysfunctional relationship across a team leak (value) and we increase the chance of collapsing the creative tension needed for a vertical movement and a collective breakthrough. So deepening the quality of relationships within and across a team is another vital ingredient for resourcing us to step into the unknown. The design challenge is therefore to pay attention to these three carriages just enough to support the nature and type of breakthrough that is needed. There is no indulgence to this on-boarding. And yet, the correlation is profound. The challenge is to on-board a team to the extent that it is necessary to achieve breakthrough. Miss this part out, and the team will be default, not necessarily by intent, collapse the creative rollercoaster when the going gets tough. They will then blame the leader and in turn the process, as they have separated themselves from both.

The challenge is to lean into the emerging future, into the implicate, more regularly and more frequently, and to find a follow flow.

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As the creative tension increases so we need intentionally to thicken the space between people. This thickening primes the field for the ´new` to reveal itself. This thickening happens as a result of people disclosing more, speaking their truth more, exploring the nature of the space between each other more. We follow a simple rule: create a safe space, and then a healthy space, if you want a co-creative space to emerge. It is only from a place of trust that we can leap.

When this happens we need to stay present and notice what is, for newness is momentary and fragile. It is so easy to miss. The challenge is to catch the sparks and to mine the cracks by sharing and exploring what we see and feel in real time.

We also need to be comfortable with ´not knowing´, being careful not to fill the empty space with our ego or our impatience. While we can take comfort in what we know, the challenge is to stay empty and create a vacuum that pulls the new into being. It´s counter-intuitive. We need to draw our bow back into the unknown before we can propel the arrow forward into the known. One of the things that get in the way of unknown is ´us´ – our needs, desires, wants, fears, biases, and filters. So we need to bracket our agenda and take ourselves out of the equation.

And, we need to try to hold a beginner´s mind, a state of equalization, enabling us to witness what is arising in the space between, feeling into what needs to take more form, and what needs to take less form.

Summary

This chapter has been about the frequency shifts that take place in creative teams and across cultures of innovation. We touched on how:

  • Ideation is a one-dimensional approach to innovation, as ideas are more often than not generated through the lens of the dominant culture, selected through the lens of the dominant culture, and implemented through the lens of the dominant culture.
  • Innovation in the fourth realm transitions into an insight-based phenomenon – a vertical movement to a meta-position that enables the innovator/shaper to recorder that which came before.
  • Innovation in the fourth realm is by design, and is based on the post-conventional capacity to catalyse creative insight and collective breakthrough at will and with skill.
  • Scientists have now discovered the neural correlates of creative insight and how insight is born from a frequency shift in (alpha and gamma) brainwaves.
  • The phenomenon of cultures of innovations, creative teams and evocative leadership are bound in symbiosis by their ability to ride what we call the ´creative rollercoaster´.
  • The creative rollercoaster is first and foremost a metaphor for working with both the known and unknown.
  • Second, it describes a lived experience of riding the highs and lows of the creative process.
  • Third, it can be used as a map to help us design and catalyse creative insight and collective breakthrough.
  • And fourth, it is a co-creative frequency, a resonance and a tone, that emerges from post-conventional containers and spaces designed to evoke the music of innovation.
  • Lastly, we began to introduce the need for a new and next generation of subtle skills to help us lean into the emerging future and find and follow flow. In the next chapter I would like to introduce eight things that become available to organizations once they have learned to step over this golden threshold and play in and with the fourth realm.

We can only ride this creative rollercoaster if we surrender to it. And, it is in surrendering to it that our frequency shifts, and our ability to dance and oscillate between the known and unknown, the conscious and the unconscious, the explicate and the implicate, increases.

Watch the Creative Rollercoaster Film
Download the Creative Rollercoaster pdf
Download flyer for the next „Riding the Creative Rollercoaster Leadership programme“

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