It comes in many forms. We see it in art, in music, in fashion, in New York Best Sellers, in architecture, in marketing…. Our world is a better place because of creative designs, creative arts, creative solutions.
What about solutions? Is that really a creative outlet? Usually when people talk about creativity they are talking about art and designs.
Manufacturing lives-and-breaths on creativity in solutions: solutions that make us safer, solutions that drive in quality without increasing time or money. You may have heard of “the KIS method” – “Keep It Simple”. Simple solutions don’t mean half-thought-out. Nor do they mean water-down concepts. Simple solutions are hard to find because they are not always obvious. Simple solutions are elegant. They can solve many issues with one action. They can be maintained without significant over-site. It takes more creative energy to find and execute a” simple solution”.
“…keep their eyes not only on present troubles, but also on the lookout for future ones, for which they must prepare with every energy. When problems are foreseen, it is easy to remedy them; but if you wait until they have arrived, it is too late to administer the medicine, because the problem has become incurable.” from The Municipal Machiavelli, Machiavelli’s The Prince Rewritten for Municipal Politicians
In other words, small problems are hard to see but easy to fix when found. Big problems are easy to see, but nearly impossible to fix. Waiting until you see the problem means you might be too late.
As leaders, we need to find ways to let creativity flow as we drive improvements across our span of control. We need to ask questions that get people thinking, questions that inspire creativity. We need to get conversations going: “what if…”; “is it possible…”. We need to clear out the noise of the day, of the week, allowing the team to ponder, consider, explore creative solution sets. We need to be willing to talk through the issues and come out the other side. That takes time, patience and energy.
Manufacturing lives-and-breaths on creative solution sets. As the leader of a team, how are you unlocking their creativity?