The Creation Interface
Learn what your priorities and strengths to tap into your creativity

Rob Shook and Bill Kirst provoked thought for Reconverge participants on Wednesday afternoon during their presentation on creativity and innovation.

Shook and Kirst observed that we are neither creative nor innovative enough to sustain our businesses in forthcoming technological and cultural disruptions.

The program was an explanation of what we need to do as individuals to prepare for change via leadership training and skill development as well as an exploration in macro cultural views across the organization.


  • Design thinking
  • Brainstorming
  • Leveraging strengths
  • Matching modalities
  • Importance of diversity
  • Learning and staying vital
  • Missions and mission creep and silos
  • Management (freemind)
  • Review of tools we’ve mentioned

Design thinking

Take the perspective of the client and step back to see the bigger picture.

We often approach problems the same way, and often without new results. Design thinking can counteract this issue.

It is an approach for leaders to guide their teams to achieve market outcomes; an approach for project teams (business, design, and tech) to develop exemplary solutions, and a way to transform companies to becoming more client centered.

Typically, such exercises consider learning about design thinking, applying it to a project, and concluding with a transformation workshop.

This is a large transformation in how companies might serve clients.

Pieces in the process:

  • Identify challenges
  • Select initiatives, sponsor user interviews
  • Designing playback review
  • Select focus
  • Transformation workshop: how to sell a new plan, education, skills, and enablement.

Making is about giving form to ideas: “You can’t know everything but you do know some things, so jump right in.  The earlier you make, the faster you’ll learn.”

Take chances.

Ask what’s possible?  What are we saying?  What are outcomes, the big idea, how to show this to others?

What’s our concept?  What does it do?  What is its form?  How do we deliver it?

This step is about “getting your hands dirty” and getting them to work across various platforms.  Then, proceed as you like.

Ideation doesn’t have to be exhausting.  Brainstorming can help, but has some key factors including timing, location, resources, inspiration, and energy.

Challenges might be remote staff, limited space, or tight timelines.

What would happen if you allowed for a persistent space to be created that allowed collaboration to happen unobstructed and unchained?

Enter MURAL—virtual whiteboarding for ideal outcomes in collaboration.

MURAL is a tool to allow true brainstorming.  There are no limits, and no consideration of feasibility, and no evaluation of ideas.  Users build on the ideas of others.

Speakers led participants in a demonstration of MURAL and attendees learned to brainstorm online.

This approach to brainstorming can be done completely anonymously; this channel offers a venue to share thoughts without judgment.

Diversity of ideas

  • In a digital first world, success lies in culture, not technolocy
  • Cross disciplinary teams understand business problems and seek out new solutions from multiple perspectives
  • Multi-lens approach leads to rapid process innovation
  • Use data to create scale and make progress
  • Intuition fails us if left unchecked and unchallenged
  • Inclusive platforms allow for many voices and priceless ideas
  • Avoid groupthink and confirmation bias for solutioning before thinking
  • Help find root causes, not just common symptoms
  • Take a step back and look wider and longer

Leveraging strengths and sharing weaknesses

  1. Have your teams take the strengths finder Gallup poll online
  2. Generate results to top 5 strengths
  3. Pull your team together with a whiteboard
  4. Have one member write up all strengths
  5. Have the team read all sets of strengths and guess who has which strengths, vote if necessary
  6. Do the reveal, gauge reactions
  7. Have each person also share where they want to focus based on a self-perceived weakness
  8. Take a step back and look at identified areas of focus and weakness, pair up people with those strengths
  9. Pair up those teammates on the next project or pitch to generate new levels of collaboration and value add

Go further together

  • Understand why teams do better on certain tasks and in certain conditions
  • Start to see how you design teams to tackle new challenges for a different era
  • Map journeys for growth by pairing members who can learn from each other
  • Create opportunities to build from vulnerability
  • Show teams it is okay to fail and learn…and do it together
  • Identify future leadership growth opportunities

Points of convergence

  • What do you love to do?
  • What are you good at?
  • What can you get paid for?
  • What does the world need?

Where these answers converge, you can rediscover:

  • Passion
  • Profession
  • Mission
  • Vocation

Communication and modalities

  • Understanding how the brain works to perceive the outside world is important
  • Based on people’s strengths and weaknesses, understand there are going to be different modes and methods to communicate and learn effectively
  • Empathy—first seek to understand
  • Communication—match what your listener is saying
  • Ways of learning—empathy: show me, just don’t tell me; communications: what would be your preference and mode?

Staying vital

  • Recent studies show that a blend of FOCUS and UNFOCUS are vital for achieving balance
  • Develop creativity, resilience and balance
  • Break with the “default mode network”
  • Use positive constructive brainstorming AND positive constructive daydreaming
  • “Brain pickings” –subjective lenses on what matters in the world and why
  • Reading lists—curate what keeps your mind fresh and stimulated
  • Mentor chats—seek to ask, reach to grow

Missions, Mission Creep, and Silos

Be careful to fence issues closely enough to stay on task but avoid silos where you limit yourself.

One challenge of working at home is opportunity for casual interactions.  Face-to-face interactions (even digitally) are advantageous.

Organizational change considerations

Continuous learning will be a key differentiator:

  • Talent is your new currency in a digital economy
  • This work requires new operating models
  • This work demands vision and constant clarity
  • Leadership will need to be more engages…and aligned…and that is no longer an afterthought
  • Contingency planning and continuity becomes a part of the first mile
  • Data becomes your greatest tool and asset, gut work and guess work is no longer sufficient
  • Robotic process automation and AI will continue to disrupt the workforce

Management of ideas

Power of mind maps and quads—consider the importance versus the urgency scale.

We each have many priorities, look at the intersections of personal, family, work and charity.