From 1978 to 1983, I was fortunate to study at the Glasgow School of Art; halcyon days making things, making friends and having seemingly unlimited time to play with thinking and ideas – wasted on an 18-year-old… …perhaps.
What I understand now is that for the past 20 years, creative grounding has stood me in good stead in the work that I do and the learning experiences that I have been able to create.
In recent years, the world of organisational learning and development has caught on, and many creative processes now underpin possible approaches to change. One such process is Design Thinking: a product design methodology that has come from the Stanford School of Design and IDEO, a product design company, both in the United States. This has translated into organisations as a way to prototype change, think with your hands, and fail fast and learn quickly.
In 2015 I was fortunate to gain a place on a programme run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, built on the change philosophy of Theory U. I was particularly interested in this because of the creative way it was delivered and the central themes around Ego and Eco from personal leadership to whole systems change.
Who would have thought that all these years after the GSA, I would be supporting people and teams to build models to visualise culture change. This creativity does make a difference: emotionally, cognitively and practically. When you help people to manifest their thinking, visually something changes.
I have taken this creativity and these ideas and produced manuals and guidance that in turn, enable people and teams at all levels to really understand the difference that creativity through engagement can make.