Creative Confidence

For over a decade, the enterprise has been struggling with realising the real potential of digital technology.  It has been the ‘year of mobile’ for the last X years, and the same challenges keep presenting themselves.  Still we continue to crawl toward digital, and transformation that compares us poorly with other developed economies around the world.  This crawl continues to be a talking point for consultants, press and executives alike.

Surely the time has come to look at this challenge through a different lens?

Recently, the CTO from Australia Post,  Tien-Ti Mak shared his experiences in connecting customers through digital and technology in general.  There were several common themes, and these themes were not tied to strategy, funding or ROI specifically, but were more to do with business operating models, changes and the emergence of new and exciting practices.  There were lots of familiar words used like, agile, lean, testing, validation, experimentation and prototyping.  We were hearing about entirely new and emerging ways for the enterprise to engage with its own people, and customers.

Is this what’s really stifling digital innovation – enterprises hoping to seize new opportunities in new technologies, through applying old business practices?

Which brings me to my final thoughts on this subject.

Walking around our local Harris Farm on the weekend, I slipped into a creative coma, and started to capture some thoughts on the subject of innovation, change, leadership and the REAL opportunity for mobile.  I thumbed out the following on my iPhone:

“Progressive mastery and creative confidence are the greatest opportunity that we have.  Developing people’s confidence to be able to create solutions should be all we care about.  We cannot keep relying on the same people every time to solve problems.  There is only one Elon Musk, or one Mark Zuckerberg, or one you.  There was only one Steve Jobs – contrary to common belief, his legacy was not the iPod or the iPhone; it was not the technology.  His legacy was to leave behind an organisation where creative confidence, design and product excellence is the norm.”

The concept of creative confidence has been brought to our attention by Ideo and the Stanford d.school  (Stanford’s Institute of Design).  Working with renowned Stanford Psychologist, Albert Bandura, Tom and David Kelley captured this very concept – where creative confidence is built through progressive mastery, and iteration.  Bandura believed that we are all creative, and we can be taught to contribute creatively and solve problems through using practices to build our confidence.

For me, it is concepts like creative confidence and the fundamental shift in ‘the way things are done around here’ that hold the answers to learning to walk (run?), and not crawl toward success.  Leading our people toward innovation and creativity – to encourage the WHOLE business to think and create mobile is what is required – not well considered strategies and shrewdly allocated budgets.

As Einstein (allegedly) wrote:

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

It’s time to do things differently, and lead the change required in current business operating models!

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