corporate creativity & innovation
Fine in theory, but different in reality! © 2006 David M. Weeks.
The Context
The Characters

01 - Find a good idea
02 - Ignore the hierarchy Go to the top
03 - Keep local management happy
04 - Meet your key stake-holder
05 - Be patient - don't expect speedy progress
06 - Hassle the chain
07 - Don't follow corporate standards!
08 - Get the resources you need

09 - Corporate defence mechanism triggered!
10 - CEO's get trapped in Treacle!
11 - Respond to early feedback quickly
12 - Publicise for success
12a -Keep changing to maintain visibility
13 - Increased visibility spells potential danger
14 - Heads think departmentally not organisationally
15 - Call your Boss's bluff
16 - Find a Niche to put it in

17 - Management 'smart talk' and pass the buck
18 - Get Skunkworking and succeed
19 - Improving staff retention
20 - Making sure an Idea takes off
21 - Maintain your Passion
22 - Keep management happy
23 - Tackle Conflict openly
24 - Find a Niche to put it in (2)

25 - Acting a Fool! can be very fulfilling
25a - Foolish talk gets heard

26 - Fool! goes into retirement!
27 - Reducing Stress at Work
28 - Inspiring the Workforce

29 - It won't work without passion
30 - Creativity End!
31 - The Feedback!

18.- Get skunkworking and succeed skunkworks

The ‘skunkworks’ is an example of ‘official unofficial’ work, where people are allowed to work on projects either in their own time or outside of their main "activity. Skunkworks projects often are undertaken in secret with the understanding that if the development is successful then the product will be designed later according to the usual process. A famous example of a skunkworks project is the first Apple Macintosh computer. The impoverished conditions of the typical skunkworks seems to be an important ingredient for creativity.

David got somewhat frustrated by the slow, generally negative responses when he intuitively knew that there was a need. Bounced about from one meeting to the next with no progress, David decided to skunk-work - to start building the web-site undercover (at home and snatched moments at work). The management would be so busy talking that they wouldn't notice! The front of MAP was redesigned to included fun, inspiration, stimulation and out the box items and the frequency of updates increased.

April to July 2001 - 100,000 visits

David's commentary at the time was:
"That's a steep incline and is attributable to word of mouth, subtle changes and a latent untapped demand that exists. MAP has moved from the periphery into mainstream usage in term of the diffusion bell curve especially for those with repetitive roles. This means it will be more noticeable and with that comes potential danger."

"The site to date has been a one-man band and now needs embracing by the business to go further. If this happens, hopefully, this change will not kill off some of the characteristics that have made it work :

  • Update rapidly
  • Publish reader's items
  • Minimum censorship
  • Make it interactive
  • Make it interesting, stimulating and fun
  • Be honest

  • "The debate work v play will come to the fore more strongly. Those in opposition may ignore or not understand how play and stimulation can actually aid productivity. The argument tends to be subjective not objective. Apart from the intuitive belief that there is a strong link, the main defence is within the Feedback from the front-line which include:"

    • It improves motivation "I would just like to say thanks as you managed to stop me from cracking up on my shift today's as I found mental athletics and had a really good laugh and tried them out.

    • It helps reduce turn-over "It's such a shame that I've put my resignation in to Nabby, this site finally gives some fun in the job"

    • It reduces tension "Keep up the good work its about time someone put something like this on the net and everyone is chilled out a lot more."

    • It stimulates staff "I'll often get quite tired as the day wears on, but visiting this site keeps my brain ticking over & wakes me up again!"

    • It makes repetitive work easier "Thanks for making my day more bearable!!!"

    19 - Next