Enhancing capacity to create and innovate

At ImagineNation™ we have been enhancing our clients capacity to create and innovate through the development of  the Generative Discovery Skill-Set. This encapsulates four generative methodologies involving learning, challenging and inquiring. As original ways of accepting, embracing and working with the current unprecedented amounts of change, uncertainty, instability, chaos and disorder. The intention is to emerge creative ideas and innovative solutions that may have never previously existed, by enhancing peoples capacity to create and innovate

1. What is generative learning?

Generative learning or “double-loop learning” was first described by Chris Argyris in 1977 as a way of learning that emphasizes continuous experimentation and feedback in an ongoing examination of the way organizations go about defining and solving problems.

Engaging in generative learning involves linking existing knowledge with emerging ideas, within an iterative, rather than prescriptive approach. This requires creating permission and the safe space and process for learners to be open minded to sense ideas that appear, arise, occur and develop, often for the first time. It also enables them to sense and perceive from the whole system, in ways that enable them to enhance and evolve iterations until a whole new system functions. This involves a willingness, from both teacher and the learner, to explore and operate from a more mindful and emergent space as well as an ability to be deeply present to the whole for possibilities, creative ideas  and for ideation to occur.
2. What is a generative challenge?
By uncovering and resolving problems, issues and business dilemmas generatively,  we can flow and innovate within the increasing levels of change, instability and uncertainty. By adopting a whole systems perspective, considering key macro and micro factors factors converging, diverging and impacting the organization, we can make more effective and intelligent business decisions to effect innovation.
The first step is to distinguish between a technical vs. a generative challenge!

A technical challenge example could be an organisation requires a process or system to collect & respond to customer feedback.

The problem definition is quick and easy, and can often be solved by an expert within a structured project. It usually requires minimal change within organisational boundaries, so people are receptive to solutions that seen logical can often be implemented quickly. It may require research, purchasing and training key staff in a customer relationship management system.

A generative challenge example could be an organisation that requires a rapid response to global competitor who has replicated your #1 best selling product and is selling it at 30% lower cost to your key customer market segment.

The problem definition is difficult to identify and requires sensing & perceiving threats & possibilities within a whole system context. It usually requires changes in beliefs, roles and relationships with customers & competitors. People will need to learn on the run, experiment & prototype a range of solution options within an iterative & emergent framework & allow for disruptive & deviant & approaches. Finally a crystallized vision for the product future that can be prototyped and enacted with speed and simplicity must be defined to guide innovation efforts.

3. How do generative inquiry and listening work?

Learning how to generatively inquire requires developing the mindsets, behaviours and skills to deeply observe retreat, reflect & listen at the generative level, to effectively see and solve generative challenges, business dilemmas or problems. It also requires the development of provocative competence.

To be inquisitive and curious in knowing how to ask deep generative questions that can be safely and intentionally disruptive and deviant, in powerful ways that rock the boat and dispute the status quo. To ask deeply challenging generative questions that enable people to be present to the possibilities that arise from the integration and maximization of the power of intuition, reason and imagination.

To know how to pay deep attention and generatively listen, by engaging in three parallel domains of dialogue and listening:

  • Listening to what life calls you to do (listening to oneself),
  • Listening to other core players in the field (listening to others),
  • Listening to what emerges from a forward-oriented constellation of core players in the larger eco-system (listening to the common ground).

This requires an opening of the mind to dispel past beliefs, patterns and judgements. It also requires an opening of the heart, to be empathic and connected to the other, and at the same time, being courageous and compassionate enough to disrupt and challenge their thinking. To support them to let go of old ideas, behaviours and patterns that are getting in the way of allowing the new to emerge. Knowing how to listen to shifts in perceptions, to create altered states of reality by deeply asking and listening at the generative level.

4. What is a generative debate?

To generatively debate is to know how to use conflict and the potential for conflict, and disagreement and dissent to question and challenge the operating logic or status quo.

The intent is to liberate out of the box creative ideas and innovative solutions.

Generative debates raise the level of thinking to invent new ideas and creative solutions. They allow us to combine the unexpected and to put things that wouldn’t normally be put together. This creates the basis for developing a holistic continuum of strategy, tactics, and action around what may appear to be seemingly ‘impossible goals’They create openings, that enable us to adopt a ‘right turn’ paradigm; a very sharp change in approach from ‘incremental change’ to make sudden and ‘revolutionary leaps’. This creates the ‘empty space’ that lets the new emerge and ultimately connects us to an emerging future whole, from which is where an innovation is generated.

At ImagineNation™ we have designed and developed our own approach to generative discovery, enhancing our clients capacity to create and innovate through the development of  the Generative Discovery Skill-set by creating generative inquiry and problem solving processes that integrates emergence, adult and experiential learning within a robust organisational learning and consulting framework.

Our approach incorporates Generative Discovery concepts, principles and techniques to teach Generative Inquiry, Listening, Debating and Generative Problem Solving to executive and leadership coaches, corporate consultants and business leaders.

The outcome is an increased capacity to be agile, solve generative challenges and create the mindset flips and fresh lines of sight to perceive and respond to the world differently.

To make innovation everybody’s job, everyday!

At ImagineNation™ we provide innovation coaching, education and culture consulting to help businesses achieve their innovation goals. Because we have done most of the learning and actioning of new hybrid mindsets, behaviors and skill-sets already, we can help your businesses also do this by opening people up to their innovation potential.

Contact us now at janet@imaginenation.com.au to find out how we can partner with you to learn, adapt and grow your business in the digital age.