Here are a few of the top characteristics of an improvisational culture. How many does your organization have?
- Clear goals, great training & flexible plans – allow people to use talent and goal focus to grab opportunities of the moment
- Moments of “group flow” – that particular state of heightened consciousness in the team that fosters great creativity and very high engagement(1)
- Innovation emerges from the bottom up – often from random encounters with potential customers asking radical questions
- Collaborative creativity feels like “jamming” (2)– it’s energizing, unpredictable and produces great results
- New ideas valued – even those that aren’t used are seen as positive contributions to the group
- “Yes and” practiced – rather than criticizing ideas and practices and build on them. No wasting time and energy with blaming. Jump straight to what you do like about a plan and guiding it in a positive direction with positive questions about how to make it fit certain criteria, etc. (3)
Here’s the good news. Cultures can become more improvisational.
Whether it’s a slow change over time, or a rapid transformation (with the right guidance).
(1) Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, University of Chicago Psychologist
(2) John Kao, Harvard Professor
(3) Bob Faw, author of this blog bobfaw.wordpress.com