Innovation Challenge

Team creativity cannot always be called to order. But an awareness of how creativity works can be very helpful: including the boosters and the obstacles. People have different creative styles, and so the workshop should be flexible in order to allow break-out groups and changes of rhythm. An inspiring backdrop, well-researched subject matter, a focused objective create the conditions for success.


Cathedral builders, stonemasons and stone-cutters

A horse-rider in Medieval Europe, seeing a man chipping a stone by the side of the road - tac  tac  tac - stops and asks. “Why are you doing that?”   “I’m cutting this stone”, says the man, “because I’m a stone-cutter.”


Further on the rider meets another man, chipping away at a stone - tac tac tac.  “Why are you doing that?” says the rider to the man.  “I’m carving this stone”, says the man, “because I’m a stone-mason. My profession is to craft and carve stones.”


When the rider meets a third man, chipping away - tac tac tac - the rider asks once more:  “Why are you doing that?”  “I am a sculptor”, says the man, ”We are building that cathedral you see beyond.”  


Then the rider says to the man,” When you have finished, please come and join our network.  We create, renovate and sustain cathedrals!”


Well, I added that last sentence to the famous old story to remind us there will always be more to think about as we evolve our technologies, design, skills and beliefs. In many ways, perhaps, our management practices are still in the stone age.

Stories : Ian Stokes, Project Leader and Advisor

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