We need a conductor!

There has been a curious bustle on twitter about the assertion of Bruce Nussbaum that “Design Thinking Is A Failed Experiment. So What’s Next?. Well, this is not what worries me, because these assertions are made whenever someone is not happy with an orientation and legitimately is seeking an alternative. It already happened elsewhere with “Forget Design Thinking and Try Hybrid Thinking” or “Design Thinking is killing Creativity“, among others.

Those are naturally readings to make either about the pros and cons, because it is healthy when someone seeks to see something from a different angle!

What worries me was what I found, in an article by Robert Fabricant “Frog Design: 3 Things Wile E. Coyote Teaches Us About Creative Intelligence“, about the future of creativity and the relationship that this future can be with the human resources of companies.

Fabricant writes:

Putting HR in the Driver’s Seat

Why do I say that? Last fall, frog design had the opportunity to participate in the Economist ‘Ideas Economy’ conference on Human Potential in New York and I was able to observe firsthand, the dangers of this model of creativity. While the conference had the usual provocative speakers (Clay Shirky, Dan Pink, Dan Ariely) the audience leaned heavily toward HR executives.

The underlying message coming from Richard Florida, Vijay Vaitheeswaran, and others is that creativity should be viewed as a critical resource that is undervalued within most organizations and thus, represents a huge area for growth in the 21st century (hence the “Human Potential” referred to in the title). The corollary to that message was that HR should play a lead role in building and managing this resource like any other link in the corporate value chain. Again and again speakers fell into the trap of referring to “creativity” as a form of organizational capital just like finances, real estate, or energy. I found this very disturbing. And I worry that the concept of CQ will only play into HR’s hands.”

It happens that I have defended the need for convergence of business and Design Thinking and I believe that the Human Resources in organizations have a role to develop what seems to be a good way, i.e., seek to create interdisciplinary teams as opposed to an excess of traditionally analytical profiles.

This assumes, of course, the recruitment and training of persons targeted for creativity, activity normally associated with Human Resources departments.

It is a shame that in a number of large enterprises, “creativity” will be remembered only in Social Responsibility activities and festive meetings of employees.

The concern arises when one can guess a confusion of available profiles to fill seats and no ability to identify the real needs of organizations, i.e. when there is not a clear definition of what they want, whether they are “analysts, emotional, or solitary creative”, among others.

In my opinion, these people must be people specialized in diverse areas but with skills, wider interests and motivations, enabling them to build interdisciplinary teams and good communication and collaboration processes.

My concern is the return to super specialists, people who are in the Organization to resolve the problems concerning their discipline but are unable to collaborate to solve the problems of other disciplines.

Happening this scenario will be the Human Resources the responsible for accumulating discontent and eventual excesses in recruiting costs.

Organizations are dynamic and above all sustained in interactions. They do not live, generally of a genius asleep in any metal lamp.

Fabricant says:

Creativity is Driven by Social Dynamics

Creativity is the result of a set of relationships with strong social and emotional dimensions. It comes out of a collaborative environment (and this is where HR can play a meaningful role), hence the shift in focus toward organizational culture and transformation in design organizations.”

It seems to me that the focus on organizational culture is the big bet that organizations should do, reorganizing the human resources services so they are facilitators of cooperation and liberation of the existing potential.

Creativity is not innate; it can be learned and facilitated by favorable environments and appropriate recognition. It is often a matter of patience!

Human Resources managers should seek to be conductors and build an orchestra to the size of the company, where each contributor (musician) with its potential could perform an action worthy of applause.

As a good Orchestra needs a room with good acoustics an organization needs a liberating environment of human potential to produce good results.

The metrics, these apply at the end to account for the palms!



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