Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Is Your Environment Causing Your Workplace Stagnation?

This topic has been one of particular interest to me ever since I can remember, but has been especially intriguing recently because of my work with SolutionPeople in Chicago.

The May 2006 issue of Training magazine features an article called "Innovate or Die Trying." In this article SolutionPeople’s creative learning space (the Thinkubator) is featured in a segment called “Think Outside the Office."

The article references SolutionPeople's “4 Ps of sPace Design” model that has been used to create the Thinkubators in Chicago and Ann Arbor as well as innovative facilities for Lucent, Capital One and the Singapore Service Quality Center.

According to Gerald "Solutionman" Haman, the four P's of innovative environments are: the personal space, partnership space, public space, and personal computer (PC) space. Each of these areas, he says, serves a key purpose in the creativity process.

To read the article, click here.

I've been intrigued with the concept of space design since my early days in Corporate America when the most creative place we could come up with for an off-site meeting in our small community was at a hotel. I'm convinced that, as this article shows, more creative thinking can emerge if the environment is one that supports new thinking.

Watch for more on this topic. I'm doing some idea generation regarding my own selfish need for a new spot to get creative work done. Where do you do your most creative work? Let's share ideas here!


At 6:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my work with architects over the past 8 years, I've come to understand the importance of meeting space which stimulates the mind and creativity.

With a little extra effort unusual space can be found and reasonably priced or free.

It does take thinking outside the office/hotel box. Start by asking others about intriguing spaces. Make a list including contact information. Plan ahead for creative catering options.

Then be about "creating" every meeting.


At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I co-owned an IT company we had meetings in some strange places including:
A church
A bar
A restaurant
In a colleague's home

All the meetings leading up to us starting the company were held at a local microbrewery.

The venue definitely makes a difference.

At 12:08 AM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...

Bonnie & Alexander:

Thanks for the comments! I really do believe there are creative spaces out there - and I'm committed to helping people find them! Thanks for the ideas!


At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jodee - finding a creative spot is a very personal thing. I was teaching an MBA course in creativity last fall, and urged my students to develop their own "creative sanctuary" (even if it's just a table at Starbucks that catches the sunrise just right at 7:14 AM). I redesigned my sunroom to be my creative studio for writing, thinking, creating, and doodling. Sometimes, just a CHANGE of scenery can be a great creative surge. Had a nasty case of writers block while drafting my second book. Went to the mall for some people watching for one weekday evening (something I NEVER do) and cranked out five chapters over the next week.

I like Alexander's Church Idea to hold meetings. Playgrounds, paintball fields, and parking lots are also inspirational places to meet (if you get into the right mindset).


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