Project Managers Are Creative Too!

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Image by orkboi via Flickr

There’s a lot of talk about creativity these days. A sweeping number of companies around the globe cite creativity as the number one competency for the future. Creativity beats out rigor, management discipline, integrity and even vision for this coveted position.

About a month ago, I ran a creativity training program for an advertising agency. The folks who attended the training included representatives from strategy, account management, and project management. As I invited participants to introduce themselves, a curious trend emerged. More so than any other discipline, project management professionals described themselves as “not creative.”  This is unfortunate as the prevailing question in the field of creativity has shifted from, “Are you creative?” to “How are you creative?”

Creativity comes in different flavors. Although the stereotypical view of creativity rests in the realm of idea generation and brainstorming, rest assured this is a one-sided account. As those of us in the trenches know, creativity is about asking the right questions, coming up with ideas, developing solutions, and implementing action plans.

So, while some favor the generation of lots and lots of ideas, the key to organizational creativity lies in teamwork. Ideas cannot mature into innovations without the care and feeding of those who are good at clarifying problems, developing solutions, and getting into action. In this way, project management is vital to the creative process.

Just as athletes can become better at running, swimming and playing ball, we can also improve our creative abilities. Learn more about how to become more creative by reading my latest book, Creatively Ever After: A Path to Innovation. A project management professional provided the following book review,

I was astonished by how quickly I was able to apply the techniques to my work right way. Making ideas happen has never been easier by following the techniques in this book. If you’ve hit a road block with trying to bring forth innovation to your organization… This book will give answers and help you understand why road blocks occur in the creative process. I will definitely add this book to my project management arsenal.

To read additional reviews visit Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/p6LfA6

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6 Responses to Project Managers Are Creative Too!

  1. Pingback: Carnival of Project Management #36

  2. Pingback: Carnival of Project Management #36 – wordpress project management

  3. Thanks for this news piece, Im going to re-use a small piece of this info for my website if that is ok with you. I will make sure I leave you as a reference to the source of information though.

  4. Dries Smit says:

    As a recovering “creative” myself, I have to admit that my experience is diametrically opposed to the conventional views I usually hear from project managers; as far as I’m concerned, if you aren’t creative, you shouldn’t be a project manager. I was a “creative” (in the narrowest sense of the word) for almost ten years… a graphic designer, an illustrator, even a copywriter. But it wasn’t until I was forcibly ejected into a project management role that I understood what true creativity meant… I was suddenly empowered to take action for the better of my team, for our benefactors as well as my employers. Creatives don’t have that power… they are usually enabled to do nothing more than dress up material and follow processes that for better or worse (usually the worse) have been determined far above them in any given hierarchy with little regard for reality. As a project manager, I have the mandate (whether officially sanctioned or not) to roll such obstacles out of the creatives way and actually allow them to do their jobs, solve problems for real, and keep their sanity whilst doing so. I can think of nothing more creative than that.

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