Creativity and Innovation

One of the many things I learned on the Clore Short course was the power of giving your creative mind barriers or boundaries.

So for example, if I were to ask you to develop a digital project for libraries you might not get any immediate sparks of innovation. However if I were to ask you to consider how digital technology might improve how we communicate with our customers, or how we might save money on printing you might have more luck in generating a few ideas.

And before you think you’re not a creative type – think again! Everyone is born to be free thinking and creative. Sometimes we need to give ourselves the time and the permission to think up new ideas and new approaches, simply explore what other people are doing to find some inspiration. Find yourself a theme or some boundaries and then get creative.

I have two examples of how channeling imagination/creativity can lead to great ideas and projects. 

Creative Thinking Session

What? As part of the SCL Digital Leaders Pilot we were asked to go off in groups of five or six, with a 10p in hand – the task to return half an hour later with something bigger!

There were four groups and we all tackled the challenge quite differently. I  learned a lot about leadership and the need for different personalities on a team – I was very aware that people within the group played different roles and brought different attributes such as: ideas, analysis, doing, digital solutions, askers, momentum, confidence, seekers, presenters, inspiration – the list goes on.

Purpose? To make us think. To get us active after lunch. To have some fun.

Target audience? This could be done with any group.

How might it be used? To get a group to think creatively, to enable people to understand the role they naturally might play and the dynamics at work in a team.

What happened?

Group one – photocopied something bigger in denomination than a 10p

Group two – joined the library and borrowed some books about starting a business

Group three – ‘borrowed’ a card from the shop. The card had a  ‘Votes for women’ image – they had brought back democracy!


Group four – visited the Manchester Art Gallery over the road and got talking to two awesome visitor services officers. They were extremely helpful to this bunch of  ‘highly motivated and slightly erratic librarians’. For our 10p we were able to ‘purchase’ a clutch of goodies. But we also wanted to return with something digital, so the lovely Sam agreed to tell us why she loved Manchester in front of a Lowry painting!

Sharing the knowledge gained from the SCL Digital Leaders Pilot (facilitated by Ben Lee and Ethan Ohs from Shared Intelligence) with colleagues  – ideas, examples and inspiration.

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