Unleash your creativity

Get your creative juices flowing

Joining the dots among disparate ideas is a key innovator's skill.
The habit we need to develop demands careful (yet accidental) associations of complex factors of a given challenge.

Here are the three basic recommendation on how:
  • Think-Do cycles: Keep asking the core question of why the dots seem unrelated. Like the media and its point of view, there is another untold story in the background. We have to keenly defer our gratification by not accepting minor successes end goals. Instead - treat them as milestones towards a bigger objective.

  • Distractions: Try to intentionally take your mind off a topic for some time and then switch back with a fresh pair of eyes. Some new potential connections might have become visible while the mind processes the information in the background.

  • Repetition. Research shows that consistent & persistent associational thinking in complex scenarios plays a vital role in energizing rather than fatiguing. 
Use cycles of creative thinking with breathing spaces to allow creative juices to flow.

UK Govt's Agile/ Lean Transformation - a journey from horrors of NHS integration to the DWP's - award winning agile UC

UK Govt's Agile/ Lean Transformation - a journey from horrors of traditional NHS integration to the DWP's - award winning agile Universal Credit:
Earlier this year - I was contributing (in a team) towards developing a strategy and agile/ lean transformation methodology for Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)'s huge programme called Universal Credit (UC). This is approximately similar in size as to the NHS integration initiative.
Like the NHS, the objective of this three year programme is to combine all the disparate benefit systems. This will enable the UK Government to centralize all the key information about the recipients of welfare benefits and reduce the inefficincies due to out of synch departmental systems (especially HMRC).
The overall programme is extremely complex and involves ministers, huge external suppliers, multi-site design teams etc.

Change Conflict is still one of the biggest challenges on the horizon as it involves passing of welfare reform bill, input from the cabinet, the opposition and ultimately (if all went well) input from Her Majesty's think tanks. Any change during this process (which is inevitable) used to result in extra spending of millions of pounds of public money.
The biggest and most critical support that our transformation strategy team got was from the top executives and extremely dedicated and passionate programme directors.
It is too early to benefit from the fruits of this engagement - however, one thing is for sure; UK Govt's IT Programmes will never be the same again as they sincerely want to succeed. The methodology is now well on its way and is proving to be extremely adaptable and results oriented. Thanks to the refactorable/ test driven development - the policy level changes are actually pluggable via a rules engine and helps the Govt representatives to make informed decisions.
The proud moment for all this is shown on Agile Awards 2011 for "Best Use of Agile in the Public Sector"
"Department of Work & Pensions - DWP will change the way government works forever, and there are not many projects that can make that claim. (http://www.agileawards.co.uk/Winners2011.html)"
Crux of the matter is - all is not doomed; the UK Govt is trying and trying really hard in a positive way. After all the horror stories of huge failing programmes in the past - it is the UK Govt that is really deparate to succeed. Along the way on this agile/ lean journey - the whole society would benefit.
Time will tell...

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