Creativity and Innovation in Project Management

Last Thursday, I was able to attend a project management webinar called Creativity and Innovation in Project Management. I heard about this webinar through my professional organization called ANIA- American Nursing Informatics Association, formerly called ANIA-CARING.

The webinar was an hour long and during my lunch hour so I was able to listen and eat lunch at the same time.  This was my first time taking a project management webinar so it was very interactive.  Dr. Jim Lewis, President of the Lewis Institute was the speaker. I liked how he engaged the participants and asked about their creative ideas.  In addition, Dr. Lewis had a contest for all of the participants to submit their creative ideas to him and the winner will win a seminar for their company.

Dr. Lewis started the webinar asking the participants how to define creativity and innovation?  Creativity is original ideas and innovation is finding new ways to do something that has already been done before.

Creativity and innovation can be applied in project management.  Creativity is beyond art and design and even problem solving can be creative.  New and innovative ways can be applied to decision making and communication.

Dr. Lewis referenced Stephen Covey’s book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as an example to his next point.  For those of you unfamiliar with Stephen Covey’s 7 habits, here they are:

Habit 1:  Be proactive

Habit 2:  Begin with the End in Mind

Habit 3:  Put first things first

Habit 4:  Think Win/Win

Habit 5:  Seek First to Understand

Habit 6:  Synergize

Habit 7:  Sharpen the Saw

Dr. Lewis referenced Stephen Covey’s Habit 2:   begin with the end in mind.  This habit allows the person to think how the project will look like, even if you are in the first steps of the project.  Dr. Lewis’ suggestion was to visualize the final outcome of the project. He suggested the project manager ask someone on the team to write the final report as they envision the project to get everyone on the same page.  In addition, Dr. Lewis suggested at the end of project, not to write a lessons learned since its suggestive of a scapegoat.  But, to have a contest for the person, who was,  if there was any, a scapegoat of the project.  To have a contest is more fun and makes it lighthearted and not to blame anyone.

Dr. Lewis had many other examples in the webinar and I thought this was a thought provoking session. I highly recommend taking a webinar about project management.

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