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Apollo 13: Creativity, Innovation & Leadership

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Sarah Cary

on 27 June 2015

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Transcript of Apollo 13: Creativity, Innovation & Leadership

Cognitive Abilities:
“Creative people are facile at generating creative solutions to problems in a short period of time. Creative people also maintain a youthful curiosity throughout their lives…”
Passion for the Task
“Intrinsic motivation principle of creativity: People will be at their creative best when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself- and not by external pressures.”
Creativity, Innovation
& Leadership

Characteristics of Creative Leaders
Characteristics of Creative Leaders:

Devoted to their fields and enjoy intellectual stimulation, challenge the status quo which leads them to seek improvements, mentally flexible and can see past the traditional ways of looking at problems.

Specific characteristics: knowledge, cognitive abilities, personality, and passion for the task and the experience of flow.
Apollo 13 Clip #1
“Creative people are frequently nonconformists and do not need strong approval from the group. They prefer to search for alternatives than worry about attaining consensus.”
Overcoming Traditional Thinking
as a Creativity Strategy:
The central task in becoming creative is to break down rigid thinking that blocks new ideas. At the same time, the problem solver must unlearn the conventional approach.
1. Straightforward collection of ideas.

2. Establishing idea quotas.

3. Making whiteboards regularly available for sketching ideas.

4. Granting tinkering time.
Thinking outside the box.
Recognize Contributions•
Expect the Best
Show them you believe in them
Be clear about the goals and the rules
Give regular feedback
Personalize Recognition
Get close to people
Be creative about incentives
Just say “thank you”
Create a spirit of community
Celebrate accomplishments in public
Provide social support
Invest in fun
Be personally involved
Show you care
Spread the stories
Make celebrations part of organizational life
Find and create occasions to bring people together
Make connections to the fundamental principles when you explain why you are holding a celebration
How to Foster a
Creative and Innovative Culture

“Motivation to perform a task increases only when they have a challenging goal and receive feedback on their progress. Goals without feedback and feedback without goals has little effect on people’s willingness to put extra effort into a task.” (Kouzes & Posner 2012)

Safety needs need to be met before belongingness needs
The group had to put their differences aside and come together to solve the problem at hand so they would survive
1. Emphasize transformational leadership if possible. Why? A transformational leader is good at providing intellectual stimulation.

2. Continually pursue innovation (Apollo 13 & NASA exercises are textbook examples of this).

3. Take risks and encourage risk taking.

4. Emphasize collaboration among employees & Organize workers into teams for purposes of innovation.

5. Avoid innovation for its own sake.

6. Use loose-tight leadership.

7. Integrate development and production.

8. Recognize the hidden opportunities when products and ideas
Organizational Methods to Enhance Creativity:
2 examples
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Experience Flow
These techniques facilitate flexible thinking, or viewing the world with open and curious eyes.
Self-Help Techniques to Enhance Creative Problem Solving:
2 examples
Creative problem solving requires an ability to overcome traditional thinking. A standard and frequent way of finding a solution to a problem. A traditional solution to a problem is thus a modal or most frequent solution.
Being in the zone.

Innovation refers to the creation of new ideas and their implementation or commercialization.

True innovation is regarded by some management thinkers as the only sustainable source of competitive advantage.
Sarah Cary
Maria Maxwell
"We Pledge."

Much of creativity is intrinsically woven into a person’s intellect and personality.
Knowledgeable about wide range of information
Cognitive Abilities:
Highly intelligent
Intellectually curious
Able to think divergently
Passion for the Task and Flow
Apollo 13 Clip #2
I. Systematically, collecting fresh ideas
II. Brainstorming
“The best-known method for creativity improvement is brainstorming,..”

Brainstorming works best in an organizational culture that fosters innovation.

Creativity Challenge #1
. Practicing Creativity-Enhancing Activities
Maintaining an Enthusiastic Attitude, Including Being Happy
Apollo 13 Clip #3
Apollo 13 Clip #Final
“Our creative thinking calls for a positive attitude. We have to be hopeful. We need enthusiasm. We have to encourage ourselves to the point of self-confidence. We have to beware of perfectionism lest it be abortive.”
Establishing a Climate and Culture for Creative Thinking:
Leadership Practices for Enhancing Creativity:
“A foundation step in fostering organizational creativity is to establish a vision and mission that includes creativity.. Vision statements and mission statements set the pace, but they must be supported by the right climate, or organizational culture, and extensive use of the techniques described throughout this chapter.”
1. Empowerment including freedom to choose the method.
“… Empowering style of leadership facilitates worker creativity. Specifically, when workers are empowered they are more likely to work through the steps for creative problem solving.

2. Supervisory encouragement and linking innovation to performance.
“The most influential step a leader can take to bring about creative problem solving is to develop a permissive atmosphere that encourages people to think freely. Praising creative work is important because, for most people to sustain their passion, they must feel that their work matters to the organization. Creative ideas should be evaluated quickly rather than put through a painfully slow review process.”

3. Organizational support.
“Executives who combat excessive politics can help creative people focus on work instead of fighting political battles. In a highly political environment, a worker would be hesitant to suggest a creative idea that was a political blunder, such as replacing a product particularly liked by the CEO.”

4. Have favorable exchanges with creative workers.
“When group members have positive relationships with their manager, they may have a more relaxed mental attitude that allows the imagination to flow.”

Additional Leadership Practices That Enhance Innovation:
Ex: 1962 McDonald’s tested the Hula Burger, a cheese topped grilled pineapple on a bun for Chicago residents who chose not to eat meat on Friday. It bombed and the next year, the franchise owner invented the Filet-O-Fish – a tastier alternative for meatless Fridays. This is now a classic.
Turn as many of the blank circles as possible into recognizable objects in three minutes.
Creativity Challenge
Leadership Case Problem A “The Rapid Cash Store Needs Ideas"
1. To What Extent do you think it is Sam’s individual responsibility to furnish creative ideas for generating new business for The Rapid Cash Store?

2. In response to Greg’s comment, where should the management team look for creative ideas for enlarging the revenue of The Rapid Cash Store?

3. From the standpoint of ethics, do you think The Rapid Cash Store should stay in business? Explain your reasoning.
The End!

#1 DuBrin, A. J. (2013) Leadership: Research findings, practice, and skills (8th Edition, paper), New York, Southwestern/Cengage Learning.

#2 Kouzes, James M., and Posner, Barry Z. (2012) The Leadership Challenge (5th Edition, paper) San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.

#3 Original Prezi design template by Susan Hitchman, October 2012 (link: https://prezi.com/4uk1o8v0stni/leadership-teamwork-and-the-apollo-13-flight/)

#4 Apollo 13. Ron Howard. Universal Studios, 1995. Film.
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