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In 2013, when I was working as the head of Creativity and Innovation at Pernod Ricard Winemakers and studying for my Master of Science in Creativity and Change Leadership, I spearheaded a pilot for a creative leadership school which we called the TH!NK Creative Leadership Lab (TH!NK). The pilot was so successful that it became an annual program that ran for the four years while I remained with the business.
Annually, 25 of our senior leaders in the Asia Pacific region were trained in the mindset, toolset and skillsets required for Creative Problem Solving. TH!NK addressed personal and professional transformation and all the training was applied to real-life problems in the business generating innovation as an output.
Th!nk was a key pillar in a series of initiatives to integrate creativity at every level of the business to achieve the company’s goal of being an industry leader in innovation. While its output was innovation, its purpose was to create enduring cultural change by transforming people from managers to creative leaders who, in turn, can build creative teams. This results in a more innovative and dynamic company where everyone is responsible for driving innovation.
Some quotes from participants are:
“Th!nk allowed us to unlock a complex business issue we had been tackling for some time. Really showed the power of creativity and what you get thinking differently.” Customer Marketing Manager
“I have always thought I wasn’t creative, but I have completely changed my mind and now have a new view on my potential. Th!nk also gave us time to focus on a valid business challenge in a new creative way.” Corporate Finance Manager
“From the first day there were tools that could be easily implemented into day to day business. I found myself challenging those around me… Saying, “How might we make this work?” Strategy Development Manager
In 2014, the company was featured in BRW Australia’s Most Innovative Companies list as a result of the program.