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A few months ago, before I knew I got accepted to an MBA in AGSM , I decided to leave my job and entered a phase where most of what I did was job interviews. Most of us know this horrible drill, and for me, due to my characteristics, it was even harder. I feel really uncomfortable in situations where there is a need for artificial conversations and when it involves new people it extra difficult for me. So interviewing for new jobs is a really hard process for me.
However, one interview actually was a great lesson. It was an interview with a company called SIT (Systematic inventive Thinking). I think the interview was different than other interviews and was conducted in a much easier atmosphere, but the reason I remember it as lesson is to the fact that my preparation for it was different. If you click on the link and visit the site you will discover a very interesting website. I spent something like an hour there before the interview learning about the company and its methods.
As I explain in my E-book, “Playing It to Excellence and Happiness in Real Life – Five Concepts I Learned by Playing Basketball, Working and just Living”, I believe in the power of processes. I think that if you find good processes and stick to them, while improving them, you can reach excellent results. What I like in the SIT method is that it treats creativity and innovation not as a “eureka moment” but at as the result of a systematic process. By limiting the creativity using a process you actually create more creativity. This resembles Malcolm Gladwell‘s Idea in his speech at the New Yorker conference, “Genius: 2012” that “13 smart guys are better than one genius in dealing with modern problems”. Today’s great ideas and solutions are the result of a process of many people working together or one after another.
The great thing about the interview and the preparation is that I actually learned (although in a limited fashion) to think with some of the tools that SIT uses: Attribute Dependency, division, multiplication, subtraction, task unification. I actually used that thinking to offer improvements for my last employer. I keep learning to do so by following the SIT blog.
That interview got me more interested in innovation and creativity. In the past I used to think that I was not a creative man. As time passed I understood that there are many ways to be creative and that I am creative in my own way and on my own areas of strength. Now, I keep looking for processes that foster innovation. This is why when I got the book called “The impossible – Possible!” by Yarin Kimor a present before coming to Australia, I was really excited. The book is filled with great stories about innovation and especially with great processes that help foster innovation.
One story in the book got me thinking. It tells about a man who had no training but got to be the manager of a large supermarket which was losing half a million dollar. After a few months he created a profit of 3 million dollars. When the writer of the book asked him what he did, he told him that because he knew nothing about managing a supermarket he just went into every department and asked the person working there what was his ideas to improve the place were. After that person told him that, he told him or her: “just do it”. We can find ideas and creativity in many places. When was the last time you asked your team, in unbiased way – what do you think we should change around here? You would be surprised by the answers you will receive.