Embracing the Creative in a Tech-Philic World

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FountainBlue’s Feb 25 Front Line Managers Online meeting on the topic of ‘Embracing the Creative in a Tech-Philic World’. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation:  

  • as a People Leader – Tammy Sanders, Lam Research
  • as a Product and Business Leader – Mariah Manzano, Cisco

Our panelists spoke eloquently about how their earliest experiences helped them to be more divergent and creative thinkers, decision-makers and problem-solvers, and how they applied these skills to their day-to-day lives in a world with many technologists. Below is a compilation of their best practices:

Be a Leader

  • Accept that there will be mandates and milestones and diligently push through to accomplish these tasks. But also make it fun to do so, drawing on the ideas of the full community.
  • Ask probing questions which make yourself and others think more broadly and more openly so everyone is more likely to embrace new ideas and suggestions.
  • Conduct scenario planning with clear guidelines and invite creative input within those constraints.
  • Align to the core values of the individuals, teams and organization.
  • Liberally invite creativity, but ensure that the ideas are ethical, practical, and respectful.

It Takes a Community

  • Invite participation from a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Make sure that everyone feels included, empowered and involved, and make it safe for them to contribute.
  • Feel and express gratitude for everyone’s contributions. 

Be Open-Minded

  • Be curious about the things that make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Be empathetic and supportive when divergent ideas are offered.
  • Believe that you too can be creative, even if you ARE an engineer.
  • Humanize the metrics.
  • Just because it’s always done like this, it should be done this way, it’s never worked before doesn’t mean that it’s not what’s needed to solve a problem, make a decision, etc.,

Speak to Your Audience

  • Adopt the voice of the user.
  • Communicate in pictures.
  • Have a basic understanding of technical concepts and the technical world.

The bottom line is that we should embrace the creatives within and around us, for they can be key business and cultural attributes for tech companies.


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