Magazine article New Zealand Management

Kick-Starting Creativity : The a[euro]Jolta[euro] Challenge A[euro]" What Is Creativity? How Do You Inject It into the DNA of Workplace Culture in a Way That Generates Ongoing Benefit? Answering Those Questions Started a Journey thata[euro][TM]s Resulted in a Comprehensive Self-Management Training Programme Which Is Already Receiving Rave Reviews A[euro]" Though It isna[euro][TM]t Quite Finished

Magazine article New Zealand Management

Kick-Starting Creativity : The a[euro]Jolta[euro] Challenge A[euro]" What Is Creativity? How Do You Inject It into the DNA of Workplace Culture in a Way That Generates Ongoing Benefit? Answering Those Questions Started a Journey thata[euro][TM]s Resulted in a Comprehensive Self-Management Training Programme Which Is Already Receiving Rave Reviews A[euro]" Though It isna[euro][TM]t Quite Finished

Article excerpt

Byline: Vicki Jayne

For Wade Jackson, it started with improvisational theatre a[euro]" that flash fire of spontaneous, courageous and often hilarious creativity. But what began as corporate entertainment gradually morphed into a programme with more serious intent after Jackson and partner Steve Hill launched their own enquiry into the essence of comedya[euro]s creative process.

Four years on, after delving into disciplines ranging from martial arts to neuroscience, they are this month launching a nine-week training programme that has already earned plaudits from its pilot participants as well as international

experts like Stephen Covey (of Seven Habits fame).

The a[euro]Jolt Challengea[euro] is described as an a[euro]experiential self-intelligence programme designed to foster self management and leadership within an organisationa[euro]. And, in getting to the essence of creativity, it leaves very few self-management stones un-turned.

As Jackson explains, the de-construction process just kept getting bigger.

a[euro]Initially we came up with these creativity principles and storytelling and started creating experiential training using these principles. Then we realised we wanted a product rather than just the two of us doing that so we started working on a creativity programme.

a[euro]That was great but we found out that what people learned wasna[euro]t being transferred into the workplace. After a two-day programme wea[euro]d get full marks on the happy sheet, but now ita[euro]s back to work. So to create change, we realised we had to look at the whole training methodology.a[euro]

Thata[euro]s when they introduced the a[euro]time-spacea[euro] concept a[euro]" stretching the programme out and building it into the working week and organisational environment as a habit rather than a one-off a[euro]time-outa[euro] hit.

a[euro]Ia[euro]d lived in Japan for a while so was aware of the a[euro]kaizena[euro] philosophy (of continuous self-improvement) which worked in with our time-space model. We also looked at what was needed to enable creativity.

a[euro]So we started looking at value systems, whether people are in good health, issues around stress management and realised we had another programme that was about self and the need to look at self intelligence first. Once youa[euro]ve got the right mindset, creativity is a muscle you first have to believe in, then learn how to exercise.a[euro]

The resulting programme now consists of a book, a work journal, nine weekly 90-minute sessions with a facilitator (who introduces learning that can then be practised through specific exercises), and a measurement component including an online Self Assessment Module (SAM) and interviews.

The book grew to over 305 pages ranging through relaxation techniques and nutrition, to mind science and belief systems, while the accompanying journal incorporates some 150 tools to help build skills that are as useful in peoplea[euro]s private lives as much as in their working ones.

Its impact, says Jackson, incorporates the a[euro]big 3a[euro] areas of participantsa[euro] lives a[euro]" health, wealth and relationships.

a[euro]Ita[euro]s a bit like the body-for-life model in terms of giving you a recipe, if you like, for introducing these self-improvement skills into everyday life a[euro]" only ita[euro]s more for the mind. If you read this information, do these exercises and use these tools, you cana[euro]t help but create positive change for yourself.a[euro]

a[euro]Jolta[euro] has already been trialled a[euro]" it was introduced to North Shore City Council as part of its workplace wellness programme and into Westpac with the specific aim of melding two a[euro]siloeda[euro] teams into one unit. Westpaca[euro]s Auckland regional manager, consumer banking, Jason Stephens is positive about its influence.

He says ita[euro]s knocked down previously strong silos and generated a[euro]reala[euro] conversations for a[euro]the benefit of our customers, staff and financial resultsa[euro]. …

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