Discussion: Shared Practice: Harnessing the Creativity of Your Team
There may come a time when you have to lead an important effort or initiative in your organization. This week’s Discussion puts you in such a place where you are asked to work with a team to develop an innovative customer loyalty program. The challenge is to develop a plan that lays out a process whereby the team has the support necessary to create ideas, evaluate solutions, and implement an innovative program. As you consider the steps you will take to develop your plan, recall the ten fatal flaws that can derail leaders outlined by Zenger and Folkman (2009) and the ways leaders can inhibit creativity discussed by Amabile and Steven (2012). Be sure to keep these in mind as you create your course of action.
Imagine that you have been hired recently as a new manager of an auto-dealership that sells new and pre-owned vehicles. You work for Kendrick Auto Group, which own 27 dealerships in the region. The owner has tasked you with experimenting at your dealership to create a new, effective, and unique customer loyalty program. The current loyalty program is merely imitative of other competitor programs and the owners see an opportunity to create a distinctive organizational strategy that will separate their dealerships from those of the competitors.
As the manager of the dealership, your staff includes sales consultants who show vehicles to potential commercial and individual buyers, financial staff who assist buyers with payment plans, extended warranties, maintenance plans, and loans, and parts and service technicians who help repair and maintain vehicles on the lot and purchased by customers.
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 3
Post an organized plan for how you intend to employ the creativity of your staff to create a new and innovative customer loyalty program. (Note: Your plan should not describe a customer loyalty program such as an extended warranty or a maintenance plan. You do not need to develop the plan for the loyalty program.) The idea is to develop a team with a diversity of creative thinking styles from your staff (ideators, clarifiers, developers, and implementers). Be sure to include:
- How you would bring a team together and lead them to start such an initiative.
- The tools that you have used in this course (design thinking, creative-thinking styles, etc.) to get your team to leave its comfort zone and begin to generate potential ideas. Explain how the thinking style diversity or lack thereof of your team could potentially help or impede the plan.
- The techniques you and the team could use to filter/evaluate potential ideas (divergent/convergent thinking) to create a viable customer loyalty program strategy.
Use the resources from this week and from throughout the course to support your plan.