Creative Together: A New Framework for Collaborative Innovation

IRI Podcast episode on Creativity & Innovation

In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing landscape, the ability to innovate is critical. In fact, according to one Accenture survey, 84% of executives considered their future success to be “very” or “extremely” dependent on innovation! But innovation is not something that happens “on-demand” – it’s something that must be nurtured, encouraged and given space to grow, in an environment that values the true source of innovation: creativity. Today, we’re joined by Steven Kowalski, author of Creative Together: Sparking Innovation in the New World of Work! Here, he explains:

  • The difference between creativity and innovation;
  • How Creative Disruption Disorder can impact your ability to innovate;
  • Why engaging in the GIFTED Methodology can help you connect with your creative potential; and .
  • How leaders can help foster creativity within their teams!

If you prefer to read along while you listen, we've done all the hard work for you! We listened back to this episode and took notes below, and access is free! 


Creativity & Innovation

  • Innovation is a form of creative result that yields new value.
  • Creativity and innovation are not synonymous.
    • Creativity precedes innovation, and imagination preceds creativity.
    • Creativity can yield results that don’t delivery new value, but if new value is created, then innovation has been acheived. 
  • Sometimes creation and innovation are necessary in order to face new challenges, and sometimes they are a strategy for achieving new desires and aspiration.
  • Creativity is our natural potential to create solutions to the problems we face. 
  • The spark to creativity is purpose.
  • Creativity is about “dancing in the intersection” of purpose, possibility, and constraint. 


Get all the notes, links, tips, tricks and most important content from this episode - for free!

By signing up you agree to our terms

The Three Adventures of Creativity

  • The Three Adventures of Creativity are designed as a journey to connecting with creative potential.
  • Adventure #1: Rewriting the story of who we are as creators.
    • Understanding where we are in our creative journey.
  • Adventure #2: Create more effectively with others.
    • Taking the benefits from Adventure #1 out into the world and becoming a more effective co-creator.
    • Shaping and changing creative style as necessary.
    • Juggling the needs/wants of one with those of the collective.
  • Adventure #3: Practicing conscious creativity on a daily basis.
    • Conscious creativity can become second nature. 

The GIFTED Methodology

  • Greeting the unknown with passion.
  • Igniting creative potential.
  • Flexing your “superpowers”.
  • Thriving in co-creation.
  • Experimenting in the “swamp”
  • Daring to dream big.

Creative Disruption Disorder

  • Creative disruption disorder describes a condition in which a person is out of touch with their creative potential.
    • Everybody has some level of creative disruption disorder.
  • Creative disruption disorder can be overcome with conscious creativity.
    • Conscious creativity is using your creative potential with both intention and attention. 
      • Intention: being precise with the goal(s) of creative efforts.
      • Attention: actively observing how creative efforts are working.

The Role of Leadership in Creativity

  • Managers and leaders need to understand that creativity is something that must be fostered.
    • Managers have the ability to influence what is possible by not giving enough creative freedom.
    • Managers may also demand innovation without realizing what is required for it.
      • Asking for innovation is asking people to step into the unknown.
    • Helping people focus their creativity, providing enough breathing room for experimentation, and clearly communicating the critieria for new ideas are all crucial roles managers play in fostering creativity.

Steven Kowalski Background

  • Ph.D. in Education & organizational Learning from the University of California, Los Angeles
  • MA in Applied Psychology from the University of Santa Monica
  • BA in Fine Arts & Semiotics from Brown University
  • He began his career as Finance Director for the University of Santa Monica
  • He worked as a Senior Manager with Arthur Anderson in the UK
  • Mr. Kowalski served as the President of Creative Licensing Consulting Services
  • He currently serves as the Principal, Development Excellence Lead for Genentech
  • He is the author of Creative Together: Sparking Innovation in the New World of Work


Buy the book


Subscribe & Review The ProjectHR Podcast!

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of ProjectHR. If the information in our weekly conversations and interviews have helped you in your business journey, please head over to wherever you get your podcasts and subscribe to the show. We'd also love it if you left us a five-star review! Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver great, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more amazing professionals just like you!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email