Competency: Creative Practice

Innovation 

Innovation is a key component of creativity: if there is no innovation, then there is no creativity.  To be innovative is to have ideas and contribute to, or lead, activities that have not been tried before. As a creative practitioner, innovation should be the constant driver for your work; while originality is your ultimate goal.  Consistent innovation requires a strong disciplinary base of knowledge and skills.

There are two main ways in which something can be new: a new method or a new context.  Secondly, something could be new to you, new to your client or client group, or completely new to the sector, or even the world – as far as you know!

The more of these boxes it ticks, the closer to ‘original’ your work will be.  However, behaving innovatively is not about achieving an ideal; it is about demonstrating, in all your creative practice, that you are constantly striving to be innovative and that you understand where and how your action is innovative. 

What does Innovation look like?

What we don’t want

  • Obstructions to  the innovation of others
  • Repetition of  approaches and ideas without review for a new context.

Inspiring Others

Inspiring others is about engaging others on an emotional and / or intellectually imaginative level, in a way that makes them feel positive and ready to act.

If you are demonstrating that you are inspiring others, you will be full of energy, positive and enthusiastic.  You will also be creating rapport and taking the time to understand what is important to those you want to inspire, so that you can communicate with their deeper desires and dreams. It also means setting goals that stretch yourself and others beyond what has already been achieved.

What does Inspiring Others look like?

What we don’t want

  • Negativity, lack of engagement and motivation
  • Disregard of  the dreams and aspirations of others
  • Unwillingness, over time, to move beyond what has already been achieved

Resourcefulness

Resourcefulness is having the ability to improvise and think on your feet.  While it will always be necessary to have a plan, in terms of knowing what you are aiming to achieve, being resourceful is about being flexible enough to adapt your approach to suit the circumstances you are in.

When a group is working well and actively contributing, being resourceful enables you to pick up ideas and make them work within the structure of the session or project.  When a group is volatile or unpredictable, resourcefulness allows you to change direction quickly.  Resourcefulness is also about being able to use your imagination to work with limited external resources, helping yourself and other individuals to understand the creativity of their own internal resources and thinking laterally about how to draw in additional resources

What does Resourcefulness look like?

 What we don’t want

  • Inflexible adherence to plan which is clearly not working
  • Unimaginative use of available resources ( financial, human, material, other)
  • Lack of strategic planning for resource development.

Risk-taking

Risk-taking, in this context, does not mean disregarding Health and Safety regulations!  Creative risk-taking is the willingness to try out new ideas and approaches, to explore the unexpected and unorthodox, to collaborate with new and different kinds of partners and to subvert the conventional. It means scanning for new opportunities and openings whilst testing the potential of them. In design and planning stages, creative risks can be calculated quite carefully and assessments made about their likely value;.In delivery phases, risk-taking is often much more spontaneous, requiring a swift response to context and circumstances. Although this may seem, to the outsider, as almost intuitive, it is still based firmly on professional judgement. Creative risk-taking can involve apparent ‘failure’, but in this context, failure may provide a much stronger platform for eventual success.

What does Risk-taking look like?

What we don’t want

  • Unwillingness to move beyond the tried and tested
  • Carelessness in assessment of potential ‘downsides’ of risk-taking
  • Unwillingness to learn the lessons of success and failure in risk-taking.

Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is all about approaching a task with an awareness of what is important in getting the job done correctly and completely and a commitment to following it through.

If you are demonstrating attention to detail, you will know exactly what standards are expected and will be continually checking to ensure that information, communication and presentation is accurate and up to date.  You will ensure that all aspects of a task or project have been considered and that all loose ends are dealt with before you class the activity as being complete.

What does Attention to Detail look like? 

What we don’t want

  • Task or project does not meet professional standards – inaccurate, slapdash, ill-defined , carelessly executed or not in line with policy
  • Completed task does not match up with defined outcome and expectation
  • Task is not completed – or not even started!
  • Task is poorly communicated and / or presented.

Reflective Practice

Reflective practice is about taking the time to reflect on an activity, to ensure that you have understood what you have learnt from the experience:. To identify where things have gone well – so you can repeat successes or where there is room for improvement.  It also requires the ability to identify and assess personal / professional strengths / limitations in relation to practice (one’s own and others) and develop appropriate action.

While most individuals will mull over events and draw conclusions, reflective practice is about doing this in a more structured way, perhaps by group discussion, by use of a personal learning log, through mentoring or non-managerial supervision.

What does Reflective Practice look like?

What we don’t want

  • Active resistance to opportunities for reflection
  • No learning from past failures or achievements
  • Exclusion of  participants, team members or external partners / clients from reflection processes.

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