Enter Our Workplace Creativity Contest!

Enter our Workplace Creativity Contest and get a chance to win one free spot in my 4 day retreat at Hollyhock. Also, books, CD’s and other great prizes.

Email us a poem, short story, art work, or photo of the creative environment in which you work. Or tell us about décor your workplace created, or an innovative initiative to bring in more business, or to better service your clients, or something fun and creative that brought your team together, or anything that helped inspire a culture of creativity in your workplace.

Send it by July 31st, 2009. Winners announced by August 15th. Entries can be sent to me at Carla [at] ArtistryofChange [dot] com.

See below for examples.


Workplace Creativity Contest
Deadline for Submission – July 31, 2009

Here are some examples of workplace creativity:

1.   Hakia
2.   Motely Fool
3.   Google
4.   W.L. Gore & Associates
5.   Whole Foods
6.   BC Ministry of Children & Family Services

1. In the Manhattan offices of the search engine Hakia.com, employees can express themselves on blank canvases that hang on the walls.

2. At the offices of Motley Fool, a financial Web site, workers can unwind through a couple of networked Xboxes hooked up to a 5-foot plasma screen in a dedicated game room.

“Work has changed from being something you do with your hands to something you do in your head,” the New York Post quoted Alexander Kjerulf, author of ‘Happy Hour is 9 to 5,’ as saying.

“This means that how people feel at work is now terribly important, because you do better head-work when you’re happy,” he added.

3. Leading the ‘Fun at Workplace’ concept are the dot-coms, best among them Google, which got the top spot on Fortune’s “Best Places to Work” list this year, for its impressive perks such as game rooms that offer diversions like billiards, PlayStation, pingpong and foosball.

4. After rigorous evaluation Fast Company magazine finally voted W.L. Gore & Associates as the most innovative company in America. You’ve no doubt heard of its most famous product: Gore-Tex fabrics, which have a transparent plastic coating that makes them waterproof and windproof but keeps them breathable. They also make over 1000 different other products such as synthetic blood vessels, Glide dental floss, the first floss that resisted shredding, and its Elixir guitar strings, which last five times longer than normal strings. Yet, Gore’s uniqueness comes from being as innovative in its operating principles as it is in its diverse product lines. For example, they encourage risk taking. Since they are a privately owned company they don’t have to report their quarterly earnings, thus they happily allocate 10% of their resources to new initiatives and allow anyone in the company who wants to try a new initiative a generous amount of resources to develop it. Of course, some of those initiatives fail, but they expect that. And, when Gore people pull the plug on a failing initiative, they’ll still have a “celebration” with beer or champagne, just as they would if it had been a success. Because they know that lowers stress and validates trying new things.

5. Whole foods market ranked 15 in 2007 in Fortune magazine’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. It’s mainly for their management processes and practices. That’s one reason why no competitor has matched the performance of Whole Foods Market, which has grown during the past 25 years to 161 stores. While other grocery chains have been slashing costs to fend off Wal-Mart, Whole Foods has been rapidly evolving an extraordinary retail model– one that already delivers the highest profits per square foot in the industry. John Mackey, the company¹s founder and CEO, says his goal was to “create an organization based on love instead of fear” and describes Whole Foods as a “community working together to create value for other people.

The basic organizational unit isn’t the store but small teams that manage departments such as fresh produce, prepared foods, and seafood. Managers consult teams on all store-level decisions and grant them a degree of autonomy that is nearly unprecedented in retailing. Each team decides what to stock and can veto new hires. Giving them this kind of responsibility seems to engender much more a creative working environment rather than a stressed out one. Partly because they have control over the decisions.