Is the concept of a Creative Hive entirely new? Answer: of course not! This is because there have always been organizations and communities where many of the universal components of the Creative Tribe exist. Indeed, across centuries these communities have provided human civilization many creative dimensions of betterment for its survival and success (and in a variety of situations across time, their absence has lead to demise, disease and despair).
Accordingly, many organizations exhibiting and even radiating Creative Hive traits continue to exist within our geographic and industry communities today. Sometimes you can find surprising departmental or "cloistered group" examples within organizations that you'd least expect, but they are often well-hidden and sometimes necessarily protected from the common view (..maybe even in your own organization or ecosystem?).
Who might they be and where might we find them? If you do not know where to begin your search, please read again the Characteristics of a Creative Hive. Then consider: “who must have many or all of these components in place to exist or thrive as a community?” As you do so, many examples may readily come to your mind:
• Thriving advertising agencies, especially those who are the most highly respected for ground-breaking deliverables.
• Productive engineering groups, especially those constantly challenged with solving the most daunting problems.
• Healthy research communities, in almost any context of aggressive scientific discovery.
• Quality “think tanks” of about any type.
• Case-breaking crime investigators, forensic specialists and auditors, ranging from homicide and arson to SEC infractions and embezzlement.
• Product design firms.
• Counter-terrorism or intelligence experts.
• Well regarded architectural practice firms.
• Astute risk-management communities.
• TV sitcom writers, creators of movie screenplay, playwright, set design or special effects communities.
• “Skunk Work” settings, such as those that create aviation or military apparatus.
• Bellwether software and game development teams.
• In some cases, those activities found in true entrepreneurial efforts, including the players in some new venture capitalist portfolios.
• Theme park venue or toy designers.
• Within groups assigned to discovery, experimentation or construction aimed to new territories having hostile conditions, such as those in outer space, of sustainable deep sea oil exploration, creating better polar living experiences or those breaking new ground in validating theoretical physics.
• Cutting edge explorers in paradigm-shifting technologies such as "nano" manufacturing, quantum computing and genetically-based pharmaceuticals.
Of course this list can go on. Are any of these perfect benchmarks or baselines for your Creative Hive? Perhaps not. Can those listed benefit in their own thinking by adopting Creative Hive principles to their situation? I believe so.
Nevertheless, each entity listed above and your own thoughtful additions may reveal strong clues to guide your thinking in areas such as organizational design, processes, behaviors, leadership traits, systems, communications and other enabling mechanisms to directly aid you and advance your own Creative Hive architecture.
How do you begin to accurately assess those special traits they all have in order to thrive?
Once more, read again "Characteristics of a Creative Hive" to direct your attention.
Answering two vital questions related to a comparison between your organization and those on the above list may be even more important to your investigation and learning:
1. What factors do these communities have in place that my organization tends to resist, or has not considered having, installing and sustaining?
2. What factors do these communities NOT have in place, or what do they strive to prevent, that my organization tends to accept, perpetuate and promote, or we have not reduced or eliminated all together?
Note: the last question is of equal, or much greater, importance to the first question!
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