Can innovation be taught? We’re not sure…
But small and large organizations can develop a shared sense of ‘creative urgency’ by stimulating the hearts, minds and eyes of their employees.
According to Lydia DePillis, the American cloud-computing company Rackspace has done just that, by hanging a series of motivational art pieces, designed by Hugh MacLeod, in their San Antonio offices. These internal messages come in the form of basic cartoon sketches, which feature clever epigrams like “believe in the future by making it first” and “if you’re just here for the paycheck, don’t expect to last long.” [See DePillis’ recently published article in the New Republic for further details and a link to the collection.]
Unlike the clichéd HR posters that usually hang in company break-rooms, MacLeod’s sketches have become creative icons for the whole organization, because they encourage everyone (from entry-level programmers to senior managers) to be agents of change, while also acknowledging the banality of work-life.
As we’ve learned over the years, good messages often possess those qualities. They’re aspirational, yet also brimming with truth. Like MacLeod’s sketches, they also tend to be complex in their simplicity, and easy to digest.
So don’t be surprised to see an ‘arty’ installation of different-sized measuring tapes hanging from our walls, the next time you visit… It seems like a good fit for us.