Creative Shift

Clay sculpting tools

This image is one of a series that I made at Ashridge when the  ADOC students worked with the amazing sculptor Kathy Iffla.  

 Kathy Iffla

Kathy had arranged for normally beautiful Monk's Barn facilitatation room to be covered with blue plastic and for each student to have a desk and a block of clay. 

The creative opportunity was to work with some of the creative issues that the particpants' doctoral work was generating in a medium that stepped back from the broadly written/spoken academic tradition.  The shift to working with clay; 3D, felt, experiential and sensual also shifted perspective and opened up new insights.  Each sculpture became it's own mini-change project as the work, under Kathy's instruction, was carried out in complete silence.

Then came a critical moment.

After a period of working on the clay, Kathy asked the particpants to move places and to work on somebody else's project.  And so here was the creative 'crunch'; what to do? Is it OK to assume ownership? How much is it OK to introduce new ideas? Surely this is someone else's 'baby'?  How attached can we afford to become this work? Who am I to mess around with someone else's stuff?

All, of course, excellent questions for anyone working with creativity and innovation in organisational change and a series of conversatons during the workshop began to develop further insight into the clay sculptures and their meaning for change practitioners.

Here are some of the incredible, sliently co-created pieces of work: