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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Stan Gryskiewicz, January 15, 1999. Interview S-0017. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Developing a creativity division

Gryskiewicz describes the work he did at the Center for Creative Leadership following his return from London, where he completed his Ph.D. in 1976. Gryskiewicz describes in detail here how he worked to develop a creativity division in the late 1970s and early 1980s, discussing the various forms that division took, ranching from Innovations and Creativity Applications and Research (ICAR) and Research and Development Management Information Simulation (RADMIS).

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Stan Gryskiewicz, January 15, 1999. Interview S-0017. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

Tell me about you come back from London and begin to move very directly into an effort to launch a whole bunch of creativity work.
Right. That was Campbell again. Campbell said, "Okay, you're back." And he said, "I know what happens when you come back from sabbatical, you can't go back to doing the same thing you were doing." And I said, "Yeah, that's true. It's going to be difficult to go back into the classroom to just do the Leadership Development Program." So where I [unclear] the module on creativity still in that and was hiring other people to help with that, he asked me to set up a creativity program. So I'm not very creative. I first called it the Creativity Development. And there was a leadership development division. Then we developed a creativity of the division. But then the real break came when I was able to hire—we had about 12 to 17 people in the group that we called ICAR. And that happened in the 80's that we moved from this original stuff that Campbell said, "Okay, you're working your Ph.D. You're about to finish it. Know that when you finish it, you're going to start this whole creativity division." So there was this preliminary work, talking, strategizing around that. And when I finished the Ph.D., he said go for it. And eventually that Creativity Development Program, Creativity Development Division became ICAR, which is Innovations and Creativity Applications and Research. So the ICAR title ran and that's where we really grew our work. And our work early on was on my dissertation Targeted Innovation, which is a creative problem solving course. We then took it to a course that we called Creative Leadership for R & D managers. And it was essentially a leadership development program but in the middle, we had a new simulation for R & D people in an R & D setting called RADMIS. We developed a simulation called RADMIS. We also marketed it just to managers in R & D settings so they could be around other scientists. We thought there was a market niche so we went after those people. There was a man named Jim Bruce. Has that name surfaced yet?
Jim Bruce was head of R & D at Kodak and left after Kodak's retirement, spent a year or two here on sabbatical or transition. And he was a friend of Kenneth Clark's. And he sat in on one of our early programs and also had been through LDP. So his idea was you need something here that's going to keep the R & D people interested. So he proposed developing a simulation. And RADMIS stood for Research And Development Management Information Simulation.
Okay, so it's i-s.
So that was the RADMIS program. He developed it and used a programmer from RIT, Rochester Institute of Technology, where he lived. And we simply had a computerized simulation where project teams would work together five to six people to get a new product to market. And in a four hour simulation, they ran through a two year product development cycle. And while they were doing this, we were observing them. There was an observer who was looking for team interaction, individual behavior. And at times, we knew that that program, the computer program, different probes would appear of problems. We call the probes which would say things are going well, but did you know... And we would see how groups would handle it. So the observer knew that okay, it's about two hours into the simulation, they're about to get probe number one. Let's see how they'll handle it. Some groups would take two minutes and make the decision and move on. Some groups would take the rest just to try to handle the probe. And we would then take that apart as the feedback setting. How did you handle this? What was going on with the group? Here's some videotapes. And in fact, we knew when the probe was about to come so we would turn on the videotape and then we would go back and watch it. And so the observer became the feedback giver in the afternoon, the process person in the afternoon. So there were two days of content and of course content they would need to use in the simulation which took place on Wednesday. And then you know what? It was a full day simulation. And then Thursday was the process feedback day. And then Friday was the goal-setting day. So that moved along nicely but then we decided that maybe we should—the research project—really if we wanted to included development in that and not just researchers, we needed to change the name of the course and we went into the market with a new name, with some little market research. But we decided to call it From Idea to Market Entry, FIME. And we then extended the market niche that we thought should be present and sold that for a couple years. So that was another course besides [unclear] that we taught.