PMI New Jersey Chapter
PMINJ 2009 Sunday Seminar


Sunday Seminar

03 May 2009

Edison, NJ - Pines Manor

Creativity for Project Managers

For Sunday Seminar:
Speaker Bio
Agenda - 4 PDUs
Copy of Presentation

For Monday Symposium


Dr. Oliver Schlake



“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” 

Albert Einstein’s famous quote comes to mind in this challenging business climate. Instead of going “back to basics”, project managers must instead seek new and innovative ways to get the job done – often with tighter deadlines, fewer people, and a constricted budget. Therefore, creative problem solving is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for project managers to stay on time and on budget. 

There are many benefits to employ creativity in managing projects: 
  • beating deadlines by redesigning established processes
  • improving employee motivation and retention when they can be part of a creative process
  • finding outside-the-box solutions for critical problems
  • better career opportunities for creative project managers due to more challenging (and creativity requiring) assignments.
But creativity is not an on-demand service. It is essential for project managers to understand obstacles to creativity and how to overcome them, learn and practice creativity techniques, and learn from best-practices of leading creative organizations. Ultimately, the workshop gives answers to the question: 

“Does more creativity in managing projects pay off?”

The workshop consists of three modules: 

Module 1 explores why creativity matters for project managers and how they can benefit from more creativity. The workshop participants explore the process of creative problem solving, which both helps to overcome organizational inertia and fights off the “corporate immune system”, which in turn prevents new ideas from hatching. 

Module 2 introduces several techniques on how to infuse more creativity into projects. It includes manual and electronic mind mapping to visually roadmap complex projects, turning task lists into meaningful assignments for team members using storytelling and employing open innovation techniques to find better creative solutions outside the organization. 

Module 3 focuses on strategies to build and sustain a creative project management culture. Participants will learn management techniques to better manage “creative types”, how to avoid killing creativity – and productivity along with it, and how to reward for creativity within the scope of managing projects.
The modules are supported by several hands-on exercises, ready-to-use worksheets and checklists as well as “best practices” stories from well-known and not-so-well-known companies around the world. The design of the workshop is interactive and participants gain more insight through active participation and sharing of experiences.

Dr. Oliver Schlake is a Tyser Teaching Fellow and full-time faculty member at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park, a senior business consultant, entrepreneur and researcher. He is also the Faculty Director for the Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Fellows Program, and teaches courses in Strategy Implementation, Industry and Competitor Analysis, Corporate Venturing, Entrepreneurship, and Creativity for Business Leaders.

As a strategic advisor and management consultant, he specializes in business foresight and innovative strategy design, helping organizations and individuals better respond to uncertainty, change and complexity with innovative, flexible and future robust strategies.

Oliver’s current research interest is in the field of scenario planning, business foresight, innovation strategy and entrepreneurship. His work on collaborative scenario-planning is known worldwide, and the "Scenario Management" he developed has been adopted by Siemens, Deutsche Telekom, Metso and UPM (both Finland) at the core of their planning processes.  He has authored and co-authored four books and more than 60 journal publications on long-term strategic planning, technology management and business intelligence. 

Oliver earned a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Paderborn’s “Heinz Nixdorf Institute”, Germany where also earned his Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and in Business Management. Prior to joining the Robert H. Smith School of Business in January 2006, Oliver was Assistant Professor for E-Business and Business Strategy at National University, San Diego.


PDP Information

Registration: 12:00
Start: 1:00
Break: 3:00
End: 5:00 (4 PDUs)

Program Number: C020-03052009
Program Title: Creativity for Project Managers
PDUs: 4
Category Type: 3 
Subject Areas 
Knowledge: 10 
Process: 6 
Application/Specific Interest Groups: 30 
Activity Sponsor: PMINJ Chapter - C020

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