The Creativity Playbook

Ottawa County is one of the fastest growing counties in Michigan that attracts and retains a talented and diverse workforce, supported by a County staff that meets needs and exceeds expectations. By understanding and regularly using Kata or design thinking tools and methods in our daily work, we will put people first in our efforts to deliver high quality services that meet actual needs in our communities.

This Creativity Playbook is a repository of information designed to promote collaboration and innovation in the workplace. It consist of both Kata and Design Thinking plays.  The Design Thinking plays can be followed as a full process or individually as needed to help teams get “unstuck”.

Kata - Illustration from Toyota Kata by Mike Rother

Kata is the practical four-step model of scientific thinking and acting, for achieving challenging goals. It makes continuous improvement through the scientific problem-solving method of plan, do, check, act (PDCA) a daily habit.


The Ottawa Process for Design Thinking

Ottawa County has studied Design Thinking models developed by universities, businesses, and nonprofits. Using these models as a starting point Ottawa County has designed a process to help teams solve problems more creatively and collaboratively.

The Ottawa County Design Thinking Process  is an invitation to experiment with a new way of working collaboratively. We hope it inspires you to approach challenges differently and adds a new perspective to your work.

When do we use Kata or Design Thinking?

There is no right or wrong answer to which methodology is best used to solve a problem.  Click here for additional information.

Design Thinking in Action

Innovation Categories

Inspiration Plays focus on vision, goals, and purpose. They’re great for getting started or getting unstuck.

Brainstorming plays make lists of ideas in response to challenges and opportunities.

Perspective plays help team members think of a project from a different person’s point of view.

Decision-Making plays focus on clarifying ideas, hypothesis, or assumptions in order to move a project forward.

Planning plays help teams produce a concrete tool to help them with project structure, planning, or organization.

Prototyping plays focus on developing a product, and usually rely on one or more previous plays to come together.

“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.”
 —William Pollard

Featured Resources on Innovation in the Workplace

A Resource for Innovation & Collaboration

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