SYSTASI Consulting has successfully elaborated the project “Provision of expert services for the elaboration of the Training Seminars & Pilot Workshops in the context of the CreaMED project: Fostering Creativity and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area as key elements for Regional Sustainable Development: CreaMED Alliance”, in the Region of Central Macedonia – GREECE.

In the context of the current economic, environmental and social crises impacting Europe and all of its regions, an alliance was constituted by several Mediterranean regions aiming to sensitize and motivate private entities (SMEs in particular, that form the backbone of the European economy) as well as public authorities (regional authorities principally) so as to comprehend the importance of creativity as pillar of innovation and sustainable socioeconomic development. This alliance is the CreaMED Alliance. CERTH, as part of this alliance, procured the present study – awarded to SYSTASI Consulting following an open competition – which aspires to alert, inform and stimulate SMEs located and/or active in the area of the region of Central Macedonia to utilize Creativity techniques as tools to enhance their innovativeness and competitiveness.

SYSTASI Consulting Project Team, composed of Ms. Foteini Psarra, Mr. George Pastiadis and Mr. Dimitris Ditsikas, along with the support of the team of selected creativity and innovation experts, Ms. Ioanna Garefi and Mr. Giorgos Gatos, organized and conducted a 3-day creativity seminars course on the 3rd , 4th and 5th of May 2012. The course was attended by representatives of 10 selected SMEs from the area of Northern Greece, operating in various secondary and tertiary sectors. The seminars aimed to introduced the participants to the notion of Creativity as leverage of Innovation as well as present them a number of different techniques on Idea Generation, Idea Evaluation and Selection, Idea Implementation and Communication.

According to testimonies made by the participants, the seminars were considered significantly important by and for the participants. They reinforced their perception of the importance of creativity on entrepreneurial level, they improved their tacit knowledge as well as their skills and competencies and finally it is anticipated that in the medium-to-long-term to have significant impacts upon the participants’ departments and organisations innovation capacity and capabilities.

After the elaboration of the creativity seminars, SYSTASI’s Project Team organized and executed a series of private pilot workshops in all companies that participated in them. The objective was to assist the companies’ personnel, especially those that did not participate in the training seminars, to appreciate the value of creativity and creativity techniques by applying them to real-life situations and thus acknowledge the benefits, restrictions and success factors of such techniques.

According to the participants’ reports, the benefits gained on company level – apart from the generation and selection of innovative and novel ideas – involved:

  • Formulation of realistic and multi-visional perspectives of companies’ problems and issues
  • Improvement of team work and open communication on interdepartmental level
  • Identification and discussion among all participants of the improvement prospects of their companies
  • Inception of use of creativity techniques as alternative means of resolving issues or producing new ideas
  • The provision of an organized framework for creative discussions, on team as well as company level, for the production of novel ideas and concepts

Overall, it was acknowledged that creativity techniques – when presented during training seminars and applied in real life situations – can help employees as well as their organisations to rethink certain issues and identify innovative and original ideas that maximize the utilization of available resources while simultaneously involves a large number of employees to the decision-making process.

For more information on the main activities performed as well as the results achieved please check the full study report.