Guest Commentator: Alicia Karr, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Meyer @MeyerDesignInc

How have you harnessed the creative process to encourage problem solving in your team?

Being a design firm, Meyer harnesses the creative process every day to plan, design and bring to life engaging environments. After completing the Arts + Business Council’s CreativeXchange program, it was apparent the creative process needed to push beyond the design side of our business into the administrative and operational areas.

The organizational chart turned out to be the perfect place to visually illustrate this new approach.  We changed our organizational chart from the traditional hierarchical structure to a circular format.  The creative process is inherently circular.  This may seem like a subtle change, but it isn’t.  It was a message to our people that the creative process would be infused throughout our organization.  Communication, collaboration, and inclusion would be the norm and not the exception.

Whether one is reevaluating a benefits package, revamping the review process or investigating a new software, the expectation is to explore, expand the idea, seek different perspectives and refine.  Then repeat as many times as necessary to ultimately arrive at a result that surpasses one achieved on your own.

When people are talented, they can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking they don’t need anyone else.  It’s easier and faster to do it on their own.  One of my favorite quotes right now is “Talent wins games but teamwork wins championships.”  The creative process is about utilizing every member of your team to their highest ability to achieve a maximum result.

Applying the creative process to our entire organization has created a place and a space for the union of business and design.  A respect between the linear and circular thinker.


Alicia is a graduate of the Arts + Business Council’s Creative Exchange leadership and design-thinking training program. Led by Philadelphia’s top creative minds and art-makers, Creative Exchange takes both individuals and teams through the creative process to maximize problem solving, increase engagement at work, and master the art of innovation.

Applications are now open to participate in the 2020 class of Creative Exchange.