Creative Organisation Map


THE CREATIVE ORGANISATION MAP is a methodological tool for organisations to diagnose, (self)evaluate and develop purposeful creativity, discover opportunities and make plans.

The Creative Organisation Map helps:

  • The organisation’s team to study and evaluate their work and raise meaningful questions on how to improve it;
  • Highlight the challenges faced by managers and employees of the organisation;
  • Evaluate the efficiency of team collaboration;
  • Understand how the organisation’s team listens to the feedback and expectations of their audience and community, and how it is reflected in their work.
A creative cultural organisation – what is it like?

Over six years of partnerships with dozens of different cultural organisations, we have found that a large part of the challenges and professional development needs we typically have to address are related to creativity and the creative side of running the organisation. This competence, capacity and practice is essential for an organisation to be able to rethink its mission and goals, identify and respond to challenges, design and implement new ways of working, build strong relationships with audiences and mobilise communities.

When we talk about creativity, we mean not only artistic creativity that takes place within an organisation. We understand organisational creativity as consistent, purposeful actions of the whole team, including both managers and employees, in exploring, generating ideas, and acting and reflecting on them. It is a continuous process involving the organisation’s entire team.

By creative professionals for creative professionals

The Creative Organisation Map is unique in that it has been developed by an international team of culture and art professionals. It is a process that involves various exploratory methods, games, visual aids and creative practices, designed and adapted specifically for the cultural field. This distinguishes it from other kinds of competence development, training and change management programmes and tools that can be applied in any organisation. The research and change planning process in organisations is facilitated by experienced creative practitioners from various fields. 

We have observed the need for creativity emerging as organisations shut down during the pandemic. They had to rethink how the world was changing, how much they were needed by the people who were no longer able to come and experience them. What can a museum or library do to become the place that people miss the most? Not a sports club or a shopping centre but a cultural venue. These were the questions that led us, together with our partners, to create the Creative Organisation Map for cultural organisations. It helps review activities and consider how a creative organisation should operate.

- Rita Naujokaitytė, curator of the Art of Openness programme
How does Creative Organisation Map work?

The team of the cultural organisation, with the support of Kūrybinės Jungtys practitioners, explores and evaluates its activities from the following points of view: 

  • How the organisation deals with audiences and communities;
  • How the organisation’s managers operate;
  • How the organisation’s employees perform.

The organisation views and questions its activities through the lens of the creative organisation’s life cycle:

What stuck with participants

Here are some insights from participants who have tried the Creative Organisation Map:

Participants can clearly identify where they want to improve and creatively explore how to put it into practice.

While exploring the Creative Organisation Map, we found that the most challenging part was the ‘reflection’ section. It helped us identify the most things to do, both in terms of thinking about the audiences we work for, and within the library itself (at staff and management level). The map was a good starting point for naming problems, providing a basis that helped us elaborate on the issues in subsequent sessions, plot our processes and possible models, and look for solutions. 

- Panevėžys County Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Public Library employee

The Creative Organisation Map helped identify problematic areas where the organisation should focus its attention. We focused on these areas in the following Art of Openness sessions.

- Jolita Balandytė, head of Menų Spaustuvė.

Participants explore their organisation in depth from multiple perspectives.

Oftentimes you can become lost in your routine, but the tool and the programme made us stop and analyse. The biggest challenge and greatest advantage was that it shook things up from the inside.

- Jolita Balandytė, head of Menų Spaustuvė.

The participants open up to themselves and their audiences.

Interestingly, having the Map in front of their eyes the whole time, the participants start to think not only about openness to audiences but also about openness to each other. The participants noted that the Map had helped them internalise and think more often about including all parts of the process in the plans, without leaving out exploration and reflection. 

- Birutė Bikelytė, illustrator, Kūrybinės Jungtys practitioner.
Creators of the Map

The Map was created by a team of professionals and practitioners: Milda Laužikaitė and Rita Naujokaitytė (Kūrybinės Jungtys association), and Greg Klerkx (Nimble Fish, United Kingdom).