LCD Model

Our research focuses on the factors and processes affecting creativity. Our LCD model for creativity, shown below, underpins our approach on how to cultivate creativity in organisations. LCD stands for Listen, Connect and Do. It builds on the ideas of design thinking by Kelley and Kelley (2013), Theory U by Scharmer (2009), as well as that of Csikszentmihalyi (1996), Amabile (1996) and Tan (2013).

The LCD model puts a person’s ‘state of being’ at the centre of the approach and highlights how it underpins other key aspects of creativity including listening, connecting, and doing. We define ‘state of being’ as the emotional, mental and physiological condition of a person. A key factor that affects a person’s state of being is purpose, as this has impact on their intrinsic motivation, engagement and perseverance.

Listen: In our LCD model, listening implies listening to (and observing) others as well as to our own selves, i.e. being open, aware, and attentive to our own ‘state of being’ as well as to that of others. This builds on the ideas of empathy and being aware of the feelings, needs and concerns of others to help gain new creative insights, as well as the ideas of reflection and gaining feedback from people on ideas being developed.

Connect: This is about engaging with others and being open to connecting with people we haven’t previously considered connecting with. Our concept of connecting again brings in the aspect of being self-aware of our own emotional, mental and physiological condition while connecting with others, and being open, aware, and attentive to new ideas and opportunities.

Do: Our concept of doing is about taking action, exploring, experimenting and prototyping, but doing so while being mindful of our own ‘state of being’. This relates to the ideas of play – play gives people permission to explore ideas in a non-linear manner including the exploration of ideas that might seem totally unrelated to the challenge at hand.

The LCD model not only focuses on listening, connecting and doing with a person’s ‘state of being’ at the centre but also emphasises the importance of the dynamic movement between these aspects. The symbol of a ‘non-trivial’ trefoil knot for the LCD model conveys that it is not possible to untie the different elements – each element is indelibly linked to the other.

More details on the LCD Model are given in Loudon and Deininger (2014) – see recent publications below.


  • Amabile, T.M., Conti, R., Coon, H., Lazenby, J. and Herron, M. (1996): Assessing the Work Environment for Creativity, The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 39, No. 5, October, pp. 1154-1184.
  • Csíkszentmihályi, M. (1996): Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, New York: Harper Collins.
  • Kelley, T. and Kelley, D. (2013): Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All, New York: Harper Collins.
  • Scharmer, C.O. (2009) Theory U: Learning from the Future as It Emerges, Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  • Tan, C.M. (2012): Search Inside YourselfIncrease Productivity, Creativity and Happiness, London: Harper Collins.

Recent Publications