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Creativity in Action: Using the TAPE Framework

The one universal principal that I use as a Creativity and Growth Executive Coach is to implement small experiments and build inexpensive prototypes. And as a leader, I naturally fall into "authentic" leadership, so I practice creativity in the development of my own coaching and consulting business. Over the past month, I've been writing about the TAPE Framework that looks at creativity as a strategy through the intersection of actions and connections in both individuals and organizations. When actions and connections intersect, growth happens.

Phase 1: Hypothesis, Ideate, Data Set. The TAPE Framework started with a hypothesis based on 30 years of working in the creative sector, followed by survey data, interviews, and ideation. Using experience and data, I sketched out a visual prototype and experimented in how to incorporate survey results with visualization. I kept it simple and tactile, using a small amount of data and sample set hand-picked to represent both early adopters and late adopters in the creativity and growth sector. By doing so you develop a larger potential bell curve of usage.


Phase 2: Expand the Pie, Analyze, Articulate. As a SBA THRIVE Emerging Leaders Business Coach, I have an amazing group of business owners that are growth-oriented. I asked my two cohorts (Seattle & Portland) to voluntarily take the TAPE survey for themselves and their business. Over two 3-hour in-person sessions, we examined the framework, discussed what opportunities and challenges existed in each type of growth, and how to lean into different growth types depending on the key question: "What Are You Growing?" These are the questions they helped answer for each growth type:

  • What are your first impressions of this growth type?

  • What insights could this type of growth bring to your leadership? Your company?

  • What challenges does this growth type bring?

  • Which skill sets might be the easiest to implement?

  • What skill sets do you need to improve?

  • How could you use this growth type moving forward?

For every business owner who took both surveys, I mapped out their results and gave them a personalized assessment of where they might be well-positioned to drive growth by using their natural leadership or organizational readiness, or by strengthening skill sets to better enable them to achieve their growth goals.


Phase 3: Ask for Feedback. Creativity is when two different possibilities can be held at the same time. Asking for feedback is the step that makes the difference between innovative and incremental growth. The earlier you incorporate feedback into your prototype, the better your implementation and the steeper your growth curve becomes. So, as I get feedback on the TAPE Framework report and implementation, I'm tweaking the model. Here is some of what I am hearing:

I can't believe how spot-on the Individual Overview and Organizational Overview descriptions are! These both sum up the exact thoughts I have about leading the company and about the company direction. Much to think about going forward...
There is a lot to process here. Can you map my leadership team as well? Should everyone do the organizational survey?
This is fantastic! I feel like this is really hitting the mark. I especially relate to the "what am I growing?" question, and it is something I've been trying to define.

Phase 4: Deliver Results. With the TAPE Framework Report in hand, I am now working with a few leaders and business to see how we take the report and integrate it into their strategic plan for growing their business. Below is an example of two pages of the TAPE Framework for a professional services company and its leader.




The Activator and the Empowerer are two starting points for this leader and business depending on what the leader or business is trying to grow. The leader naturally is in the Empowerer intersection in the action and connection skill sets and his business is not far behind, equally balanced on both the action and connection side. The business is naturally in the Activator intersection and the leader is not far behind, again equally balanced on the action and connection side. The strategy comes in at looking at the skill sets that the business or leader would need to hone to strengthen both the intersection of skills and align with the leader or business. That doesn't mean the business or leader couldn't use the other two growth types, but there would need to be competencies strengthened before growth may occur. For example the next possible growth type that would be possible would be the Pathfinder. There is great synergy between the leader and the organization, with a natural preference for the connection skill sets. The influential actions and skill sets would need to be strengthened to have this growth type feel as natural as the other two. Finally, the growth type of Transporter isn't out of the question, but again for this rapid fire type of growth, it has to be a good match for the question "What are you growing?" and will require bringing the "transmutable" actions for both individual and organization closer to center. That will require strengthening competencies on those action skill sets. Building competencies take time, investment and an environment where failure is an option. The strategy would be to set goals that allow for the timetable and skill development. Below are the TAPE Framework Growth Skill Sets at a glance.


I invite you to take the TAPE survey by visiting https://breakthetapeleadership.com/survey. You can take it for yourself and you can take it for your organization to see how creativity can be used as a strategy and growth can happen when action and connection meet. I'll map out your results for FREE during this prototype phase if you leave your contact information. And if you like what you receive, you can schedule a FREE 30-min consult and we'll explore the framework to see how you can manifest creativity and growth in your leadership and/or business.


Break the Tape Leadership helps leaders unleash creativity and potential in themselves and the organizations they lead to generate meaningful momentum.


© 2022 Break the Tape LLC



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