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What are you doing to capitalize on the creativity around you? Creativity is the natural birthright of every person. And depending on whom you talk to (or read), it is considered the number one competitive advantage for success in business and life today. So what are you doing to unleash its potential? Buddhist teachings refer to something called Crazy Wisdom. It is
“an innocent state of mind that has the quality of early morning—fresh, sparkling, and completely awake.” (Chögyam Trungpa)
I am saddened by the dull, stale thinking that goes on in most of our organizations and institutions. People seem really bored and most brilliant ideas remain dormant due to the fact that no conditions exist to nurture people’s natural creative talents. To unleash even a little of that crazy wisdom in your organization, try the following:
- Assume responsibility for building your creative capacity.
- Be willing to set aside assumptions about your or other people’s lack of creativity.
- Ask people about how they think they could bring more creativity to their work.
- Create an environment that is conducive to good conversation, experimentation and idea sharing across departments and industries.
- Take a different approach when it comes to process and planning.
- Challenge people with good questions and stimulating opportunities.
- See mistakes as part of the necessary learning and feedback process.
- Provide a formal means for idea generation.
- Decide how you will capture good ideas.
- Don’t rush to evaluate.
- Utilize creativity building tools whenever you can.
- Develop your appreciation for and understanding of creativity.
- Get dirty, messy and a little crazy.
- Be willing to have fun and learn with others.
I invite you to leave a reply regarding your efforts to build the creative capacity in your life and work…Thank you. Yael
When it comes to cause and effect we tend to be overly concerned with the effect others are having on us and rarely consider how we ourselves are influencing or causing results. A poorly prepared meal in a restaurant, harsh words from a loved one, road construction and unnecessary delays, missed deadlines, errors, these are personalized to the point of insanity while imagining that our own behaviours have a light and/or temporary influence on other people or processes “I said i was sorry, can’t you just get over it?”.
The truth is we have no idea how the relationships we cultivate or the emotions we generate today will influence tomorrow. Or ten years from tomorrow. In a related manner, the systems thinking principle behind this truth has recently come to light here in British Columbia with the arrival of tons of debris from the Japanese Tsunami. On a personal level we can think about this by imagining ourselves as both a spider and a web. As a spider we are moved by the smallest of breezes, the social and emotional climate, the comings and goings of others—the effects of which manifest in numerous ways. As a web, we are a gossamer thread touching everyone from the girl at the grocery store checkout counter, to our colleagues and loved ones to a switchboard operator thousands of miles away. And each touch point ripples outward in its own unexpected ways, touching off further effects or causes, some of which are obviously stronger than others.
Emotional contagion offers a great example of this ripple. At work or at home, the negative, sad, or joyful mood of others can rub off on us (or vice versa). Then later in the day, we “carry” that mood forward into our relationships at home, even continuing on with pertinent stories of misery or glee depending on the contamination- Indeed, this web stretches over vast distances as well. I once wrote a song, only to learn many years later that it had been taught to a group of people somewhere in the Gaza Strip! Cause and effect- the ripple, the web- can even, in true quantum fashion, fold back upon itself- returning to the source (us) in the form of what for many can only be thought of as Karma. “he really had it coming to him!” might be the words we utter when the great serpent comes around to bite its own tail. Or, in a more self pitying plea: “why does this always happen to me?”
So what does this all mean? You decide.