BOTHER WITH CREATIVITY?
(Spock Left Star Fleet For Harvard Med)
If you think this creativity curriculum is fruity nonsense, you’re either way ahead of the curve or there’s one of those giant Monty Python 16-ton weights suspended over your head. The fact is, business today demands an improved creative output from management. Why bother developing that? The short answer is Spock. The more comprehensive answer goes like this: First, there’s nothing more valuable or cheaper to acquire than a creative idea! Second, it’s a 21st century core competency for leaders and management. Finally, that left-brain linear thinking Mr. Spock (Star Trek) management icon has been nearly replaced by the right-brain empathetic and innovative Dr. Spock (America’s Gentle Baby Doctor) management model. Spock went from Star Fleet Academy to Harvard Medical School.
If you’ve got pointy ears and a desire to be more creative on command, you might want to study this list a few times:
is personal — pay attention to yourself. When do ideas come easiest
to you? Alone or with colleagues? Do you have a personal “innovative rhythm” you
should heed? If so, construct certain fruitful activities around it.
• Brainstorming sessions are still great for generating that rapid free flow of ideas in a safe environment.
• Find your creative zone and go there regularly. Most everyone has a special place or a zone-out/zone-in activity that heightens creativity or lends you momentum — a thinking chair, your back porch in the morning, while sanding or jogging or painting closets? Total concentration switches something in the brain, enabling pure expression.
• Relaxation or meditation can tune your brain, literally, into a different wavelength — alpha waves. These waves have proven to enhance learning and clear paths for new thoughts and inspiration.
• If you’re feeling blocked or uninspired, be patient. Try doing something totally out of context. Being creative is about being open when gathering new insight. Participate in something you’ve never done before, drive to work a different route, ask a little kid or elderly person how they’d solve a difficult problem. Enlist a teacher or a mentor to challenge and guide you.
The goal is to bring the positive lift of creative thinking to your business on demand. That requires the development of great insight and supportive habits. As you make creativity work more integral to your responsibilities, it will feel more and more like plain old work. The very same miraculous mind that produces spine-tingling operatic arias celebrating love, thunderous epic poetry decrying savage brutality and cheesy banjo and jug theme music for “Cousins Ain’t Incest” Week on The Jerry Springer Show, produces creative innovation for you and your business. As with other work routines and projects, success comes from persistence and commitment. After a time, all creative work becomes, simply, work. There is no denying that a pretty good idea that’s well-implemented is far better than an exceptional idea that’s stuck on a shelf. Forget brilliance and genius; the biggest difference between “the great companies” and all the other firms is dedication to their craft. Thinking of work and the daily practice of business as a craft . . . now that’s a creative idea!
About the author: Chris Traynor, SPHR, is the director for Whip-Smart Management Consulting, Wayne, N.J., and has 25 years of experience in the solid surface industry as a consultant to fabricators, distributors and manufacturers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.