Showing posts from April, 2016

For Creative Innovation, Get Some Kids

Our socialization teaches us that failure is bad. Something to be ashamed of. But is wasn't that way in the beginning. When we were toddlers, failure never got in the way. We just kept trying over and over and over until we reached our objective. And the grown-ups observing us cheered us on! Sadly, that non-judgmental era comes to an end as our parents, then our teachers, start to teach us "right from wrong." Slowly but inexorably the wildly playful child withdraws, retreating within, becoming the submerged inner child. The good news however, is that your Inner Child is still there and still accessible...if you will take the time to find him or her. Silly - "Don't be silly," adults said to us at some point, probably when they were growing tired of our boundless capacity to act like little clowns. Being silly can be a starting point toward accessing our inner wellspring of creativity.  Playful - "Let's play" is the mantra of kids all over the wo…

Let It Happen

In the new Broadway version of Mary Poppins, she sings "Anything can happen if you let it." If you let it? Aren't we supposed to "make things happen?" Dr. Elana Miller of Zen Psychiatry offers this wisdom:

"The ocean doesn't care about you. It is a force of nature that existed long before you were born and that will be around long after you. We operate under the illusion of control when so many of the most important things in life aren't even close to the realm of our control. When you release yourself from the illusion of control, you can relax. You can put in your best effort but let things turn out how they'll turn out. You can find moments of joy in the most simple things. So don't fight forces of nature. Ride them."

Change Can Be Wild!

"Change is wild," I recently wrote in a comment to Eric Lynn who had posted his thoughts on the topic 'Change Management is an Oxymoron.' He wrote:  "Change is ubiquitous. It is, and always has been, simply an element of our dynamic world.  In organisations, change may happen as the consequence of external events or a new desired status may be defined. However, the "change" cannot be managed.  We can define and manage elements of the technical process involved in achieving the desired status. We cannot "manage" the human side of the process.  We humans are unpredictable and in groups, the dynamic and chemistry of our interaction is even more so. It's a fallacy to believe this can be "managed".  Human beings need to feel invited, encouraged and inspired to actively play a role in driving the organisation to achieve the new desired status.  They need a purpose, or at the very least, a good reason." I agree with him. I commen…

Are You Creative?

Do you consider yourself creative? Some people do. Artists, writers, dancers for example. The truth is, however, that all of us are creative. Creativity is a capacity we all have. It comes with the package, so to speak. It's the human ability to imagine new things and have new ideas. Our creative imagination is "always on" (that's why new ideas just suddenly pop into our heads), but we don't often harness it to address problems or to innovate. Way back in 1926, in his book The Art of Thought, writer Graham Wallas gave us a beautifully simple and elegant process model for creative thinking that, to me, seems timeless: In phase one, called Preparation, we tee up our creative capacity by selecting a problem or a topic, then gathering some data, doing some reading or research. Next, in Incubation, we walk away and put our focus elsewhere. Go for a walk, as Einstein was famous for doing. Take a nap. Or just do something else. In this phase, you are distracting yoursel…