We want to be the same person at work as we are at play. We want to be authentic, inspired and spontaneous 24/7 and contribute in ways that matter.
We’re re-thinking the rules and our interest in creativity has taken hold. It’s mainstream now.
The questions are different. Can I look at this in a new way? What kind of difference will it make? Where does creativity come from? Are we born with it – can it be learned – how? and my personal favorite?…how can we make this crazy idea work?
I’ll be using this story to begin my next talk for a small start up owned by a woman who said it took a long time to make this dream of hers come true – she picked her staff really carefully and wants to do everything she can to have them stay. She’s sure encouraging their creativity is one way to do that. I think she’s right.
I haven’t used this story before but I haven’t been asked to design a talk that covers creativity in the kind of depth she wants or to make “absolutely” sure I include a mindfulness meditation at the end.
It comes from a semi-retired teacher who summed it up by saying she knew there’d be turning points and moments of truth in her career, she just didn’t expect one like this to happen so soon.
Erin was a really quiet child. Compared to the rest of the class anyway. Pre-school, 2nd day, a teacher who’d just graduated.
She’d been warned about Erin. The principal said, “Watch out for that one.” But it was almost lunch and she had no idea why.
Time to pass out the crayons for some coloring inside the lines – fine motor skills evaluation. Standard procedure.
The pictures are passed out. They all begin to color, except for Erin.
Her hand shoots up and she says, “Can I make my own lines?”
Without thinking, the teacher says yes, (NOT so standard procedure) and suddenly there are twenty some little excited hands in the air. So she gives them all permission and writes in the margin of her lesson plan “free art” (Again NOT so standard).
Being asked and saying yes was a big risk for her. It turned everything she’d learned about education up to that point upside down – she was breaking all the rules, but she says, crazy or not, it just felt so right.
She was ahead of her time and miles outside the lines. Thank you Erin.
I like to give a handout to provide easy to watch starting points from a variety of disciplines for people who want to know more. My hope is there’s something for everyone. Here’s today’s working draft:
Ken Robinson (Creativity / Education)
Simon Sinek (Know the Why / Business Strategy)
Alan Iny – Thinking in New Boxes: A new Paradigm for Business Creativity
Brene Brown (Daring Greatly)
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (The Flow)
BBC Documetary – The Creative Brain How Insight Works
Thea Alvin (Applied Creativity)
Susan Greenfield – Outside the Box: The Neuroscience of Creativity
Rick Hanson – Practical Neuroscience of Positive Emotions