CREATIVITY, THE RIGHT CHOICE
Hoping that everyone will have a happy, prosperous and creative new year! Everyone, including managers, supervisors and employees will confront many new issues in the coming year and hopefully creativity will help you solve some of these challenges. Daniel Pink, author of the book, “A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age” indicates that the greatest economic and social value will come from creative thinkers. Resolve for 2007 that you will value people for their critical thinking skills, the valuable asset they really are, and for the ideas and solutions that they can offer your organization.
Hopefully over the holiday season you had an opportunity to revitalize and refresh your mind and heart for the challenges ahead in 2007. Here are some suggestions to help you.
Do something you love to do. The authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman in their book, “First Break All the Rules” found as a result of interviews with 80,000 managers, the following three criteria to achieve a happy, motivating and productive workplace. (1) Do I know what is expected of me at work; (2) Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right; and (3) At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best everyday. People who can answer these questions affirmatively will be happy and do something they love everyday
Take care of yourself everyday. Most of us get caught up in doing something for others at work during every minute of every day. Take some time to do something just for yourself everyday whether it’s to exercise, relax, reflect, cook, eat ice cream, write in your journal, or walk your pet. Remember, to do something for yourself, it will make you feel that you have a life.
Give yourself some credit. In Buckingham’s book, people who received praise or recognition for their work in the past seven days were more happy and productive and of course more creative. With greater spans of control and working in remote sites and less interaction with your boss, remember to recognize yourself for a job well done. One way to do this is to keep a file of positive notes, thank you letters and other items that remind you of positive work experiences.
Learn something new everyday. It’s easy to get bogged down with the same old stuff. Learn something new everyday by reading some different articles, research something on the Web. With the web, the opportunities to learn are unlimited.
Increase your professional network. Do you maintain contact with colleagues? Do you belong to a professional organization? Active collaboration with others will allow you to find many new opportunities.
Step out of your comfort zone. Do you offer suggestions? You know what your comfort zone is! Take a stand on an issue and don’t be afraid to speak up. After the shock wears off, your coworkers will admire you for your courage and for providing honest feedback. Once you step out of your comfort zone, you will find it easier and easier.
Listen more. Plan this year to listen to others. People may not want sounding board, or advice on solving their problems, but just someone to listen. People just listening will help others solve their own problems. People who feel that someone listens to them; they are more likely to move from stuck to action.
Use a planner. Using something to plan, allows you to empty much of your day-to-day details in your mind. This give you mind room for important creative thinking. This also helps you accomplish your important priorities.
Read insatiably to learn. Plan to read a couple of business books a month plus professional periodicals, online journals and newspapers. It’s a difficult goal, but achievable. Read widely and broadly. Keep your books handy to refresh your thinking. All this reading will enhance your creativity.
Take up a hobby. Doing something new like starting a hobby can be refreshing! A hobby can spark other interests. If something has intrigued you in the past, it may be worthwhile to pursue.
Laugh. Don’t be so serious. Laughter keeps you sane. When you laugh, you see life differently. Take time to laugh. Get to a bakery and smell cookies and bread baking.
Smile. Smile when you talk with others. Enjoy others. Respect people for their differences and little quirks.
Doing just a few of these things will help you in your journey to be more creative in 2007!
While creativity is a hot topic in many organizations, people need to have reinforcement from their organizations that new thinking is okay. People need to be given the deliberate and positive steps to foster creativity. Some things to consider this year for your organization...
- Provide training to enhance creativity for your employees
- Provide the environment to promote creativity
- Provide employees with the tools to be more creative
In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.
then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.
We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle
the inner spirit.
Training & Development, “Creativity Exists In All Of Us,” Thomas R. Keen, Pages 80-81, December 2006 (www.astd.org).
Management First, “Leading For Creativity And Productivity,” John D. Politis, December 2006 (www.emeraldinsight.com).
Intelligent Enterprise, “Innovation Asset Management: Don’t Bottle Up Creativity,” Stewart McKie, December 2006 (www.intelligententerprise.com).
Harvard Business Review, “Innovation: The Classic Traps, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Pages 72-83, November 2006 (www.hbr.org).
Leadership Excellence, “The Future Is Now, Create A Culture Of Innovation,” Bray J. Brockbank, Page 16, October 2006 (www.eep.com).
The Innovation Killer: How What We Know Limits What We Can Imagine, Cynthia Barton Robe, American Management Association, New York, NY 2006.
Change comes with such rapidity that businesses must anticipate
tomorrow's needs today, because the distinction between today and
tomorrow is increasingly blurred. Innovation is the way of life, central
to how an organization conducts itself, becomes fundamental
to corporate survival.
Nicholas Imparato and Oren Harrari
Ten Tips For Successful Innovation
Innovator’s should purge the words “can’t” and “shouldn’t” from their vocabularies, says venture capitalist and former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki. Delivering the opening keynote address at this year’s PubCon, Kawasaki outlined ten specific points that innovative companies should heed when developing new products and services. One of the most important is making meaning. Develop meaningful products and services that improve people’s lives and make them more productive…that’s the key to long-term success, Kawasaki said. “We thought that MSDOS was a crime against humanity. Apple made things to solve that problem.” Second, make a mantra, not a mission statement. You need two or three words that explain simply why you exist. For example, “FedEx: Peace of Mind.” Third, don’t limit your innovations to incremental changes. Leap to the next curve. Don’t worry abut making everything perfect, either? In the modern world, he says, you ship first and test later. “If we had waited for tech to catch up, (the first Macintosh) would…never have made it off the ground.” Don’t be afraid to polarize the consumer base. Great products frequently divide consumers and tech communities. Examples: Mac and TiVo, both of which have raving fans and passionate detractors. Finally, he says don’t let bozos and naysayers grind you down. Just because someone’s rich doesn’t mean they’re smart.
Web Pro News
Nov. 14, 2006
Innovation Is Job One
Innovation is Topic A in companies around the world, says strategy guru Gary Hamel, author of “Leading the Revolution” and “Competing for the Future.” There’s a good reason, Hamel insists that innovation is the only way to create wealth over the medium term. “In the short run, companies can cut costs through off-shoring and outsourcing; they can capture the efficiency gains form industry consolidation and plump up their share price via stock buy-backs. But in the longer-term, there are no substitutes to innovation.” Hamel believes the big and enduring shifts in industry leadership have always been created by management innovation. DuPont, for example, pioneered capital-budgeting techniques when it initiated the use of Return on Investment calculations in 1903. General Electric perfected Thomas Edison’s most notable invention, the industrial research laboratory. That brought management discipline to the messy and chaotic world of scientific discovery. Edison used to proclaim that his labs could produce a minor breakthrough every 10 days and a major invention every six months. “This was no idle boast,” Hamel points out. “Over the first half of the 20th century, GE won more patents than any other company in the United States.” Today’s unprecedented problems demand unprecedented solutions, he says, but these solutions will emerge only when companies learn to innovate as boldly around their management systems and processes as they do around their products, services and strategies.
Business Innovation Insider
Nov. 6, 2006
Some thoughts from a few Dreamers…
I truly believe if there were more environments in the Forest Service that fostered and encouraged innovative and creative thinking…we’d be a different place. We still have too many managers and supervisors that do not know anything about leadership.
It is difficult to say there is a right place to promote creativity because each individual is unique and different. I think that everyone can be creative wherever they are, but it is ultimately up to the individual. What our supervisors need to do is provide the opportunity to promote ideas. Sometimes, I feel just like walking up to my supervisor and say let’s just do it. I think we all need a little push.
If we’re ever going to ignite creativity in the Forest Service, a lot depends on whether our managers will listen to employee ideas. Creating that kind of open culture in the Forest Service is the biggest hurdle I think we face. Thanks for sharing your ideas.
Roger von Oech, author of the books, “A Whack on the Side of Head,” A Kick in the Seat of the Pants, and “Expect the Unexpected,” has recently launched a new tool, “Ball of Whacks.” This a set of magnetic design blocks that acts as a creativity tool for innovators. It includes a 96-page illustrated booklet. You can get information on the “Ball of Whacks” at Roger’s website http://www.creativethink.com.
If you are interested in learning more about creativity or wish to share any experiences, please contact Karl Mettke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back issues of Creativity Fringes are posted at the Federal Consulting Group (http://www.fcg.gov/creativity_fringes.shtml). (Historical)
Thank You For Taking Time To Be Creative…
Last Reviewed: October 20, 2011