Over the years, I have come to realize that creativity is not something only some of us have. Sure, some have exceptional talents in what we call the creative arts such as dance, painting or music. However, the definition of creativity doesn’t have to stay within this narrow window. I have come to see creativity, in a wider frame, as each person’s unique self-expression.
Your creativity is within you, waiting to come out. It is uniquely yours. Clues lie in what you love to do and what excites you. I have seen people express their creativity in the way they care for and understand animals, in the excellence of their work, in the way they inspire others, in the way they think, in their “green thumb” in the garden, for example.
You are creative. Have you found your creative gifts? Do you share them with the world?
I did a Slideshare several years back titled “Everyone Is Creative”. You can see it here.
photo: rawpixel, pixabay.com
Your imagination can be a career-booster when you employ it well. It often provides a different view of reality and what is possible. It is a source of creativity. When you are tackling a problem or approaching a project, make it a practice to see where your imagination can bring you. Then, put that in the mix with other elements you are considering.
Imagination adds color, new perspectives and new ideas to your everyday work. Nurture your imagination and learn to use it well.
photo: TeroVesalainen, pixabay.com
Indigenous cultures use a circle as an image for life. Circles are continuous, with no beginning or end. What does your career or organization look like, when you view it as a circle?
Think of the differences between a circle and a line. Circles allow flow. One action leads to another. You cannot separate one event from another. Everything is connected. The center of a circle is surrounded by the elements of the circle. The center of a line is one point.
Why write about this in The Managers Hub? A change in the perspective with which you view your career or organization can lead to insights, innovation and positive change. If you use a circle as your reference point, what looks different in your career or organization?
photo: alexis doyen, lifeofpix.com
A blank page is a gift in life. It can be an ending, a new beginning, a change, a chance to start again or an invitation to something new. Is there a blank page in your life right now? What are you going to do with it? Will you fill it creatively, impulsively, carefully, leave it blank? Or, will you run away from its blankness?
Treasure the blank pages that show up. They give you an opportunity to create the life you want to live.
There are many ways we can co-create – working with others on a project, being part of a collaboration, seeking muses or sharing a mutual goal with others. The best co-creating is when you choose to do so because the involvement of others will enhance your creativity, performance and end result.
Do you consciously co-create with others? Are conditions in your career right for you to do so? As the world moves forward, co-creating will be a powerful means of doing your best.
What has been your experience with co-creating?
photo: winnond, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Thinking traditionally, the concepts of managing and innovation can seem counterposed. Innovation needs open space, not managing. What if we turn that upside down and say that managing innovation is about both creating an environment conducive to innovation and good managing?
I think managing and innovation can coexist. It is about finding a balance between open space and managing your team’s progress. Start with values. Allow for values that foster innovation – such as freedom, no wrong answer, diversity and creative time. Continue values that foster good managing – such as frequent and clear communication, maintaining focus on goals and measures, accountability and collaboration. Articulate the balance of these values to and with your team. Create “structures” to foster them. Structures can include time for open space thinking, new processes for decision making, team training to acclimate with these structures, team-developed measures for innovation.
Once your structures are in place, observe how they are working. Are you producing innovations? Is your larger organization supporting you? Are you innovating and managing well?
Innovation starts inside you. Many innovators have started with passion that comes from within. Innovation is, by its nature, new and unique. I’m not sure others can teach you innovation. Others may provide their own story of how they came to innovate, but each person’s passion is unique and theirs alone.
If you aspire to innovate, access and nurture your creative self. First, you find your inner creativity (yes, not as easy as writing these words) and then you keep it alive. Then, you bring your creative self to the world around you. If you want to innovate, look within.
Several weeks ago, I read Susan McCain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. It is a mind-changing book. In the book, she quotes Steve Wozniak’s memoir where he offers advice to kids who aspire to great creativity:
Most inventors and engineers I’ve met are like me – they are shy and they live in their heads. They’re almost like artists. In fact, the very best of them are artists. And artists work best alone where they can control an invention’s design without a lot of other people designing it for marketing or some other committee. I don’t believe anything revolutionary has been invented by committee.
What is your experience: is your creativity supported or hindered by collaboration? The business world is flooded with accolades for collaboration and working in teams. What Wozniak and Susan Cain point out is that some of us access creativity from within and creativity can be hindered by collaboration.
When it comes to manager creativity, discernment is called for. Know how you access your creativity and when you need to, create on your own. Find that time alone and honor your creative process.
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.