Archive for the 'Creativity' Category

Moving mountains

Keith February 15th, 2007

I just picked up a great Einstein quote at a workshop today: “We are boxed in by the boundary conditions of our thinking”.  The workshop was delivered by a team from “MoveMountains”.

We did an exercise in creative art.  An artist gave us instructions, and in less than two hours we each created our own pastel landscape.  Great fun!  And, along with the rest of the material delivered, very instructive in what you can actually achieve – in spite of the usually negative opinion we often have of our own ability in some areas.

Before I learnt anything about these principles, I used to think that I was not very creative.  Both my mother and my sister were good artists.  My mother, at 93 years of age, is still painting the occasional oil landscape.  My sister Pam, who passed away in 2000 at 55, was a very gifted artist.  I never had any such gift!  Even though I had a very positive upbringing, I nevertheless took on the idea that – because I couldn’t paint or draw – I was not very creative. 

Some years later, I realised that this was a very limiting statement.  In fact, I now believe that I am very creative – but mostly in other areas.  I have played guitar for about 38 years, and have found many other creative outlets.  Even the photo at the top of this blog site shows some creativity!

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How to make your people more creative

Keith February 9th, 2007

Mark Schenk at Anecdote posted an article a while ago on the impact of management style on individual creativity and innovation.  He included a quote from an article by Teresa Amabile of Harvard Business School on the importance of team leader behaviour.

Teresa found that individual creativity is a critical element of productivity, efficiency and work quality in today’s complex work in organisations. This article gives five key leader behaviours that have a positive influence on people’s feelings – and thus on individual creativity.  My paraphrase is as follows:

  • Support people emotionally.
  • Monitor people’s work in a particularly positive way – give positive feedback on their work, or give them information that they need to do their work better.
  • Recognise people for good performance, particularly in public settings.
  • Consult with people on the team – ask for their views, respect their opinions, and act on their needs and their wishes to the extent that it’s possible.
  • Collaborate – actually spend time working with team members on specific tasks.

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