Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Building a Creative Environment

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.  Sylvia Plath

Few people during their lifetime come anywhere close to exhausting the resources dwelling within them. There are deep wells of strengths that are never used.

                                                                                 Rear Admiral Richard Byrd

 Lesson 21

To continue to build productivity in the sales district I managed for a large corporation, I developed weekly meetings with my sales managers called “Imaginars.” Naturally where we met was the Imaginar Room.

The room originally had a conference table, which I had moved out immediately. It was replaced with three large couches with a coffee table in front of each. By the way, nothing matched…but it was comfortable.

On one wall there was a large poster that said, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” The poster on the opposite wall said, “You may think you are the highest point until you look up.” This reminded them that there is always someone they can learn from.

We used Story Boards in the meeting and in each individual manager’s office during the week. I would assign a common topic so they could all have the same focus. What one thing did they not want bring back to the following weekly meeting?  Yes! An empty storyboard! This pushed them to develop creativity.

The Story Board was a bulletin board that would fit in anyone’s back seat or trunk. The managers also had a supply of 3 x 5 cards and plenty of  “push pins.”

At the following week’s meeting the managers brought their Story Boards in to the Imaginar Room. We went over each board. If there were duplicates we kept only one and put it on a larger board that we kept in the Imaginar Room. Then the idea cards were arranged in a logical order and the weekly project was then evaluated. Additional ideas popped up and were added during this group session.

As a result of this system, many sales records were broken. As a side effect morale and
camaraderie soared.


Final Thoughts:

“The chief function of your body is to carry your brain around.”  Thomas Edison

“Be the tree that escaped from the forest.”  Frank Lloyd Wright

“No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come.”  Victor Hugo

“I always say to myself, what is the most important thing I can think about at this extraordinary moment?" Buckminster Fuller

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Developing Your Creativity

Lesson 20

On Creativity

         The man who follows the crowd, will usually get no further than the crowd.  The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before.
         Creativity in living is not without its attendant difficulties, for peculiarity breed’s contempt. And the unfortunate thing about being ahead of your time is when people finally realize you were right; they’ll say it was obvious all along.
         You have two choices in life. You can dissolve into the mainstream, or you can be distinct. To be distinct, you must be different. To be different you must strive to be what no one else but you can be.
                                                                         Alan Ashley-Pitt

When I took the beach break to see if I could figure out what had caused the dive of my sales office from #1 to #36, I was at a loss for what to do.  I didn’t have the information then I’m sharing with you now.  Even though I initially stumbled across the correct action to stimulate my creativity, I can now recommend such isolation to anyone who is experiencing major problems.  Most people in the heat of battle will feel they can’t abandon the fight.  Believe me, staying in the struggle with no good ideas or anything else to offer won’t accomplish much.

The fellow I learned some helpful principles from lost his job as a young newspaper reporter because he “lacked good ideas.”  His editor back in Kansas also said that he was “void of creativity.”  Nobody knows the name of that editor.  But, almost everyone in the world associates the young reporter’s name, Walt Disney, with creativity.  In order for anything to become successful (a book, a company, a movie, yes, even leadership style), Walt Disney said that it must have:

1. A uniqueness factor: Why should anybody get excited about something 
    that’s  ordinary? 
2. A word-of-mouth factor: People can't stay quiet about a positive experience.
3. A flair factor: Do it big, do it right, and do it with class.

Characteristics of a creative person:

I think of creativity as the voice beyond silence.  It’s best to isolate yourself to experience a clear mind.  In the silence of isolation will come the voice that is creativity.  Whether or not you are able to induce creativity or it simply happens when the time is right, the following four-step process will help you make the most out of your creative experience:

1.    Preparation: If your intention is to create a new product or method for doing something, it’s important to learn everything you can about that subject. 

2.    Incubation: Don't rush things.  Give a new and creative idea time to cook in the incubator.  Use a kaleidoscope approach.

3.    Insight: That moment in the middle of the night when you sit bolt upright in bed is a moment of insight.  Insight is that glimpse at the suddenly clear and illuminated answer.

4.    Verification: The process of verification brings it all back to reality and begins to establish boundaries. 

  Here are some basic ways to go about becoming more creative:

·      Schedule more uninterrupted private time.
·      Allow yourself to be gullible.
·      Look at illogical thoughts with credibility.

   What stops creativity:

         1.  Habit                                2.  Fear
         3.  Prejudice                          4.  Inertia

"Aim for striking originality. It gets attention"