Posted by Plish on July 31, 2010
On this, my 47th birthday, as others lavish gifts upon me in their kindness, I’m writing this column as my gift to you. Want to be more innovative? Want to be more creative? Want to be a better you? I pondered these questions; I’ve thought about what’s worked in my life, and what hasn’t. So far, here’s a list of what works:
- Be passionate about what you do. Ultimately it’s you that motivates you.
- Be authentic. Kind of like #1 but it’s about acknowledging who you are in all your various facets and embracing you. You are your brand. Rock the world with it.
- Don’t let others bring you down. I don’t care if it’s your boss or the president or a family member. Rise above – you’re the best you. You made a mistake? So what. (See Rules #7, #8, #11, #12)
- Get plenty of sleep. Seriously. It will help in synthesizing ideas. Also, when you sleep you…
- Dream. Do it while you’re awake.
- Take time off from your work. Hike, pray, meditate, play. Get some of the benefits of sleep but you’re conscious.
- Be curious. It might drive people nuts, but then you’re living according to Rule #3, right?
- Don’t be afraid to look like an ass. This might seem like #3 but it’s not. This is about doing things that you think others are looking at you funny about. It’s got nothing to do about what others have said or done.
- Have empathy for others. Tolerance is the easy way out. Empathy.
- Revel in your successes! Don’t look ahead to the next challenge without appreciating what you’re doing, and have done, to get to the now.
- Don’t be afraid to try things and make mistakes. It’ s important because we not only learn from successes we…
- Learn from mistakes.
Are there any that you would add?
Posted in Authenticity, creativity, Design, imagination, innovation, love, meditation, Nature of Creativity, problem solving, Renaissance Souls, Spirituality, The Human Person | Tagged: Authenticity, creativity, Design, how to be creative, human authenticity, innovation | 2 Comments »
Posted by Plish on July 23, 2010
We’ve all experienced it.
We’re cranking along in a project and someone comes in with a ‘brilliant’ idea or a new documentation requirement.
AUGHH! Time is ticking, money is being spent. Why couldn’t this have been brought up at the beginning of the project?!?!
There are basically three responses:
- Ignore the request and move forward promising to fold features into the next version
- Agree to the request and try and get more time/money
- Agree to parts of the request and move the rest into the next version.
All three of these cause angst to the team, to management, and perhaps even the users. They result in more time and money being spent. Creativity likewise drops as people go into crunch mode trying to accomplish more with less.
It’s Scope Creep.
So, why would anyone want to embrace this?
Let’s step back a moment.
We all have a tendency to look at projects as totally linear processes. Everyone agrees up front what needs to be done, money is allotted, a timeline is set and everyone is off to the races. The project moves into execution mode – efficient execution.
But, we also know that projects aren’t linear phenomena. They’re a combination of fits and starts, looping back, problems and solutions.
So what happens?
When we first embark on projects, we keep our fingers crossed and hope that nothing gets in the way of launching the product – that there is no Scope Creep. As the project progresses we continue with the same mentality, constantly moving forward but at the same time looking over our shoulders, trying to anticipate what might occur before it does. We hope nothing will knock us off our tenacious trek towards launch – especially no new product requirements. Nevertheless, these new requirements seem to come and wreak havoc.
But, there is a bright side.
Scope Creep is more than something that should be avoided and/or grudgingly dealt with because where there is Scope Creep, there are opportunities to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Authenticity, Creative Environments, culture of innovation, Customer Focus, Design, design thinking, innovation, Nature of Creativity, Project Management, stress, Tactics, Team-Building, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: Design, design and empathy, design process, design thinking, innovation, learning, project management, scope creep, Workplace Creativity | 2 Comments »
Posted by Plish on July 8, 2010
We set things apart for special use all the time. We keep a special set of plates and silverware for special occasions. We give those utensils and plates extra special treatment, washing them in special ways, storing them in extra safe locations, being extra careful not to break or chip them.
On the other hand, the every day stuff we’re more careless with. We clean the stuff using everyday cleaning methods, and if we break something, it’s okay because we can always replace it.
There are two different mindsets at work. In the former case we’re elevating objects to the level of being sacred. We’re acknowledging that these objects are special, perhaps even holy. In the latter, there is a sense of mundaneness – we could say that the objects are profane. (Anthropologically speaking, sacred/profane is not equal to good/evil. Sacred/profane can be good/bad, bad/good, etc.)
Just like we reserve a set of dinnerware for special purposes, it’s been a common practice over the course of the last century or so, for governments to set aside chunks of land and designate them as preserves, as land set aside for a special purpose, as ‘sacred’ land. While this is usually viewed in a positive light, and it has undoubtedly saved land from misuse and abuse, it has an interesting side effect.
Just as having the dichotomy between special and everyday dinnerware creates two sets of rules in how the dinnerware gets treated, so too, creating nature preserves as separate sacred entities fosters two sets of rules in dealing with the environment.
The two rules are, “Do what you want outside the preserves as long as you try and minimize your impact on others and the world, but inside the preserves nothing is allowed except appreciation and minimal interference.”
The preserves are disconnected from the greater whole and are treated as closed, ‘sacred’ systems. The rest of the world is viewed by default, not as “sacred” per se, but as profane. Oh sure, people try to be eco-friendly, but we’re willing to stretch the rules a little bit because after all, we’re not in the middle of a preserve like the Grand Canyon. Admit it, when you see a cup lying in the gutter of a city it usually doesn’t create the same visceral reaction as seeing the same cup floating down a river, does it?
And that’s the problem.
While the idea of setting aside preserves is indeed noble and well intentioned, is this really what we want? Wouldn’t it be better if every part of the world was treated as sacred space? How might a city be different if it treated its ecosystem as sacred as opposed to excusing it by saying, “It’s a city. It’s okay if it alters the landscape and water absorption and wind patterns.” Instead, if everything was seen as sacred, manufacturing and water purification processes would be designed with the goal of putting water back into the environment at equal or better quality than what they started with!
This phenomenon isn’t only present on the macro level. It’s present on the micro-level as well, as hospitals operate Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Architectural Design, creativity, culture of innovation, Design, design thinking, innovation, nature, Politics, Religion, Sustainable Technology, The Human Person | Tagged: Design, eco-design, ecological stewardship, ecology, environment, holy, sacred space, sustainable design | 6 Comments »