Posted by Plish on August 7, 2015
The sky went from sunset blue to thick blackness that the windshield wipers swiped at with futility. The rain pounded the the car and an uneasy, queasy feeling filled the air as a tornado warning was issued.
I drove the rest of the way home and parked. To the west the worst was already breaking and salmon patches of sunset backlit clouds. To the north the blackness churned and lightning crackled from cloud to cloud as the thunder rumbled without pause.
(Mouse over and Click the play arrow and continue reading on the other side)
It’s in you!
That same power.
You’ve experienced those shocks that startle when you touch a doorknob on a dry day.
This is bigger and can change the world.
Lightning bridges gaps – tremendous expanses of space. It’s possible because of the difference in charge, a difference in potential. Lightning finds its way.
But you need to provide the stuff for creativity to happen.
Observe, read, smell, taste, listen, touch, dream! Understand the challenges you want to solve and then look at them from a different perspective, and then another, and then another!
Allow those differing perspectives to mix together and the clouds will rumble, the sky will flash, creativity will happen.
It’s in you.
Posted in Authenticity, brainstorming, Creative Environments, Creative Thinking Techniques, creativity, culture of innovation, Design, idea generation, imagination, innovation, Nature of Creativity, observation, problem solving, The Human Person, Workplace Creativity, ZenStorming | Tagged: Authenticity, brainstorming, Creative Environments, creative problem solving, creativity, culture of innovation, Design, human authenticity, imagination, innovation, lightning, Nature of Creativity, observation, problem solving, Workplace Creativity, ZenStorming | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Plish on October 14, 2014
This video is the definition of delighting customers.
It’s no secret that delighting customers is extremely profitable. But it can also have another side effect. It can create a better world.
Enter Dr. Carey Andrew-Jaja. This “Singing Doctor” has sung to more than 8000 babies as they entered the world. His expression of joy, at a time of joy, brings joy to healthcare practitioners and patients alike.
Says Dr. Andrew-Jaja, :”Each of us has to find a way — in medicine and other walks of life — to communicate a cheerfulness to those we work for and with, and it keeps everybody happy.”
Or, as Disney says: “Every leader is telling a story about what they value.”
It’s the commitment to a value that empowers someone to stand firm in those behaviors that may elicit judgment. This Doctor values the joy of a new life being born, and thus creates an environment of joy, anticipation, and excitement through song. Everyone present can’t help but be touched. In fact, people even make musical requests ahead of time!
What is truly amazing about this, is that if someone were tasked with designing a more delightful birthing experience there would no doubt be suggestions around the check-in and discharge processes, the use of the best drugs, pleasant and calming aromas and colors in the patient rooms, etc.. Perhaps someone would suggest music in the background. But, few would suggest that the doctor lead everyone present at the birth, in a chorus of “Happy Birthday!”
Delight is a phenomenon of the Now. It is about presence. If you want people to experience delight, delight must be present. Presence is best mediated through personal interaction. I’m here, with you. You’re here, with me. We are together. This is what we are experiencing! This is ours, this is yours. Own it. Revel in it. Be free to experience it.
Research shows that delighting customers starts with putting employees first. By doing this, delight is made present in employees. This pool of delight can then be freely experienced by others.
Remember this video.
Think of what it represents.
Joy. Courage. Family. Life. Love.
This is delight!
Now, make that present in your day.
Posted in Authenticity, Customer Focus, Design, Experience, Healthcare, Service Design, The Human Person | Tagged: customer experience, Customer Focus, delight, delighting the customer, Design, designing healthcare, DIsney, Dr. Carey Andrew-Jaja, healthcare, human authenticity, walt disney | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Plish on November 3, 2012
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau
At the end of August I was watching a bumble bee go from flower to flower.
“Hmmm…” I said out loud. I went inside and grabbed a camera. You see, these bees didn’t go inside the flower. They landed on the outside of the flower, did something with their mouths, went off to the next flower, and did the same thing.
Today I mentioned this to a neighbor who used to raise honey bees.
She had no idea what they were doing. She had never seen, nor heard of that happening before.
Now, I grew up around hostas and bumble bees my entire life, and I’d be willing to bet that this particular species of bumble bee is not only doing this behavior in my yard, this year. Yet, it’s the first time in my life I’ve ever seen this.
I have been looking at flowers and bees all my life! But, what had I seen? What do I see?
How much do we really see when we look at things?
If we’re not seeing, how can we ever know – really know? What opportunities for enrichment have we missed?
Spend some time consciously seeing. Not only will innovation opportunities become apparent, your life will become richer.
Posted in Authenticity, creativity, Design, innovation, nature, The Human Person, The Senses | Tagged: bumble bees, Design, human authenticity, improving creativity, innovation, looking, observation, seeing, The Senses | 6 Comments »
Posted by Plish on May 12, 2012
Inside your brain there’s a creativity censor. With finger poised above the ‘Bleep’ button, he’s constantly protecting you from ideas that he deems useless, or worse: foolish. He knows what every boss wants, what every friend thinks of you, what strangers see when they look at you. He knows what’s best for you and the best way to get it.
On more than one occasion I’ve seen this censor, singlehandedly, dull brilliance and turn a symphony into an energy sapping drone.
Why would the censor do this? Because he’s protecting you! Give him a free rein and you will comfortably reside in the Status Quo. You won’t look like a fool, you won’t push the envelope, you won’t feel uncomfortable.
Your creativity and the potential for great ideas will also come to a screeching halt.
Ideas build upon ideas – yours and others. They are stepping-stones. Remove one and things might be okay…might. Remove two or three and you’re constrained to walking on one plane.
So, what can you do?
You need to teach yourself to not listen to the censor, but instead to listen to the ideas. When you hear the “BLEEP!” you need to ignore it. Instead, write the idea down and play with it. See where it leads. Nowhere? That’s okay! But, the very act of acknowledging that idea has now given you a stepping stone to another idea, and another, and….
Don’t get me wrong. There is still a time and place to listen to the censor. But, when you’re trying to come up with ideas, looking for new possibilities, exploring the unknown, your imagination is your friend, your light. Work together with your ideas!
This is exemplified beautifully in this blog post over at Thoughts on Theater. I’m going to end this piece with a quote directly from her post, as it’s a wonderful read (as is her entire blog). It’s about Academy Award winning screenwriter, Robert Pirosh. He was a copywriter that wanted to become a Hollywood screenwriter. Here’s how he finally landed his dream job:
(Pirosh) sent the following note to all of the major studios, received a slew of interview requests, and finally accepted an offer as a junior writer at MGM. From there he went on to win an Academy Award and write for some of the best and brightest (including the Marx Brothers). Just another testament to the fact that you should not water yourself down in order to obtain the dream job. Do not censor the you that just might land you the gig.
I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave “V” words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty. I like sullen, crabbed, scowling words, such as skulk, glower, scabby, churl. I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land’s-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker, genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon. I like wormy, squirmy, mealy words, such as crawl, blubber, squeal, drip. I like sniggly, chuckling words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp.
I like the word screenwriter better than copywriter, so I decided to quit my job in a New York advertising agency and try my luck in Hollywood, but before taking the plunge I went to Europe for a year of study, contemplation and horsing around.
I have just returned and I still like words.
May I have a few with you?
385 Madison Avenue, Room 610
New York Eldorado 5-6024
Posted in Authenticity, Creative Thinking Techniques, creativity, culture of innovation, Design, idea generation, imagination, innovation, Nature of Creativity, problem solving, The Human Person, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: creative problem solving, Creative Thinking Techniques, creativity, Design, human authenticity, idea generation, imagination, innovation, Nature of Creativity, problem solving, Workplace Creativity | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Plish on September 16, 2011
In the past I wrote about the health impact of open plan office spaces and their impact on creativity.
Now it appears that open office spaces, intended to foster interaction, instead foster territorial behaviours that undermine collaboration.
Professor of Strategic Management, Stephen Cummings, who led the study said,
“The intent of taking away dividing walls and doors is usually to improve creativity and performance by fostering spontaneous fun, interaction and sharing…However, we found evidence that it can lead to attempts by employees to re-create spatial and social structures and boundaries, actually undermining the behaviours an organisation is trying to encourage.
…most teams marked out their territory with posters, slogans and personal items, even moving furniture to create their own personalised space, which seemed to put other teams off moving into that space. Employees also tended to use the activity rooms in their established team groups at separate times rather than mingling with other teams.”
He also mentioned that people felt that they lacked privacy and hence they had to be more rigid in their behaviours and hence less innovative.
So what to do? Well the obvious step is to create a mix of open and private space, understand what your people are like, and build an environment that plays to individual strengths, needs and personalities. “One size fits all,” isn’t the way to an innovative culture.
Posted in Architectural Design, Authenticity, Behavioral Science, Case Studies, creativity, culture of innovation, Health Concerns, innovation, Nature of Creativity, Team-Building, The Human Person, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: behavioral science, creativty, culture of creativity, culture of innovation, human authenticity, innovation, open office space, open plan office | 1 Comment »