We have no hope of solving our problems without harnessing the diversity, the energy, and the creativity of all our people.
My best friend is Pam Slim (www.escapefromcubiclenation.com), a life coach, author and all around fantastic human being. She wrote a great post earlier this week. She had a line in it that stopped me in my tracks. Literally.
Create or Die.
When I read those three words my heart began to race. They resonated with me on such a deep, deep level. It’s the generation of innovative ideas and the manifestation of them from thought into reality. It’s a wonderful combination of original thinking and then producing. It does not matter if we are talking about individuals or organizations her statement is a fact of life. She spoke the TRUTH.
We Create or We Die.
To get our hands around this beast we call creativity we must ask adventurous questions – the kind which, in all likelihood, cannot be answered. And there lies the rub. It can take years to bring an idea to life. Decades before we see the return on investment. We get bored. We lose faith. We give up. Creativity is typically used to refer to the act of producing new ideas or approaches. Innovation is the process of both generating and applying creative ideas in some specific context. Organizations need to innovate to stay relevant, so they do not lose market share or lose donors. So they can achieve their mission. So people can be fed, children can be taught and communities can grow stronger.
Innovate or Die
In order to be innovative, your employees have to be creative to stay competitive. Punishing honest mistakes stifles creativity. Having a culture that never forgets a mistake, or an error or leverages institutional learning’s can kill creativity. It will slowly kill the creativity of your staff. You want people moving and shaking the earth, working hard and giving you their very best- this will not happen without mistakes being made.
Experiment or Die
It’s been said that to grow creativity in organizations you need three things: expertise-the intellectual knowledge; creative thinking skills-imaginative people; and motivation. They also need organizational support, including resources and the autonomy to get the job done. The way you work in the field may be different then in the home office. Allow experimentation and contextualization as needed. When an innovative idea requires a new business model, or radical redesigns a real world experimentation approach increases the chances success.
Creativity takes courage. It means letting go of certainties for the unknown. We have urgent problems to solve, and we need creative people and organizations to do it. NOW. We have no time to waste; we must be fierce and original in our work in this amazingly complex world.