Tag: creativity

Become A Rebel And Boost Your Career

Become a rebel with a cause to boost your careerHarvard Business School professor Francesca Gino firmly believes that being a rebel with a cause will boost your career and enrich you personally.

The professor conducted a study of more than 1000 employees and found that less than 10% worked at companies that encouraged challenging the status quo. According to her “when this happens, workers and their organisations both pay a price”. The price is decreased engagement, productivity and innovation.

Apparently the pressure to conform also increases as people progress in their careers. She states that sheep are easier to manage than wolves and a study on peer pressure by psychologist Solomon Asch found that 75% of people will pick an answer they know is wrong simply in order to fit in.

The professor believes that if we adopt constructive nonconformism and be authentic then this will benefit the organisation that you work for. In addition others respond positively to those who dare to be genuine and authentic. In an assessment of entrepreneurs at pitch contests, those who seemed sincere were three times more likely to win than those who were not authentic.

Professor Gino has 3 tips for us:

  1. Challenge your own assumptions first
  2. Master the past
  3. Start small

If you have any questions regarding being a rebel then please get in touch.

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Coffee and Creativity on the Radio

Coffee and Creativity on Iman FMSome readers of my blog posts or my newsletter will know that I have been talking abut a radio show for a while. Well, now it is here. Coffee With Derek is an hour long programme that is broadcast every Thursday from 1:30pm until 2:30pm BST. Soak up some creativity whilst drinking a cup of coffee. If you are in the Sheffield area you can listen to Iman FM on 103.1FM. If you are out of range just go to www.imanfm.com and click on the listen live link.

The aim of the programme is to demonstrate how creative or alternative thinking can be used in both a personal and work context to get better solutions to problems and generate better ideas as well as making life generally easier. I also take a look at some news and local issues and give them the alternative treatment too.

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What happens to our creativity as we get older?

In 1968, George Land conducted a research study to test the creativity of 1,600 children ranging in ages from three-to-five years old who were enrolled in a Head Start program. This was the same creativity test he devised for NASA to help select innovative engineers and scientists. The assessment worked so well he decided to try it on children.  He re-tested the same children at 10 years of age, and again at 15 years of age. The test scores results were astonishing:

Test results amongst 5 year olds: 98%
Test results amongst 10 year olds: 30%
Test results amongst 15 year olds: 12%
Same test given to 280,000 adults: 2%

“What we have concluded,” wrote Land, “is that non-creative behavior is learned.”
(Source: George Land and Beth Jarman, Breaking Point and Beyond. San Francisco: HarperBusiness, 1993)

For most, creativity has been buried by rules and regulations. Our educational system was designed during the Industrial Revolution over 200 years ago, to train us to be good workers and follow instructions.

Today we measure our childrens’ education simply by the number of exams passed and the grades obtained. Similarly, we grade the effectiveness of educational institutions according to league tables. Not only are we allowing children to become less creative, we are actually helping them to do it.

Later in life, we then tell them they have to be more creative and so we send them on courses or ply them with self-help books.

This is just plain wrong, we need employees with the creativity of 5 year olds.  Maybe we should just employ 5 year olds?

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Do you ask the BIG questions?

There are many lists of things that highly creative people do. I’m not going to replicate one of those here but just leave readers with one question to answer:

Do you ask the BIG questions?

Creative people are curious and highly creative people are very curious indeed. Rather than just wander through life they will wonder how, what, why, when etc about almost everything. They will not be trivial questions like ‘I wonder why Mrs Jones painted her door blue’ but more profound like ‘If you could track the water molecules in a river, where would they go?’ or ‘If the mountain came to Mohammed, how many lorry loads of rock were there?’.

Such thoughts lead to other things, ideas get played with or maybe shared and then the Eureka moment happens!

Creative people also have a habit of saying ‘Hold that thought’ and then going off on another tack or suspending belief completely. One of my favourite quotes is from an old children’s favourite – Winnie The Pooh.

“Hallo Rabbit,” he said, “is that you?” “Let’s pretend it isn’t,” said Rabbit, “and see what happens.”

So do you ask the big questions are are you concerned with how many hours it is until you can go home from work? Do some homework, think big, daydream, go off-piste with your thinking and play. Let me know how you get on.

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