Many business leaders, managers, and owners want to come up with business breakthroughs that will propel them to new career heights and/or help them their business. I want to discuss today how the greatest people of our time use creativity to create more breakthroughs.
The secret of creativity is that it is combinatorial – made up of a combination of things. Nothing is entirely original. Everything builds on what came before.
We create by taking existing pieces of inspiration, knowledge, skill, and insight that we gather over the course of our lives and recombining them into incredible new creations.
Let me explain with this story about Picasso.
Picasso is sitting in the park working on several paintings. A woman walks by, recognizes him, and begs with him to draw her portrait. He’s in a good mood, so he agrees. A few minutes later, he gives her a portrait. The lady is elated, she cries out about how this masterpiece captures the very essence of her soul and character. She is enamored with its beauty. She asks how much she owes him, “$5,000.” said Picasso. The woman is taken aback, shocked, upset and asks how that’s even possible given it only took him 5 minutes. Picasso looks up and, without missing a beat, says: “No, madam, it took me my whole life.”
“The idea that in order for us to truly create and contribute to the world, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these pieces to build” new solutions, processes and more.
Think about it like legos. “The more of these building blocks we have, and the more diverse their shapes and colors, the more interesting our castles will become. Because if we only have one color and one shape, it greatly limits how much we can create, even within our one area of expertise.”
Your success, failures, fulfillment and more is based on what you do every day and the diversity of your experiences (people, education, ideas, etc.). It’s not a linear process like school. It’s piecing together a lifetime of concepts, ideas, experiences, beliefs, values, and relationships and creating something new. h
Truth & beliefs are two separate things. Leaders & managers OFTEN get them mixed up and it’s crushes their career because they argue them because they need to be right (or they are closed off from other possibilities). Here is why your beliefs aren’t truth (and goes to epidemic level of poor self awareness).
Truth is 1+1=2. That’s a fact. Belief is true to you, but a belief isn’t necessarily true to me. It’s an opinion (& emotional not logical) even though is may feel or seem to be the truth (such as a particular strategy, process or way of thinking).
If you and I are sitting at a table eating dinner we can both point to the table and say, “Yeah, that’s a table.” How do I know that? Because you’re experiencing it and I’m experiencing it. That’s the truth. We look up at the sky that’s the truth. But you telling me that best TV show is Game of Thrones, that’s not true. That’s just your belief.
I challenge people constantly on what’s true and what’s not true. And then are you willing to give up your old beliefs and accept new ones.
If not, you’ll get stuck (& limit your growth), alienate people, underperform, and find yourself in some very difficult situations that you could have avoided.
“I loved your session in Tubac (at the Sales Leadership Summit), and have been exploring the files on the Google drive (and the Cards Against Mundanity game). Can’t wait to try it out with my team!
Based on your talk and suggestions, I came up with an idea I tried out. I led two sessions last week where reps shared their first concert with an associated memory, and we are now building a playlist of the hits. It is a great team building activity!”
“I just wanted to say thank you so much for coming on the show. We actually used your card game in one of our professional development sessions with teachers a few months back and it went really well. Your episode has been doing really well. I have gotten rave reviews from my audience with many feeling as if they received great coaching during your episode.”
Host of The Startup Life Podcast & Owner of Owls (an education consulting firm that tailors professional learning and instructional content to help school and district leaders improve the way teachers and students learn, interact and perform.)
“Trust is the one thing that changes everything.” – Stephen M.R. Covey
All the greatest teams have one thing in common – extremely high-levels of trust, caring and connection that brings out the absolute best in each person and enables the team to acccomplish seemingly impossible feats together.
Why? Trust is THE essential ingredient, lubricant, glue that makes it all work. Without it, you don’t have high performance.
Do you know the level of trust in your company and/or team you are leading (or on)? I bet the answer is no. If the answer is yes, hats off to you. You are in a very select and small category. For the rest, not knowing is costing you $$$.
Ignorance is not bliss! So here’s a quick process to help you measure and assess where you are at. Awareness is the first step.
Here’s a two-question (anonymous) survey to assess & improve trust in an organization or team (which correlates to your level of performance):
1) How would you rate the level of trust in our organization on a scale of 1 to 10? (1=watching your back to 10=feel very safe sharing, asking for help, making suggestions, etc.)
2) What would need to change to raise your rating to a 10 or closer to it? (Meaning what positive actions would you need to see and what negative actions would need to stop).
You could also do this with your customers, board of directors, vendors and other stakeholders.
It will reveal quite a bit. In most instances, you’ll find your organization has work it needs to do. A very small percentage of organizations will score 9 or 10.
You’ll need to make trust building a company/organizational priority.