Step Up into the Unknown

Blog 20-01-28 photo

While reflecting back over my career, I realized that many of my most creative solutions were born out of chaos – when what had worked before no longer worked for the issue at hand. United around a common goal to find solutions, we brought together diverse teams to attack the issue from different angles. Do you know that old metaphor of turning the coffee cup to examine the problem at all angles? Well, we went even further because we questioned whether the coffee cup was really a coffee cup.

Jeff DeGraff wrote: “Growth requires that we move out of the known and towards the unknowable, experimenting and revising as we go.” Growth is not always easy as we like the comfort of our knowing space. This is often why it requires chaos to get us moving. Wait a minute. Invite chaos in? YES. Chaos has gotten a bad rap over the years. If we look back to Ancient Greece (courtesy of Merriam-Webster), “chaos was originally thought of as the abyss or emptiness that existed before things came into being.” Now, here’s a reframe I can work with. In fact, you might also want to post the definition near your desk.

Moving past chaos and into creativity and innovation requires that time of stillness when you let go of the known. It’s not that your experience and knowledge isn’t valuable – they have gotten you to this point. And, it’s time to go further. It’s an opportunity to be like Edison, who viewing failure as an opportunity to learn, had 10,000 learning points on his way to inventing the lightbulb. He had a growth mindset and a great team. What will you bring to the table?

This Week: This is a great team activity and/or team competition for “most creative.” And, it works well as a warm-up for getting your creative juices running. Take an item that you use every day. Place aside it’s normal use. Now, come up with 25 new uses for the item. Nothing is out of bounds. Go!

In Next Week’s Post: How an aligned vision serves.

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