The source of creativity and good ideas
Welcome to 2023! The BCI team is dedicating our MOC columns this year to sharing the books, podcasts and authors that have offered meaningful insight, influenced our thinking and our work, and provided “moments of clarity” and insight in support of our personal and professional growth and development over the years.
Consider this our “best of” in this amazing space of supporting organisational, team and individual development.
In this first column, I am excited to share inspiration from three of my favourite influencers and writers: Simon Sinek, Adam Grant and Brene Brown. The well-known contributors to this space recently came together to share an unscripted conversation in two podcast episodes.
These unscripted podcasts highlight the insights that may come from taking the time to check-in and have an impromptu conversation with those whom you like, respect and often turn to for suggestions and problem solving.
The podcast opens with a discussion around “where do ideas and creativity come from“. All three acknowledged that good ideas are often generated as a result of reading, listening to, and engaging with others.
However, they also suggest that good ideas exist and are generated independently by our own quests for exploration and integration of things we are experiencing and exploring.
Adam Grant provided the example of being what he described as a “pattern thinker” – using the analogy of a square on a quilt that is alone until the other squares are added in to create the final design. This resulting integration in how the squares come together in creation of the quilt is an analogy of how some of us may be “pattern thinkers”.
They suggest that our interactions inform our world view and our “quilts” reflect this sense of our larger world view. Through our own lens, we look for things interesting and useful – and that surprise us. We file these away and as our file grows, we look through it and perhaps find patterns.
The trio then discuss the suggestion that creativity and pattern recognition are part of a similar skill set, and offer opinion that creativity is a behaviour, not a thing. What follows is a fascinating conversation about various ways of considering and cultivating creativity, including the first pancake theory!
The podcast concludes with a discussion around how to facilitate creative thinking, with the suggestion to start by exploring not useful, but novel solutions to problem solving. By starting with the unusual, more possibilities will likely open up.
We look forward to reviewing the second podcast in a future column; the link to podcast one is here:
In addition to the insights generated by this three-way conversation, the independent works of each of these contributors have provided several ‘ah ha’ moments over the years.
According to his bio, Simon Sinek is an “unshakeable optimist”. He believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together. A visionary thinker with a “rare intellect”, Simon has devoted his professional life to help advance a vision of the world that does not yet exist, a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single morning inspired, feel safe wherever they are, and end the day fulfilled by the work they do.
Simon’s work as shared in his book Start with Why is foundational for leaders of organisations seeking clarity around purpose and developing options for achieving. BCI’s Foundations of Clarity workshops incorporate many of these principles – and thus, is also at the top of our books list. Additional works by Simon will be highlighted in future columns.
Similarly, the work of both Brene Brown and Adam Grant are also centred around topics and research that help leaders and organisations in their pursuit of clarity. Brown has devoted her work to “developing brave leaders and courageous cultures”. She defines a leader as “anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes and has the courage to develop that potential”. She speaks and writes often about the courage and vulnerability required of leaders. We look forward to sharing our insights from Brown in upcoming columns, starting with “Dare to Lead”.
Adam Grant’s most recent book, Think Again, highlights the “power of knowing what you don’t know”, with many interesting and relevant examples. This “power” is what offers each of us the opportunities to discover new ways of thinking about existing paradigms and to find new solutions to old problems. Consider this a starting guide on generating novel solutions to existing problems – and finding those ‘ah ha’ moments of insight and clarity. More to come on the work of Adam in future columns.
We look forward to sharing with you further reading/listening suggestions in our MOC columns this year. We also welcome your thoughts and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org