Sunday, April 26, 2009

Creativity is in high demand in these low economic times

Who wants to be a millionaire?

Difficult economic times have spawned zillions of new ideas, entrepreneurship and even millionaires. There are multiple stories on the Web claiming that that more millionaires were made during the era of the Great Depression than in any other era in U.S. history. Whether that story is true, I don’t know – but I do believe that many people saw opportunities amid inflation, unemployment and soup lines and found themselves thriving rather than just surviving.

There are people, me included, who say that the current recession is no exception the possibility of innovation and prosperity. I like how Andrew Razeghi, author of “The Riddle: Where Ideas Come From And How To Have Better Ones,” says that economic downturns are good times to break with the status quo. The fact is that creativity is a key skill in this economic market. Business people, large and small, must approach their businesses, employees, marketing strategies, products and services with new eyes and the willingness to make appropriate changes. People who are creative – who have the gifts of looking at timeworn cultural traditions and finding new possibilities -- are in great demand.

But what is creativity?
We have to banish the idea that: “Creativity is thinking outside of the box.” It is NOT! Creativity is using BOTH sides of the brain — the right brain and the left brain — and the ability of the brain cooperate and to put information together in new ways. We create best when we balance the brain and use both our thinking and feeling capacities. Here’s a quote from Rosabeth Moss Kanter that I love:

“Creativity is a lot like looking at the world through a kaleidoscope. You look at a set of elements, the same ones everyone else sees, but then reassemble those floating bits and pieces into an enticing new possibility. Effective leaders are able to.”
Or, as I like to say:
"Forget the box! It doesn’t work that way! Forget the emphasis on thinking. It doesn’t work that way. It’s the BRAIN, not the box."

Jill Bolte Taylor’s amazing new book, “My Stroke Of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey,” eloquently tells about her stroke and how she could no longer think in a linear fashion. She experienced the different parts of her brain, gained in capacity to stay in the present moment, developed new skills and learned that the right brain is the key to enlightenment. See information about the book. read an interview and watch a video here and visit her own Web site here. She says:

"...although I lost my left cognitive mind that thinks in language, I retained my right hemisphere that thinks in pictures."
I am always available for creativity coaching by personal appointment and phone. With the magic of psychodrama theory and techniques -- which impact both the cognitive and imaginative sides of the brain -- we can delve deep to find your gifts, identify and refine new ideas and decide how to present them for public consumption. Right now I’m working on a free e-book about how creativity works. Let me know if you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive a copy.