Sunday, March 6, 2011

Are you a maverick?

This from my friend and creativity colleague Dr Robert Alan Black with his permission. His contact details follow the article. His is the most comprehensive creativity web site that I know of. Check it out.

Be a Maverick.
But I Ain't No Maverick,
Don't Want to Be,
and Besides I Would Lose My Job If I Was.

Have you ever had this conversation with another employee or internally with yourself--the good faithful employee and the rebel self who wants to fly like an eagle?

I know I did several times in the earlier years of my working life in the early 60s and since occasionally.

When I was first inspired to be more creative, thanks to Edward de Bonos book, NEW THINK I began my Walter Mitty fantasy life of being or becoming the great creative person.

Within the next couple years I began to read other similar authors and discovered there were researchers, psychologists and teachers who believed people could be taught to be more creative.

The popular books then and now about how to become more creative all seem to focus on the reader becoming or being a maverick, a risk-taking, rule- challenging, dreamer, who sacrifices everything so they can create. Walt Disney, Tom Edison, Charles Goodyear, painters, sculptors, writers, designers were always used as role models for the mavericks-in-training.

Over the past few years I have begun to challenge this approach of trying to make everybody a maverick, a top or bottom 2 or 3%- er. Using the absolute tops, the most successful, the breakthrough thinker or idea finder as role models is I believe a major reason why the work of so many, many writers, researchers, teachers, trainers and consultants has produced little change in the acceptance of creative thinking or the willingness to develop and apply the creative thinking and creativeness of the typical person, the other 94%.

Scott Adams has made a fortune writing and drawing daily, example after example of how creativity and creativeness are killed or squelched in the typical workplace. Book after book has criticized managers, bosses even leaders or blaming institutions for being killers of creativity.

Simple fact, not everyone is a Micheal Jordan, Celine Dion, Bill Gates. Not everyone possesses their natural talents, skills, drive or desire or just plain good luck. While at the same time everyone of us can be and is far more creative then we are recognized for or allowed to be the 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 48 to 50 weeks a year, 30 to 50 years of our lives we give to our job or working. Yet watch us when we go home and see how creative we are in our hobbies, part- time jobs, volunteer work or with our families and friends.

Point 1
It is time for each of us to accept that we are more creative.

Point 2
It is time for each of us to apply our natural creativeness.

Point 3
It is time for each of us to spend some time regularly to further develop our creative thinking and problem solving skills.

Point 4
It is time for each of us to ask for more creative assignments or opportunities to be creative in our work

Point 5
It is time for each of us to ask for help and support from our fellow employees, supervisors, managers and bosses to use our creativity and further develop it at work.

For too long we have been blaming the management for not doing it for us or for doing it to us.

Do our fellow employees, supervisors, managers and bosses reject our ideas kill our ideas (deliberately or indirectly) refuse our ideas tell us to stick to the plan

Do the job you are paid for - stay in line

No doubt this happens.

You and I do it with our spouses, children, neighbors, friends and total strangers every day. It is natural for the greatest majority of people to prefer the status quo, the as we have always done it syndrome.

To be more creative we simply need to step out of line, get out of the box, draw outside of the lines. Yet when we do these we tend to expect things to change for the better instantaneously. We want everyone else to change. Yet we resist change. Actually we tend to resist being changed by other people, outside influences, systems, situations, bad or good luck.

That is another of the major problems with increasing the amount of creativity used in our daily lives. We expect others to change to our solutions and change instantly. Too often our ideas are simply that. Ideas. They aren't solutions. They are ideas, thoughts, suggestions, opinions. They are NOT worked out ready to be applied solutions.

Therefore others who don't see, feel, smell, taste, touch, sense the same way we do resist our ideas.

What can you and I begin to do? choose to work at being more creative
choose to accept that we can improve and expand our creative abilities.
work at taking our ideas to solution more and experiment with them before we expect others to immediately accept them.

work more at doing small things more creatively

stop trying to become a MAVERICK or a GIANT and focus on becoming a more creative YOU

ask in less threatening ways for help and support in being creative

ask in less threatening ways for opportunities to work on more creative work.

work on your current job more creatively

accept that you fantasize about being a giant, a maverick, a hero/heroine,
breakthrough thinker and work at becoming a stronger, better, more creative you.

Who knows!

By doing these for 1 days, a year, 5 years you will become the next MAVERICK that we write about for others to use as a role model.

To be more creative simply choose to be. Then be. Then support everyone else in being.

Very few of us will change the world. Yet we all can change ourselves.

The funny thing is when we do that the world somehow changes too.

©2008 Robert Alan Black, Ph.D. RAB, Inc. -
Cre8ng People, Places & Possibilities
P.O. Box 5805 Athens, Georgia 30604-5805


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