Happy Holidays! I hope you enjoy this edition of the
Practical Innovator, with its list of creative gift
ideas! And may the new year be full of
prosperity, good health, and much
|Gift ideas -- The art of possibility questioning
The questions you ask, out loud or to yourself, shape
how you perceive, think,
feel, behave and relate, personally and in your
organization. They create the “texture and
form of our
experiences, possibilities, and results in life.”
Why not give yourself a new year's gift of a new set
of questions to open up worlds and expand
to the list questions like:
* What did I do right?
* What's possible?
* What's working here?
* What am I trying to achieve?
the best that could happen?
My website has additional questions to use with the
many leadership challenges of performance appraisal,
coaching, problem solving, and conflict resolution.
|A gift for your team
One of the major benefits of knowing how you are
the contribution of this awareness to higher job
performance. Conversations with workshop
participants have convinced me that the
more you believe in yourself as a creative
individual, the greater will be your creative
output. Now there is research to support this
perspective. A study of over 700 employees who
responded to such statements as “I have confidence
my ability to solve problems creatively” found that
a belief in oneself as creative was positively and
significantly related to creative performance, with
creativity assessed on such factors
as “trying out new ideas and approaches to
The study also found that this belief in creative
capability is bolstered when leaders serve as creative
role models and also build
employees’ confidence through verbal
How can you promote more creativity
in your team?
1. Serve as a positive creative
model. As team leader, your words and actions
your expectations for innovative performance. The
way you ask questions can impact how
wide and diverse the answers will be. Questions that
"yes or no" type answers close off
discussions and the free-flow of ideas and
alternatives. Questions such as "in what ways might
we?" or "'what would happen if?" on the other hand,
encourage exploration, more positive thinking
and insight, and thus lead
to more creative possibilities.
2. Appreciate individual differences. While
everyone has the potential for being creative, or
consistently producing different and valuable
results, not everyone knows how to be their creative
best. Whether a leader uses the eight creative
talents of the Breakthrough Creativity approach or
some other model, he or she must honor individual
differences in the ways employees
produce creative results and make
creative contributions. Some
team members may need more support than others to
see themselves as creative.
Some may need to be encouraged to add structure,
discipline, and focus on
may need to be prompted to gather more data and
information before making decisions, while others
may need to be prodded to move on toward
It's crucial to the team's creativity that a team
leader remember one size does not fit all when it
comes to being creative!
3. Maintain great processes. Teams that produce
extraordinary results have processes
designed to creatively and effectively resolve
challenges and successfully implement solutions.
When processes are designed with flexibility,
customer service, and excellence as the
goals, they can actually speed up product delivery.
As Peter Drucker has said, "Most of what happens in
successful innovations is not the happy occurrence
of a blind flash of insight but, rather, the careful
implementation of an unspectacular but systematic
4. Provide encouragement. Remember to praise
small steps toward more creative performance.
Verbal encouragement goes a very long way in
supporting further growth in creative contributions.
Make plans to build more
creativity in your team in 2007. The results in terms
of productivity, employee retention and customer
well worth the effort!
|More gift ideas
Searching for new gift ideas for your team, your
friends, or yourself?
Check out Twyla Tharp's book, "The Creative
Habit?" It's a terrific step-by-step guide for making
creativity an integral part of your life. Or Lynn
Robinson's new book, "Trust Your Gut?"
Lynn shows you how to access the inner resource of
your intuition to generate new ideas and make
successful decisions. (Both are available on
Plan a weekly Artist's Date. Julia Cameron, in her
recommends taking an hour or two a week to make
an Artist's Date with yourself. That's a block of time
set aside and committed to for you alone to nurture
your creative consciousness. It can be an excursion
to a new art gallery, a ticket to a concert to hear
gospel music, or some other activity that's fun and
playful. It doesn't have to be expensive. It just has
to nurture your creativity!
Invest in a museum membership to stretch your
and creative perspectives. Look for smaller museums
with unusual offerings or just wonderful space where
you can sit and restore your soul.
Buy a handsome notebook with blank unlined pages
to start a creative journal. This journal is not a
diary, but a nesting place for creative insights and
Or think about a two-hour coaching session for
someone to help them figure out how they are
creative and what they can do to be even more so!
For more information, email me at
|Give yourself a gift of reflection
Instead of getting caught up in the hustle and bustle
of the holidays, find the time, whether it's 15 minutes
or a whole
precious hour to reflect on your talents and
what you have done with them this past year.
Then, try to figure out what steps you might
take to get deeper in touch with those
talents in 2007.
Carl Jung believed that journey toward reaching your
creative potential is "a
lifetime's task which is never completed; a journey
upon which one sets out hopefully toward a
destination at which one never arrives." Your
challenge is to get started. Not long ago the writer
Anna Quindlen quoted George Eliot, as once having
said: "It is never too late to be what you might
have been." Then Quindlen added: "It is never too
early, either. And it will make all the difference
in the world!"
Should taking a first small step on this journey be
one of your new year's resolutions? If you need help
in taking that first step, let me know!
(Adapted from 2004 Winter Newsletter)
A Holiday Gift of Creativity
As you start your new year, promise yourself that
you will ....
Get Out of that Rut
Oscar Wilde said,
So stop getting
Get up at 5:06.
Walk a mile
Find a new way
to drive to
Switch chores with
Buy a wok.
Stay up alone all
Read to the blind.
Learn to speak
the thing you do best.
Listen to two hours of
Take up aerobic dancing.
Leap out of
this way once.
"Creativity takes courage."
Breakthrough Creativity Products, Services
Consulting and facilitation services support
organizations in strategic planning, new business
creation, teambuilding, and leadership development.
Services include organizational, team and individual
assessments, through the use of proven diagnostics,
and ongoing support for leaders and teams.
Workshops that provide substantive material in an
interactive environment, focused on practical
application are also available. Sessions include:
* Becoming a More Creative Leader
* Developing the Strategic leader
* Building Team Talents with Breakthrough Creativity
Because of their
modular design, workshops can be easily customized
meet each group's particular needs.
Curious about the symbols in the newsletter?
based on Australian aboriginal symbols depicting
change. The Breakthrough Creativity logo represents
the new perspectives a traveler brings to the
problems of others......