It’s that time of year. Time to release, time to renew, time to revitalize. Where does the barometer of creativity point in your organization? Do you encourage and even nurture creativity during the spring season only, or is it part of your organizational culture and norms? Does it flow naturally through your organizational DNA? Is creativity part of your core values? Do your team members and board have a diversity of perspective? Do you have a culture of creativity, or is it just nice to have when the sun is shining, flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and kids are playing?
Creativity leads to a release from carry-over biases: “We’ve always done it this way!” “We invested so many resources into it last year; we just need to give it another try!” “We were at this point in the membership drive last year, so we will have the same results this year!” Release from those biases and many others that bind us and cause us to not see new opportunities, new approaches, and thus, not to realize new achievements and growth.
Creativity leads to a renewal of passion and commitment to organizations. Is it just another day at work, performing routine tasks in auto-pilot mode? Do your organizational members remember why they got into this kind of work? Since we’re on the subject of creativity, passion, and commitment, consider one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance: Michelangelo. I’ve heard that he would spend days on end sculpting or painting until he was bleeding; and months without changing his clothing and shoes. Now, that is not necessarily desirable or suggested in our organizations today. However, it does illustrate the essence of true commitment, fueled by passion that can be sustained with the use of creative thought and action. Where we have this, we must nurture and promote; where we lack this, we must cultivate and renew.
Creativity leads to revitalization. Do your committees and board suffer from groupthink, where everyone gets in the habit of just nodding their heads in agreement for the sake of making a decision and moving on, even if the best decision or action hasn’t been presented or discussed? Show courage to engage in new ideas and concepts and challenge others to do the same. You are all capable of so much and have access to extraordinary talent and abilities. Do something they are not expecting. Lead them through a discussion, activity, or process that revitalizes the energy, dynamic, and focus of the group.
If this doesn’t convince you… I heard that being creative and doing something new or in a different way actually builds new brain cells! Those come in handy. And, by all means , get outside! Explore, interact, and see something in a new light. Bring those experiences back to work and breathe new life into your teams, committees, and organizations.