Thursday, 19 April 2012 07:57



Why modern organisations have a hard time transforming themselves is that leaders are having a difficult time transforming themselves. Unfortunately, after many years of work they begin to believe in their own infallibility. After all, they are the experts.
In such a mindset, they forget that the expert of today is the giant of tomorrow. To become successful leaders today, who will continue to be successful tomorrow, we must become beginners!

Habitual thinking tends to get in  the way when we want to create new ideas. Many of us want to run off the edge of  a cliff. How do you deal with a habit not productive for you; a habit that’s not working for you? The best way to deal with such a habit is to replace it with a habit that is working for you. So the next time you have a tough problem to solve, consider some creativity habits.

Ask yourself: “How else can I do this?” Socrates says “When you always do what you do, you always get now.”?But if  you want to make some changes in what is going on in your organisation, that’s good reason to begin using some now creativity habits.

By the way, if the Socrates phrase doesn’t work for you try this one: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.”

French writer Voltaire, once said, “Judge a person by his questions rather than his answers.”

Adopt ways to get new ideas that come “free”. Leaders get their good ideas
while driving, taking a shower or as they do nothing! Catch those ideas when they appear. Keep a piece of paper, a note pad to packet the new insights. A friend of mine uses his voice recorder to store his new ideas so he can listen to them. Use whatever method works for you.

When you are on vacation you change your routine. You are not in familiar surroundings. Dr Gerard Puccio says there  is a direct relationship between the distance  he is away from home and the numbers of  new ideas he generates. For Gerard, the farther away from home, the more ideas he creates!


Instead of thinking about what is going to happen at office, focus on the world around you. Take a mini-vacation on the way to work! Try a different way or get off the expressway and take the scenic route by exposing yourself to some different scenery and you are likely to get some new input. Look out of the window instead of burying your nose in the morning paper.

John Gardner, in his book On Leadership, interviewed a number of leaders and noted that most of their solutions for renewal could be summed up in brief line of advice: “Do something non-verbal.” Music, nature, sensory enjoyment,  gardening, or sport open new possibilities.

One study found that “slugs” read almost nothing, the “productive” read almost exclusively in their field, while the “innovative” read in a variety of fields. In fact, a great deal of people read everything, from science fiction to technical journals, from popular mechanics to psychology, and therefore enjoy a much richer storehouse. Thus, they generate more new ideas.

A teacher in a food service organisation tells young graduates “If you want to find out what is going on in the food service industry today, read Institutional Management or Restaurant News. But if you want to find out what is going to in this field in the future, read Psychology Today.”

To spot the trends of the future and to get new information you need to read outside of your area.


It is important to interact with people from varying backgrounds who have a variety of interests. This may not be easy, for we find it more comfortable to spend time with people familiar to us.

The best source of new information is not from the people you see regularly. They usually have the same information as you have. The best source of new information is from other networks—people who run in circles different from your own.

To spur your creativity, it is important to tap into groups of people with whom you usually don’t interact. Find those new networks and plug into them. It is crucial to have personal and professional relationship that can provide you with a support system when the going gets tough.

According to Dr Perry Buffington, media personality, the old saying “It’s lonely at the top” is a huge understatement. According to Buffington, when you start reaching out to others, you start trying to solve human problems. You begin to do creative problem solving.

Environment that Encourages Creativity

Have you ever walked into a place, rubbed your hands together, and said to yourself, “I could really do some great work here?”

Artists and musicians have studios, craftsmen have workshops, professors have studies, and scientists have laboratories. Where is your creative space? Where do you go to do your best work?

Schiller loved the smell of apples, so he filled his desk with rotten ones. Proust worked in a cork-lined room. Mozart composed alter exercise. Frost would write only at night. Dr Johnson surrounded himself with a purring cat, orange peel, and tea. Hart Crane played jazz loudly on a Victoria.

The extreme case was the philosopher Kant, who would work in bed at certain times of the day with the blankets arranged around him in a specific fashion—while writing Kant would concentrate on a tower visible from his window. When some trees grew up to hide the tower, he became frustrated and the city fathers cut down the trees so that he could continue his work!

Now, we are not advocating that you stock your desk with decaying fruit or cut the trees in your neighbourhood. But think about it for a minute; what are the attributes of your optimal working environment?

Do you do your best work with music playing or in silence? Are you a morning person or an evening person? Is you space filled with light, or is it dim? Is it cool or warm? Do you sip coffees or snack while you work? Is your ideal work environment formal or informal? Do you have desks and tables neatly  arranged in your space, or is your area informal with pillows and cushions scattered about the place?

What is your preferred working environment? What environment helps you become the most comfortable and productive?

When you begin to more closely examine your working style preferences and change your environment to support your preferences, you will not only increase your creativity, but will increase your productivity as well.