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Marci Segal has been a long-time colleague, partner, and friend with CLSR; her work in the field of Creativity has inspired us, and thousands of people around the world.  Career Development Professionals by nature need to be creative in their work, facing new challenges all the time; so consider how infusing some Creativity in your day-to-day life can help you make a difference with your work.  After you have read this post, check out some of the great resources on the World Creativity and Innovation Week website.  I’ve got my favourites, but share with us in the comments sections what yours are, and how they have affected change at your workplace.

WCID_Short-1-209x300World Creativity and Innovation Week, April 15 – 21; it’s a time to let loose your creativity to make the world a better place and to make your place in the world better too.  So often people wish they had opportunity and skill in generating new ideas, making new decisions, taking new actions and achieving new outcomes that make a difference.  Well, this is the week to do that.

Last year the United Nations resolved to include World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21, among their International Days of Observance because they recognize the importance of using creativity in problem-solving to create a decent life for all on a sustainable planet.

The World Economic Forum says creativity and complex problem solving are among the top 10 skills needed in the workplace for 2020. (https://www.wciw.org/education-2/creativity-moves-to-rank-3-in-world-economic-forum-top-skills-needed-in-2020).  So why not jump in and join with others in over 50 countries who use this week to free their thinking to create new futures?

It’s simple to do it; really, it doesn’t take much to broaden experiences, expand awareness, push the boundaries, even a little, to get used to change and feel more prepared to deal with it. We all know it is inevitable.  So here’s a week to shake things up just a little, to become more comfortable with what may be unfamiliar in the days, weeks, months and years to come.

Creativity has had a lousy PR job for many years.  Why?  People continue to experience controversy surrounding what it is, what it means, who has it and who does not. Feel free to step aside from these sentiments that serve to exclude rather than include everyone in using new approaches to solve challenges.

Would you agree, for example, that most everyone you know can and does

  • Generate new ideas?
  • Make new decisions?
  • Take new actions?
  • Achieve new outcomes?

Making new combinations is an essence of creativity worthy of support.  The kinds of ideas, decisions, actions, and outcomes likely vary from person to person because, as Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Yes, you are special. Just like everyone else.” Individual creativity is like that. No two people are the same.

What you can do this week, and in the weeks to come, is provide space and time for people practice using their abilities to make a difference. You can start by walking the talk that new ideas are welcome.  How do you do that?  Again, simple…

Because we are encouraged to use critical thinking, I’m proposing you do the opposite. Use as I like to call it, use the Angel’s Advocate (Segal, 2001).  Respond to a new idea first with what you like about it (even if you don’t); then say what you like about the future potential for that idea (even if you don’t perceive any). Third, mention some objections, concerns, obstacles to that idea. And then, given the objections, strengthen the idea or the notion of the idea. By using this technique, you’ll show that new ideas are welcome, and have a soft place to land. You’ll also stretch your thinking and possibly may grow from the experience.

Try using the Angel’s Advocate on for size in a safe place. Maybe at home with your family?  Experience how it works. See if using it makes a difference to your colleagues and friends.  Who knows, in doing this action you may open worlds of potential to be realized.

MarciMarci Segal is founder and steward of World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 and Week, April 15 – 21. Wciw.org.  She is also a former qualifying instructor for psychological type instruments, and holds an MSc in Creativity and Change Leadership from the International Center for Studies in Creativity, SUNY Buffalo. Marci applies her deep knowledge and experience of creativity, social systems and psychological type to help people over hurdles – to free their thinking so they can create new futures.  See Marci’s talk (https://vimeo.com/262427366?ref=fb-share&1) on how World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21, became a UN International Day of Observance.  She’s still getting used to this idea.  Marci was born in and grew up in Toronto, and recently moved to enjoy the mountain life in Canmore, Alberta with her husband.

Copyright Marci Segal, 2018

Reference: Segal, Marci (2001). Creativity and Personality Type: Tools for understanding the many voices of creativity. Telos Publications: Huntington Beach.