Toy Box Leadership (Part 4) Yo-Yo

Creativity is like a Yo-Yo. That's the metaphor for today in TOY BOX LEADERSHIP.

"Creativity is much like a yo-yo. It remains dormant unless it is released."

This statement just a few paragraphs in was the first thing I underlined because I believe that it is so true. Creativity is like a muscle when used get's stronger and more refined and conversely when unused atrophies and withers. I know that it has been true in my life that when I am being creative that something in me sparks and jumps and comes to life and seems to give me more creative ideas. And, when I'm not being actively creative that I somehow see life as ebbing away and this leads to a more subdued Jim Drake.

The authors here say that like a Yo-yo creativity must have a motion where it is flung forward and the force of that motion forward moves creativity up and down in the organization. Agreed--it must be begun and maintained, but as the author says no one wants to just go through the motions of going Up and down. That's where the creativity comes in (do you remember the yo-yo tricks of the 70's? Walk the dog? Around the world? Rock the cradle?) All of these yo-yo tricks were born out of creativity.

"Organizations often underestimate the value of creative people. Creative people connect the dots when others don't. They make observations about products, services or presentations that are obvious to them but others miss.... Simply put creativity creates opportunities"

I marked this paragraph because I believe it. Creative people are an underutilized resource in any organization. It may be because creativity cannot often be quantified or catagorized or measured in ways that sales and productivity can. However, living in every organization are creative people waiting to give perspective and solutions that no one else sees. I wrote to the side "this is my value to my organization."

"Letting go is the removal of constrictions. Creativity is squashed by restrictive boundaries, unnecessary policies and lack of opportunities."

Creativity thrives in open systems where opportunities are welcomed and risk is expected. Creativity is diminished in organizations where "safe" outcomes are always expected and wanted. I don't think the authors are arguing here for a complete "unsupervised" system of organization, but I do agree with them that sometimes structure squashes creativity and keeps it from flourishing.

"If you hold too tightly, your perspective narrows and you exchange creativity for comfort."

I think this last quote says it all. Organizations shouldn't be threatened by creativity, but should embrace it for in it lies the ability for an organization to see solutions that are not obvious to the logical. Unfortunately 99% of the world's organizations settle for comfort instead of creativity which would propel their organization to the next level.

Are you creative?