Deep in the middle of another frigid February with record snowfall, I jumped into my bright red Honda to take a 500 mile drive to a remote meditation center. The trip was my first expedition into the unknown continent of meditation and Mindfulness Practice, it wouldn’t be my last. As I drove up the snowy twisty mountain road, the large stone retreat appeared, it was surround by huge snow drifts and painted by what I would soon come to realize was a relentless howling wind. My apprehension peaked.
There can be no doubt that a confused, chaotic, distracted and an unsettled mind can lead to some spectacular states of creativity, but for most of us it’s a rare event. And when it comes to being creative and innovative in a business setting those states will more often get you fired than hailed as a creative genius. It’s better to leave the turbulent mind to writers of fiction and artists deeply involved in self expression.
A top requirement to encouraging creativity and innovation within a business is the ability to communicate your ideas to a group of peers in your team. So being creative generally is not enough you also need to bring the rest of the explorers along with you on your journey to find the next big thing. If management is finding it hard to take ideas to fruition and to create an acceptable ROI you’ll you need a facilitator to help guide the process.
As a child I often went camping with friends, sometimes the trip was no further than the backyard of my parents house, other times I traveled hundreds of miles to pitch a tent or roll out my sleeping bag under the stars. These trips were a magical time when we’d let the world fall away replacing it with our unlimited imaginations, we’d replace the world by tapping into the stream of creativity. What I learned about creativity on those long ago journeys was that everyone is connected to the stream of creativity, no one is left on the side of the road devoid of this connection.
Create a Safe Container
Generative Dialogue begins with a safe container – a space where participants develop mutual trust because they are encouraged to speak openly and candidly without repercussion. This can sometimes be challenging – especially in a business environment where it’s often not easy to speak your mind – particularly in front of the boss. Yet if the atmosphere is such that people cannot speak honestly, trust will not be attained and Generative Dialogue will not be achieved. Moreover, creativity will be hindered.