Tag Archives: WCID principles

What Mother’s Day Can Teach Us about WCID

Today, where I live, it is Mother’s Day*. I could not not make a relationship** between this day and World Creativity and Innovation Day, wondering, what can be learned and applied from Mother’s Day that would help in WCID celebrations.

Mothers perform an ulitimate creative act – they bring new life into the world.   We use Mother’s Day to celebrate and recognize the work Mothers perform everyday of the year.

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On Mother’s Day, in Canada, stereotypically:
  • Mother is taken for a meal, or a meal is prepared for her.
  • She receives gifts, such as flowers, chocolates
  • The family gathers
  • Affection is shared
  • Mothers, as well as being honoured, honour their mothers
  • Those who are not mothers contribute to the celebrations
  • Mothers have an expectation of particular attention, kindness.
What if the same reverance was given to creativity and innovation during World Creativity and Innovation Day, and Week?
  • Our ability to create – generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes – is given an opportunity to rest, relax and feel pampered.
  • People exchange gifts to enhance creativity and innovation.
  • Groups of people, teams, families, communities, alumni, gather to share news of adventures, both successful and not, of using creativity in problem-solving.
  • People, organizations, and associations share congratulations, affirmations, and support.
  • Those who are creative and innovative every day honour others who are also creative and innovative.
  • People who believe they are not creative, participate in celebrations, help to create them.
  • We each expect kindness, individual attention.
    For example, each knows and has skills so new ideas have a soft place to land; everyone is ready to receive new thinking, not necessarily as complete, instead, as beginnings for further conversations.
Your thoughts?  What parallels and relationships do you make between Mother’s Day and World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21?

*Mother’s Day is celebrated on different dates around the world (just as each person’s creativity style and expression is unique).

**Making relationships between two different topics is one of my go-to creative thinking techniques.

Happy Mothers Day to mothers  and other nurturers
Thank you
Marci

New Ideas Need a Soft Place To Land

You can quote me on this. I’ve been using the phrase and the idea behind it for years to explain that people feel more comfortable contributing new thinking, knowing their ideas will be well received; that psychological safety exists.

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Let’s face it, over 15,000 scientists worldwide agree we need to shift away from ‘business as usual’ toward a more environmentally sustainable way of acting, living. With that big ask, comes opportunities to use imagination, to free thinking to create new futures.

Environments with psychological safety give new ideas a soft place to land. Not necessarily adopted, as put into action, heard and considered.

Psychologically safe environments let people risk new ways of thinking and understanding challenges, and stretch beyond ‘normal’ to consider alternative methods, outcomes, and activities without feeling threatened, insecure or embarrassed.  In other words, out of the box thinking is welcomed; people walk the talk, they encourage using curiosity and exploration.

I recently read Inc magazine’s recently published article The Results of Google’s Team Effectiveness Research Will Make You Rethink How You Build Teams.  It cited the importance of psychological safety as a determinant of effective teams. Other qualities are dependability, structure and clarity, meaning, and impact.

What if, in the lead up to World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21, you planned to enable psychological safety in your environment?

Innovation is about people after all. New ideas need a soft place to land. See what you can do to be open and receptive to new thinking – yours and others’.

WCID founder Marci Segal outside the UN April 20, 2017. WCID founder Marci Segal outside the UN April 20, 2017.

What's WCID all about?

I was at our local chamber of commerce informal business networking event last night and invited those present, in 1:1 conversations, to begin planning for their World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21, 2018.

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Tanya Sullivan, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant reviews WCID one-sheet with Marci Segal at Bow Valley Chamber of Commerce Bevvies and Business, October 25, 2017, held at Canmore Brewing Company.

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Observations: Many did not know about it, and when they learned of the UN’s adoption of the day, paid attention.

I brought along a document, a handout, WCID One pager October 2017, that, given people’s reactions, needs improving.

As I discussed the WCID opportunities available for local businesses, some people understood right away, and others, well, not so much.

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The Question: This morning, on reflection I wondered – what is World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 and Week, April 15-21 all about? That is, how to best describe to people to invite participation?

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The Aha! WCID is about flexibilizing people’s brains; to use new patterns of thinking to approach the challenges we face and will face in the future.

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The Story: I took my first course in Creative Studies in 1977 with Dr. Sidney J. Parnes at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo. On the first day of class, he handed out a blue examination booklet and said, “Solve a problem.”

I didn’t know what to do, so, I wrote 2+2=4 on the first page, closed the booklet, wrote my name on the cover and handed it in. I was out of the class in less than a minute.

At the end of the semester, without my knowing he would, Sid did the exactly the same thing.  He handed out blue examination booklets and said, “Solve a problem.”

This time, I opened the booklet and began to write, “Wouldn’t it be nice if…” and proceeded to use the creative problem-solving process we learned. I…

  • Identified a challenge to address
  • Scoped its context
  • Defined an opportunity for problem-solving
  • Generated many different ideas
  • Sculpted a prototype solution, and
  • Mapped its action plan.

After about 90 minutes, I closed the book, wrote my name on the cover and, before handing it over to Sid, asked if I could have it back when he was finished with it.  Sid smiled and said, “Yes.”

Sid Parnes, Marci Segal, 1995
Sid Parnes and Marci Segal at ACRE 2 in South Africa, 1995

In 16 weeks I learned how to use creativity in problem-solving; to honour the human spirit of curiosity, exploration, wonder, and imagination, and use them to perceive challenges and opportunities, and solve them, in new, unusual and relevant ways.

There was no looking back.

WCID founding principle 1: Wouldn’t it be great if everyone in the world had the confidence in their capacity to use creativity in problem-solving?

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Call to Action

In planning for your WCID2018 do what you can to use your brain in ways it hasn’t been used before, to increase its flexibleness and your resilience to adapting to and creating meaningful change.

What are some ways to help people feel confident in their abilities to use their creativity in problem-solving?  Feel free to add suggestions, references, and resources for people to consult in the comments section.

WCID: celebrating that we can generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new results that make the world a better place and make our place in the world better too.