Barry Saunders, Innovation Consultant, about the importance of inspiration and creativity in our work, no matter what it is.
I don’t know a lot of people who wake up in the morning thinking, “I hope this isn’t a very good day.” Most people get up and say, “I’d like to make good use of this day. I’d like to feel maybe like I made a little bit of difference. I’d at least like to have a day well spent.” We get up, we drive to work, we get out of the car, we lock it, and we go in and do our jobs. But the truth of the matter is most of us leave a lot of who we are sitting in the car because we don’t think it’s ok to bring it with us into the work that we’re supposed to do.
I think early on, we have this wide open heart and mind to what’s going on in the world. We’re pretty good at living in the world of a lot of ideas and possibilities, not necessarily having to filter them all out to create one solution. And in some ways, when we get into school and we start learning, that becomes narrower and narrower, and we’re taught, “This is the methodology for that. This is the thinking framework for that.”
Creativity can be a bit of a slippery topic. Typically when people hear the word creativity, they think about artistic expression. So they will immediately disqualify themselves from participating in the creative process. Really, creativity is about building ideas.
The first thing that scriptures tell us is that God created. And if you look at the work that God gives man and woman to do, it’s “Take care of the earth. Plant things. Grow things. Create more of yourselves.” It’s the same types of behavior on a smaller scale that He’s actually been known for in the first couple chapters of the book (of Genesis). He basically says to us, “Now go create things.” And to me, that’s a foundational understanding of what we were meant to do, how we were meant to spend our days.
Personally, I believe that without great inspiration, you’re not going to be able to create much. People are tired, and there’s not a lot of room and space for getting inspired, for creating ideas, and then for building those ideas out into actionable business solutions. A lot of folks aren’t aware of how they get inspired. Part of what we do is help people know how to go grab inspiration, how to hunt it down, how to track it down and really keep looking for it until you get to the stuff that says, “Yeah, this is relevant, this is important.”
What we know about innovation, what research tells us about creativity as a business skill, is that the ability to bring your whole self, all of who you are, into all of what you do, even when that may feel a little bit awkward or a little bit crazy, drives engagement and drives impact unlike any other. Everything of who I am belongs inside of my work.