I’m not sure how many more times I can learn to defer my judgments. Hopefully at least as long as I walk into situations with my own somewhat self-absorbed sense of how things should go.
Fortunately, the Visual Arts Center of Richmond Creativity at Work program managed to shatter my preconceptions and judgments quickly. As a result, I actually learned a great deal – about myself, about other organizations in town, and about approaches to creativity and innovation that already have served me in good stead.
Just ask anyone who has gone through the six sticky notes activity I’ve been using in brainstorming sessions lately.
In session one, I found myself fascinated by ways in which simple activities with clay shaped my thinking about my own business. I quickly gravitated toward the concepts of divergence (expanding perspectives) and convergence (bringing them back into focus and prioritization).
Session two was equally illuminating, primarily because the pace shifted and I began to learn more about the other dozen participants in the three-month, three-session experience. (Including two senior leaders from my old employer, Luck Stone.) Nothing beats finding yourself among a group of blindfolded classmates, trying to create a box out of rope – well, nothing like succeeding because the group came together, listened and trusted ideas.
I was in and out of session three because of work, but I was happy to make it back briefly at the end of the day to get my official set of Creativity at Work clay blocks from the VisArts team. And I’ll be recommending the program far and wide when the Visual Arts Center schedules the next round.