Creating the connection for conversation; an awakening

My personal readings of late have been around traditional education, the field of creativity in a social learning context and the general need for more innovation, entrepreneurs and thinkers. What I’ve read and witnessed is making me feel people think the term “start-up” is a new philosophy or trend?

They are being predicted as the new black, however, they have been around for eons.

Evidence is emerging, as a consolidation in the fields of creativity and social media learning, to engage with the creative capacities inherent in all of us; to have the discussion that makes or creates the connection.

Yes, we need to use social media platforms even more.

We need to form our opinions.

We need to guide the next generation and even the current one, and we need to be able to share, tell stories or narrate so as to educate about our achievements.

What I have witnessed, is a huge push globally to start or encourage these conversations. The need to talk and hear thoughts from each other, to innovate and understand. This in itself is causing a period of flux or unease but is also streamlining or developing understandings around our own behaviours. It is like we are all looking at each other going “ah-ha”.

Does this mean we are undertaking an awakening? Well, I believe so.

Now, this all sounds a bit wishy washy – almost as much as talking about creative thinking. In the main, people’s eyes roll over when you start to talk about the benefits of creative thinking; however creative thinking is the catalyst for changing the way we operate and manage life and business – we just don’t always attach this label to what we are doing.

So, we need a brand adjustment. Let’s stop calling it creative thinking. Any suggestions?

Looking at my own workload and where this is leading, we are on track.

The University work uses the social media platforms to engage in conversations with students about their creative work. We receive feedback constantly that this model should be applied, and would be useful across all disciplines. We agree. And it’s really quite simple what we do. We start conversations.

But, summing up what we do into three useful categories is what Julian Stodd does well. So, here is a current article from him, his summary for community management. Of course, because Julian has simplified it, it doesn’t mean it’s simple.

Julian’s outline:

FORMING is about drawing people in, exploring reasons for disengagement and ensuring that nobody is disenfranchised.

GUIDING is about framing the conversation, keeping it on track or being brave enough to listen to where it’s going.

NARRATING is about taking the individual and co-created group stories and weaving the organisational narrative out of it.

And, as he says in his next article, “Creativity should not be something we seek to deploy, it should be at the heart of what we do: creativity but with rigour.”

“Producing learning experiences that feel attractive, that capture your imagination and attention, but which also have the structure that helps us learn. They set a context, they demonstrate what we have to do and give us room to explore and reflect on this. They just do it in a creative way and then help us take individual footsteps from the learning back into our everyday reality.”

Julian Stodd consistently inspires me with his thinking about managing people in a conversational space, in particular, one that is based online. There is much to learn. And do.

In this article from the Big Think, they say “People in noncreative universes have exactly the opposite relationship to information or to experiences. They’ll see something and they’ll say is it relevant to what they’re doing and if it’s not they should push it aside and focus on what they’re task is.”

And it’s true. I feel we miss many opportunities because of the fact that creative minds are messy. It’s like the creative needs their own brand of publicity and administration that can cope with the changing, fluid, flexible environment that they/we live in. So that the analytics of the world can cope.

But this messy creative mind would add so much value.

When you think about it, this is the way we have conversations. No one speaks in straight structured sentences; we diverge, we change tac and we side track when we have social conversations. So, isn’t this evidence that our minds are naturally creative, not polished structured and titled reports?

If you read this article (and listen to) Richard Florida, he says “there are about 40 million Americans who are privileged to be members of what I call the creative class. There are people in science and technology. There are people who are entrepreneurs who work in research and development. They are architects, they’re designers; they work in arts and culture, the entertainment and media.”

Creativity isn’t just for artists and designers. It is for entrepreneurs, managers and leaders as well.

Richard says, “in some countries like Singapore or in Sweden or in Norway or in Denmark, the Netherlands, already more than 45 to 50 percent of the workforce is doing this kind of creative class work. So in my view, it’s the growth force of our time and the real challenge ahead of us how do we get more and more people involved in creative class work using their minds, using their creativity, because it will afford them a better salary, it’ll improve productivity and it’ll hopefully begin to address the terrible inequality we face in our country.”

It’s time to capture the creative mind in us all and let the benefits flow.


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