It was a busy day. As I drove down the road during one of those errand trips, I heard the local radio channel go boom with this question, ‘Did Stephen King narrate bedtime horror stories to his children?’ The radio jockey further asks the reasons for our ‘yes’ or ‘no’. I sat bewildered. Stephen King is a very popular and celebrated author who is known for his work on horror stories, fantasy, and science fiction. I did not know the answer nor I could say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question.
I thought about it the next day. It hit me as a father. I had narrated hundreds and hundreds of bedtime stories to my kid daughter. My daughter is quite demanding at that.
Many times, I had run out of stories. Sometimes I concoct and make it up and sometimes my kid daughter insists that I retell the stories. I later found out that each time you repeat the story, kids start seeing it in a new angle. They reinterpret the stories and the characters.
Each time they hear, they see a new meaning in it and their imagination has no bounds. It lays the seed of creativity in them. What happens without saying is that you are effectively collaborating with your kids for their development and it is fulfilling for you as well.
I later researched and found out that, two of Stephen King’s children have become authors.
Creativity is something that we need to nourish it from a very young age.
You can read more on generating creative project ideas from out blog post, 24 simple approaches for generating new ideas in the workplace
The below presentation slides summarize it.
Even within an organization, nourishing creativity and cultivating it is a skill. We are all waiting for the next big idea and a potential break through. We cannot afford to look at it as counterproductive to productivity and control.
Nurturing creative project ideas
Nurturing your team for creativity strikes a balance between art and commerce and here are some of the important yardsticks that I have gathered.
There should be a clear definition of creativity so that everyone in the organization understands the role it (creativity) plays in achieving organizational objectives and shared goals. We need to treat concepts like ‘Design thinking’ as a productive means for creating new ideas in the organization and not relegate them as ‘time pass’ initiatives.
Ideas cannot be in the art form alone or existing only in the drawing paper. At the same time, we cannot view ideas purely from a profit perspective. There needs to be a balance. Everyone in the organization needs to understand this critical balance and work towards giving wings to those ideas. They need to recognize the promising ones and pursue them.
It is also important that we provide enough space for individual expression through solitary focused work as well as contribute ideas for creative problem solving in a collaborative work setting. We also need to understand whether the organization has necessary structures or the environment in place for such engagements from employees. They should have the freedom to move from individual work to group work with ease. This should happen without the risk of they being judged or their ideas being stolen.
For nurturing creative project ideas, organizations also have to put in place performance measures and suitable deadline schedule. So that employees can be loose and at the same time be responsible for the freedom given to them.
An organizational leader can put their hat off and join his/her team in generating new ideas as convincingly as possible and tell them that their ideas need not be considered any differently. Nothing is so fulfilling as to watch their own team members contribute ideas, achieve shared goals, and grow with the organization as much as a father nurtures his children.
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