INSPIRATION IS NOT SOLD, Svetlana Rakutina

18/02/2014

 

Cosmopolitan (Site news), February 18, 2014

INSPIRATION IS NOT SOLD, Svetlana Rakutina

For example, in Stockholm School of Economics participants of EMBA program created portraits of each other by oil on canvas and graduates drew perfect landscapes in Mtskheta, ancient capital of Georgia.

Cosmopolitan (Новости сайта), 18.02.2014

 

INSPIRATION IS NOT SOLD, Svetlana Rakutina

Do you consider yourself a creative person? If your answer is "now," then read further!
What is creativity? Dictionaries and indispensable Wikipedia prompt a definition to us, "This is activity that results in appearance of something qualitatively new that has never existed before." These may be works of fiction, scientific discoveries and inventions, new products and services.
It is not necessary to persuade anyone already that for business ability to create new things is a key success factor. A. Pushkin wrote, "Inspiration is not sold but it is possible to sell a manuscript." Until recently, there was an illusion that creativity was a prerogative of the chosen ones, especially gifted people. Nonetheless, it is obvious that every person has ability to create from the start. Give paints and a sheet of paper to a child. Look how boldly and confidently the child puts paints on a blank and empty sheet. He creates new things and submerges into the creative process fully. The result will be wonderful until someone tells him that not everyone is talented to draw.
Fear is one of the most important obstacles in the process of creativity. This is a fear of mistake, condemning, fear to do "something wrong," to show to everyone that you have failed. It is not incidental that there is a rule in the most innovative companies that is voiced and, what is the most important, is supported by the management consistently, "We like our mistakes! They bring new opportunities to us." Such atmosphere gives boldness to test something different and a wish to acquire new experience.
What else is in the creative process of children that disappears in adults afterwards? Ability to look and to watch, to notice what others do not see. Adult life is full of stereotypes, that is established attitudes to the ongoing events, phenomena and actions. Stereotypes help us save efforts: it is impossible that we create our own models, theories and opinions for anything in the world. However, sometimes stereotypes may be very harmful. The process of creativity always implies presence of a "child's look," ability to see familiar things in a new way. It is possible to make this "child's look" return. It is sufficient to ask more often: how else was it possible to do this?
Another peculiarity of childhood is the joy with which the child creates. Joy is one of the main positive emotions of a human being, it gives a feeling of satisfaction, pleasure and is a very strong motivator. Innovative companies always remember this when they create offices spaces full of light, bright color spots and soft sofas.
At any rate, of course, neither boldness, nor the wish to acquire new experience, nor "child's look" and joy will lead to a result if there is no stubbornness is achievement of the goal. Leonardo da Vinci drew lips of Mona Lisa for 12 years until achievement of the necessary effect of the most mysterious smile in the world. To create a new medication it is necessary to sort thousands of molecules. In business organizations aimed at achievement of an efficient end result stubbornness in achievement of the goal is warmed up by bonuses and existence of feedback.
My experience of work in business schools and permanent communication with top managers and owners of business for 11 years have persuaded me that even the most successful people often cannot "actuate" inspiration in them. To help them, we develop a project named "Painting workshop." The meaning of this project is increase of creative potential of managerial teams.
For example, in Stockholm School of Economics participants of EMBA program created portraits of each other by oil on canvas and graduates drew perfect landscapes in Mtskheta, ancient capital of Georgia.
What do we do with top managers? We put them in front of an easel, give canvas, brushes and oil paints. Almost everyone who created his first work of art (these are already much more than 1,000 people) drew last time in the elementary school. And, of course, they never drew with oil paint. Professional artists help them, advise how it is possible to get this or that color. But they do not limit the creative process in any way.
As a result, participants of the painting séance pass through all stages of "actuation" of their own creative generator:
Boldness and new experience. To surmount the fear that "I will fail" and to agree to experiment.
"Child's look." In case of the painting séance this means getting rid of stereotypes "apple is round" or "sky is blue." Examples from abstract painting and suprematism help us in this.
Joy. It is amazing how quickly it appears when you focus on what you create and not on whether you will be successful in this.
Stubbornness in achievement of the goal. Our participants confess, "Throughout four hours there often appears a wish to abandon everything but if you keep working on a painting you get an amazing result!"
Pushkin has been right, inspiration is not sold! But there is a series of consistent measures that can be taken to create inspiration and "to actuate the creative generator" of both a separate person and the entire group. The algorithm "boldness and new experience – child's look - joy – stubbornness in achievement of the goal" can help business in creation of new products and services, in improvement of business processes and in management of changes. It can also add joy and motivation for you and for your employees.
So, do you consider yourself a creative person? "Actuate" inspiration and we wish you creative success!
Svetlana Rakutina, HR and leadership development director of Stockholm School of Economics Russia.

 

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