LET CREATIVITY ENRICH YOUR WORK LIFE
Updated: Mar 16, 2019
If I have one regret today, it would be that I had not cultivated and expressed my
creativity more in my everyday life.
And while I am feeling this way, I would like to express my gratitude to my current employers, managers, team-mates and colleagues at CloudPay for enabling me to address this regret in the here and now. Let me explain. When I was younger I would spend a great deal of time finding expressive outlets. I used to regularly paint, write (stories, poetry, musings), draw and act. Unfortunately I was never musically gifted, no matter how much I wanted to be.
Anyway, I would often do this kind of thing in isolation or try to keep it to a select audience.
Alas as I got older and gained the responsibilities that adulthood thrusts on us all. I reacted in a way I now understand as unhealthy, but understandable. I tried to put most of it aside; put aside childish things and join the adult world.
I near stopped painting, drawing and acting pretty much all together. I kept up some writing, but no where near the level I liked. As such, I believe the majority of the skills I accrued over the years have indeed faded (any of my teams will tell you about some of my questionable whiteboard doodles!).
This is probably because for the majority of my working life I have kept my creative side very separate from my work side. It was my embarrassing secret that I felt I did not simply have the self belief and competence, so relied on something I (mistakenly) thought of as childish.
True, I would work within the constraints of any role I found myself in while using my creative side to work through/around/with challenges, but this would not be expressed in any tangible way that you would understand by simply looking at my work. Essentially I was ignoring the sage lesson my maths teacher used to teach me all those years ago:
"Show your bloody work, Rhodes!"
A lesson that I would not appreciate the importance of until my thirties. What can I say? I was not a great fan of maths lessons!
I still have a collection of half filled notepads with semi-mundane notes, doodles, mindmaps, diagrams, scripts, stories, lists etc. All tools I would use to martial my thoughts around a subject and apply different lenses to in-order to visualise and scrutinise ideas, methods and means.
If I could tell my younger self something in order to live a happier life, it would be to take more of a risk and let the creative side shine. Make those things a visual representation of the thought process.
Why? Well since embracing my creative side and beginning to incorporate it into my work life a few things I have done are:
Helped communicate complex ideas quickly and effectively to diverse audiences
Facilitated discussion across my department
Diagrammed plans in a way the evokes questions and feedback
Championed and publicised product developments
Worked to make meetings effective, memorable and interactive
Presented proposals for improvement
This is not me boasting about how great I am. It is just recognition that these are places where I had not previously considered publicly displaying creativity. It was a case of another powerpoint, another set of minutes, another email... and it did not have to be that way! A big part of this is feeling safe to do so. Which for me, has a lot to do with management behaving as enablers and allowing me to tackle challenges in a way I thought best while lending advice and coaching when appropriate. This is something I want, have and will continue to pass on to my team mates; by leading by example and showing that a creative approach is an option, we can try something a bit different. I don't want anyone I work with to feel the way I did or to come to regret our time working together as a missed opportunity. Have you ever felt this way? Do you have any suggestions for ways to bring creativity into everyday work life? Get in touch! Please comment, tweet @ me, message me on Linkedin or email me!
Today's quote is courtesy of Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso:
"Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up"
Be seeing you!