Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Archive for the tag “Relaxation”

Creativity and the Business Brain (and Why Most of Us Should be Sacked)

Thinking Out of the Box by Svilen Mushkatov

Thinking Out of the Box by Svilen Mushkatov

Your position of responsibility gives you the stress of deadlines, targets and deliverables. The development of your people, your management responsibilities and your career development weigh heavily on you. Continuing professional development, business/ competitor intelligence and your near-term product and service evolution/ development nag away at the peripheries of your to-do list and stress consciousness.

The environment in which you and your business is operating, the competitive threats and the strategic developments that you should be plotting and planning in response seem like things that are always on next week or month’s agenda.

The reality – when you make the time – is that your your day to day responsibilities drown your brain space and creativity. Like digging a hole in the sand on the shoreline, as quickly as you try and dig out the brain space, the sea water of your hard deadlines, actions and targets fills the hole. Even if you adopt a disciplined approach to your time you often get to the allotted slot for your creativity and…….. nothing…… you’re not in a creative place or mindset, nothing flows. Or even if it does, it’s a long time coming and you’re vaguely aware afterwards that there was a lot more to come if only you’d been in the right mindset.

If you’re practiced at being creative, inventive, innovative and lateral then you’ll recognise the mind set you need. You’ll know what state you need to be in to originally produce and generate new thought or ideas. You may only know this hazily through a series of post-event analyses of your most creative moments. Or this may be the first time you’ve really thought about it all that deeply. But hazily is the key, and at the heart of the dichotomy of managing creativity in business (to be clear, I’m not talking here about managing creative teams, but the extension in thinking and reasoning should be fairly obvious by the end of this post) Read more…

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How Things are Changing: Intuition as Another Evolutionary Step in Fact-based and Creative Decision Making

So what has changed? How are things differing in reality? How is the shift in thinking impacting things?

The last few months postings (since c. September) have started to circle faster around similar subjects. The core of Just Seven Things was and always will be the mission to find out how it all works; in particular, how the relationship between the conscious mind and other-than-consciousness can be managed to optimise happiness.

The shift is to a greater reliance on the other-than-conscious. I had always trusted my intuition before, but I had not had a relationship with it. Essentially, I hadn’t used it as a tool: it had just seemed to happen.

First I probably need to define terms that are only just forming for me personally (rather than being others’ words on a page. I’m using unconscious/ intelligent unconscious/ undermind (borrowed from Claxton)/ intuition interchangeably at the moment. Essentially: the assembling of information and decision-making without direct attention (thanks to Royce Bell of Accenture in an FT article entitled ‘Gut Instincts Give Business Intelligence a New Flavour’ which helped me with these words)

Now, on a daily (near hourly basis), I’m increasing my awareness of and then listening to my other-than-consciousness. Trusting it to help guide my attention. To seek what I need to replenish my energy levels or creativity.

My need to consciously interpret is reduced as I see the evidence in the form of quality and quantity of insight and output.

My belief in relaxing into, and doing all that I can to facilitate, my intuitive and intelligent unconscious is accelerated on a daily basis by my rapidly increasing levels of happiness: even in the face of more challenging external environments in which I am working

Relaxing into Change

I’m working through a lot of change at the moment. Interestingly it’s more about corporate change than personal change (i.e. myself), but as I’m planning for and leading the change at Madgex it’s actually nearly all about people change.

It’s a fairly straightforward observation that the change will happen through people. That without their buy-in, change remains locked in managers words and in documents and project plans.

I have considered change in a number of posts, and over the last few weeks have been digging around for as much management theory as I can. A few things have struck me:

  1. I could be looking in the wrong place, but the theory content seems to be quite thin when I had expected depth. Particularly when you consider my earlier point about the centrality of change happening through people. I obviously haven’t been looking in the right places for the psychological and motivational theory linkages which should be at the heart of all the planning
  2. A very good, positive focus on talking: both in terms of gathering feedback and aligning expectations. Indeed, the balance between the leadership role of inspiring and aligning people behind a motivating vision of the future and the management of the operational and functional ‘realities’ is fascinating
  3. A balance is starting to appear. A balance between trying to plan for change, and relaxing into change.
To explain my third point: it is starting to feel like change actually happens when an internal tipping point is achieved. You can try and impact as many of the elements that can contribute to change as you can consciously identify. However, it feels like there is a lot that has to fall into place. That has to shift internally to a good place that is aligned with the future desired changed state. A lot of the work that takes place consciously feels like it prepares the ground for the internal alignment/ realignment. But it can’t actually cause the change. A period of percolation and feeling for fit seems to be required
And it is during this stage that, unless the conversations are continuing throughout, degrees of misalignment can get fused in which will distort the future changed state

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