Creative team building

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Creative team building

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Measuring the value of team building: It’s a matter of context I read plenty of articles about team building. Many bag out team building as an effective way to build teams or provide a positive influence in the workplace and many others are completely the opposite. The ones that bag out team building generally say something along the lines of “just by doing xxxx you won’t achieve xxxx.” And there is a great point there. In an age where you type team building into a search engine, you find everything from going ten pin bowling (activity) to a high end leadership course (lets say a development program). I have written before about the lottery with what you might expect from an activity that labels itself as team building. When I started my career in training and development with a company in the UK, if there was a team development program that didn’t link back into the work place, it wasn’t worth doing. It had to provide more ROI than just the activity alone. parajumpers Masterpiece It doesn’t mean everyone wasn’t having fun (as fun is essential to learning) but the program had to provide serious insight into the business. That was standard and our clients expected it. Now, over 10 years, our business in Australia gets so many calls where teams just want to get out of the workplace and have some fun. The clients are really adamant about this. Nothing to do with work, just fun. T-Shirts Don’t mention ANYTHING to do with the workplace. So how do you then work out the value of such a program? At the end of the day, only the team wanting to do the program can comment on the value of that program to their company. If you are to understand if a team building program is valuable, you have to understand the context for wanting your team to participate in that program. Once you know what success looks like, you can then work out post session if the team building activity helped you achieve that. You can then judge if the program was successful for you and your team. As an example, one person may bag out shaving Mohawks in each other’s heads as a team building program but if you really wanted to shave each others heads and this helped you achieve your exact aims of giving everyone funny hair do’s then the program was successful. Sounds pretty simple? If you were only looking the cheapest possible activity and say you take the team lawn bowling and everyone has a great time, then in your context the team building...

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A recent study by Adobe of over 5000 people in the worlds 5 leading economies: United States, England, France, Germany and Japan has revealed that only 1 in 4 people are living up to their creative potential. There are some interesting points: 80% of people feel that Creativity is key to driving economic growth Whilst 50% agree that they are increasingly being expected to think creatively at work 75% say that there is increasing pressure to be productive rather than creative at work 59% feel that creativity is being stifled by the education system – echoing the words of Sir Ken Robinson There were some interesting barriers that people spoke about as a barrier. The biggest surprise to me was that 43% indicated that a lack of money was the biggest challenge to being creative. Isn’t creativity free? Artists are considered highly creative but have one of the lowest per capita incomes around. I fully understand the issue of time (which I have spoken of before) as you have to make time to put the idea into action and make it real. Some other barriers to creativity were: Fear of being judged Finding others to support you I don’t take chances What people wanted most to help them be creative were: Time to think creatively 36% Training to learn and use creative tools 31% An environment to think creatively 30% Tools to create 27% 71% of people also preferred to be by themselves when they create – something to think about next time you head into a brainstorm session. One thing I like about this study is that it is easy. Thankfully, a study on creativity has been represented, creatively! Easy to read, not much text and plenty of colour. There is always lots of negative and positive feedback about any study such as this and this has been no different. Whatever your thoughts, its a great way to think about how you are trying to encourage innovation and creativity in your company and the one I really like, ‘Are you living up to your creative potential? If not, why...

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Creativty – process or end product? I think that people often focus on the wrong thing with creativity and especially their won creativity. Mostly the focus is on the end result, rather than what happened in the process. Let me use the example of drawing. Someone sits down to draw or represent an idea. If the result is something that they hadn’t imagined or even don’t like, has it been a waste of time? The commercial answer may be yes. The internal skeptic we all have would tell you it’s a pile of crap and a waste of time (along with the usual “you aren’t creative, don’t try it again idiot!”) Some other people may even laugh at what you have done. But is it waste of time? My thoughts are a big NO. Participating in the process of drawing gives great outcomes such as self expression, thinking differently, visualisation, relaxing, thinking, creating, improving hand-eye coordination, refreshing your soul, learning to see, learning a new skill and plenty of other great outcomes. I think that to many people ignore the benefits of engaging in a creative process. How good is it to dance just because you can? What are the benefits of dancing for no reason at all? I started thinking more about this whilst reading an article by Tom Allen recently about prisoners in Bali who were exhibiting their art. The organiser said the exhibition was more about soothing troubled souls rather than unearthing a master.The focus was as much on the benefit of painting rather than the specific outcomes of the painting. And that’s exactly right. Creativity has many fantastic benefits, including the benefits  process of doing something ‘creative’. Be brave, ignore the outcome and go and create for the fun of it. What is the worst that can...

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What use will this ever be? It is a question that I (and most of my peers) would ask a teacher when you were learning something  that you werent really into. In may case it was maths and anything that went towards algebra/algorithms/physics. At the time, it was a fair question. When was I ever going to use an algorthithm (and I never have). From memory, teachers never really had a great answer. With the benefit of hindsight, I realise that it was teaching my brain how to think. It was developing my brain. It was helping my brain develop more capabilities and to reach it’s potential. It was helping it to meet new challenges.  It was a good thing to learn and laid the foundation for basic thinking skills and important in my development. Using exercise as a metaphor, it was devloping my brains fitness. When you are fit, the benefits are massive. It has positive influences in all areas of the life. So, it was good to see an article this week in the Australian “Emphasis on arts for young students”. Why? The CEO of the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, Peter Hill said the skills taught in the arts improved the ability of young people to create, think, design, solve problems and communicate. Sound like useful life...

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My year 7 art teacher killed my creativity! Its a little bit of a harsh statement but I find that for so many people it seems to be true.  This is not a slant against art teachers or any teachers at all. They do an amazing job and I used to be an art teacher myself many years ago. What I find though, is that so many people we work with had a bad experience with their year 7 art teacher where they were either told they were useless or made to feel useless. What happens? That person builds a limiting belief and spends the rest of their life saying  ‘I cant draw, I am not creative’. If you say you are not creative then you will not act creatively. Simple. Which is really sad. You kill off a part of you that should be alive and that can make your life and career great. There is a speech by Sir Ken Robinson at the TED conference on You Tube that is getting a lot of interest at the moment. He talks about how the school system is killing creativity and that he thinks that ‘creativity is as important as literacy’. Some other great points he made are: If you not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with anything original. We get educated out of creativity – we are all born creative. Education is focused on skills that would get you a job in the industrial age, not in the current age We need to radically rethink our view of intelligence – its multi-functional, dynamic, interactive and distinct. He presents some fantastic points and about embracing all forms of intelligence and creativity, not killing it. Remember, all children are born creative, lets not kill it off Last chance saloon If you havent been able to see the work of Olafur Eliasson at the Museum of Contemporary Art, DO!! You dont need to have any knowledge of art whatsoever to be enthralled by this exhibition. “From light-filled environments to walk-in kaleidoscopes, Eliasson’s unique, experiential works explore the intersection between nature and science, and the boundary between the organic and the artificial” Make it happen before 11th April...

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