Have you ever taken the StrengthsFinders test, where it tells you what your top 5 strengths are out of something like 35 strengths? Well, the first time I took it I had 3 learning themes in my top 5. I joked at the time that it was proof that I was a geek, but it really validated a lot of why I love taking in information. This week I joined a couple hundred other people from around the world at the Creative Problem Solving Conference. The conference has been going on for 58 years, thinking through how to creatively solve the world’s problems. I learned so much during the day, I wanted to share with you just 3 of the speakers and thoughts that still have me thinking.
Teresa Amabile is the Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at Harvard Business School. She shared some of her research around what she believes make people happy, motivated, productive and creative at work. I took pages of notes, but it all pretty much boiled down to the idea of seeing progress. She explained her concept of Inner Work Life and how happiness in the work place is very dependent on an internal fulfillment based on seeing progress on the projects. She asked a group of managers what they believed Positive Inner Work Life was based on:
-Progress in the Work
Only 5% of managers thought that Progess in the work was the most important, but the study actually showed that that is the number 1 cause of a positive inner work life.
How would you have answered it for yourself? How would you answer it for your team?
Jim Gilmore, author of The Experience Economy shared about his influencers and why experiences are so important. He shared about the progression of commodities to goods to services to experiences. We now desire much more deeply to have our experiences live up to this dream we have for them. What do we actually want, and what are we willing to settle for?
He shared 2 examples of the above progression:
Example 1: Cake
Commodities: We used to buy raw ingredients, and make a cake from scratch.
Goods: Then we moved to buying a boxed cake mix.
Services: This moved to hiring a bakery to bake the cake.
Experiences: Which then turned into taking the birthday party to Chuckie Cheese to have a full blown birthday experience.
Commodities: Raw coffee beans
Goods: Coffee beans already roasted ready to be brewed
Services: Buying a cup of coffee already made
Experiences: A new coffee shop culture, where you’re going to the place less for the coffee than for the experience you’ll have while you sit and drink it.
What examples can you think of in this progression? What do you believe makes experiences so powerful?
John Hunter is the creator of The World Peace Game.
I’m attaching his TED Talk here…He’s brilliant. You’ll be so inspired by his Social Studies teaching idea. Every word was engaging, and everyone listening left optimistic for the future. My favorite quote from him was, “I’m teaching my students to live and work comfortably in the unknown where chaos becomes a feature instead of a bug.”
What can YOU do to encourage the next generation of creative thinkers? What can you do to leverage something positive in the world?
Who are you learning from?