I try to encourage creative and fun thinking with my clients. Creativity is so dead at most businesses these days that I hear things like, “I like being creative” when someone ‘boldly’ tries a new font on a flyer promoting a birthday lunch. Bringing fun into the workplace involves taping pictures to a cubicle mimicking the well-known style “Early Teen”. That’s about as much creativity and fun most businesses allow.
There are two deadly trends at American businesses:
1. Most businesses do not want creative thinkers. Most businesses see creative thinkers as rebels and difficult to manage, their ideas as whacky and expensive.
2. Businesses want compliance with procedures more than they want improvement to operations. Seth Godin’s Linchpin book is a an interesting reflection of this. Businesses do not want linchpins. Management’s job is to hold things together. Businesses want people to work.
This country of ours is at the fork-in-the-road of our future. One path leads to decline and the other to turn around. Looking ahead, we can see the familiar on one side as far down the path as we can see. (Not far) And the other side looks strange and confusing.
Given those choices, people will usually choose the familiar.
If we would break with our sense of security we could learn rather quickly that the strange road that it is lined with new opportunity.
Which way will we go?