I read an article in the newspaper this weekend entitled, Go ahead — be weird at work. Weirdness is gaining traction as more workers realize conformity will only hold them back. The article was about Seth Godin’s book, We Are All Weird.
I loved the concept but I’d like to add to it: “We Are All Weird, Imaginative and Creative, Dammit!”
Here’s the book description (which you’ll of course find on Amazon): “We Are All Weird by Seth Godin is a celebration of choice, of treating different people differently and of embracing the notion that everyone deserves the dignity and respect that comes from being heard. The book calls for end of mass and for the beginning of offering people more choices, more interests and giving them more authority to operate in ways that reflect their own unique values. For generations, marketers, industrialists and politicians have tried to force us into little boxes, complying with their idea of what we should buy, use or want. And in an industrial, mass-market driven world, this was efficient and it worked. But what we learned in this new era is that mass limits our choice because it succeeds on conformity. As Godin has identified, a new era of weirdness is upon us. People with more choices, more interests and the power to do something about it are stepping forward and insisting that the world work in a different way. By enabling choice we allow people to survive and thrive.”
Yes! Now I’d like to add “we are all creative and imaginative” to the being weird part. I think those boxes Seth speaks of have stripped us of our imagination, of our creativity especially and with rare exception in the corporate world.way. By enabling choice we allow people to survive and thrive.”
I’m driven by my creativity and imagination. I’m still a kid in that way. They too are driven by their creativity and imagination – and their desire to play and to create. I’m always thinking, imagining, envisioning something “different” than what is. My mind never rests. And kids are the same way don’t you think? All you need to do is to play with a child and go where he or she leads you. Before you know it, time has passed as you become lost in their imagination. How awesome is that?
I facilitated my team building scavenger hunt games for many years for local San Francisco businesses. I have always designed my hunts from a kids’ point of view. I wanted to get adults away from technical, logical, in the box, “adult” thinking if you will and to rediscover their imagination, to rediscover the kid in them that should never go away. Every time I facilitated one of my scavenger hunts for a company, I would watch people as I gave my introductory speech. I would see the irritation on their faces, watch them dig in and, with their body language, clearly tell me that they were not going to have a good time no matter what because my game was going to be a waste of their valuable time. And then they had to use their collective creativity and imagination to complete a challenge. The transformation was absolute. The kid in all of them surfaced. They smiled, they relaxed, they laughed, they talked, they had fun and they were inspired. Whatever was going on in their office or in their life took a back seat. Sometimes they absolutely blew me away with their creative solution to the scavenger hunt challenge. They imagined something I never even thought of. Me, the creative one! Still I never got tired of watching that transformation, which always came.
So my question today is, what can we learn from our kids with regard to more fully using our creativity and imagination? To appreciate the power of fun? To embrace our weirdness?