Thursday, October 13, 2005

Creativity is a very personal thing

Business Times p.B3
Thursday, October 13, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Creativity is a very personal thing

WRITES William Miller in The Flash of Brilliance: “Personal creativity is the ability to use your thoughts, values, emotions and actions to enrich your environment in new and unique ways. The way you dress, how you organize your work or your special recipe for five-alarm chili are all products of your unique creativity. But, do you recognize when you are using your creativity?

“Your responsibility may be to carry out the orders, not make them up. After all, what is so creative about figuring out a way to smooth out the peaks and valleys of the work flow, or planning an off-site meeting that is both fund and productive, or cracking the right joke that helps your boss laugh her way through a tough day? Well, believe it or not, these situations are also ways for you to exercise your unique creative sprit.”

When we think about creativity, we think of inventors, painters, sculptors, actors, songwriters and other people in show business and fine arts. And you think you’re not artistic. “But have you ever thought about all the creativity it took to come up with the things we use every day?” asks Miller.

Miller identified the following abilities of a creative person:

See the big picture: When you look at a sand bar and “see” the next Miami (or Boracay) beach.

Take initiative: When you decide you are going to do something about the mess in the plant by organizing a safety task force.

Be open to new ways of doing things: When you decide to hold your staff meeting off-site, even though it’s not in the budget.

Look for input from others: When you ask your sales managers to participate in your ad agency’s brainstorming session.

Generate many options: When you help your twins make their Halloween costumes.

Make decisions based on your values: When you decide to assign the account to the new kid in order to help her grow.

Take action and be persistent: When you organize fifty dinner parties to raise money for the new wing of the hospital.

Share the credit and reward yourself and others: When you throw a surprise party for your wife to celebrate her graduation from medical school.

To add my own:

Do things with others: When you work with others, you complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses and produce synergy

Be a role model for your profession: When you set the standard for professional behavior at work or in your civic involvement. In 1932 Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor set the Four-Way Test as a standard of behavior for all rotarians and rotary was never the same again.

Make something tangible: When you sew your own dress, build your own chair, make your own Christmas card and wrap your own gifts.

Think up a new idea: When you think of new ways to prepare your report, refinance your loan, or cure the bird flu. There is no crazy ideas, only lazy minds.

Express yourself artistically: When you fix your own room or cubicle, rearrange your own tabletop, choose a wallpaper for your computer or tie a scarf in a new fashion.

Do something spontaneous: When you simply go with the flow of conversation in the dinner table and not try to impress, go with your intuition or guts or use your wit to spice up a boring meeting.

Produce an event: When you volunteer to take care of the games or the program in your office party or organize your next general staff meeting around a theme.

Organize people or projects. If you are a Rotarian, organize your community into Rotary Community Corps, Rotaract, Interact and Early Act and partner with them to make their life more comfortable and your being a Rotarian worthwhile.

Change your “inner” self. When you decide to define yourself in whatever way and choose to live life the way you want it. Anton Chekov said, “Man is what he believes.” When you decide to be beautiful, act on it and act like it.

Moje is president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp. and the Rotary Club of Quezon City North. She invites you to their Rotary meetings at BigShot Bar & Billiards every Thursday at 7 p.m. Her e-mail address is

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