I am the oldest of three, by two minutes. My twin brother, my sister and I could not be more different. My brother is a Blues musician; he lives in New Orleans and travels the world playing the harmonica with The Little Freddie King Band. My younger sister started her career as a stand-up comic, and then became a writer and producer. I’m in project management. When I share this information with others during social chit-chat, the most common reaction I receive is, “What happened to you?”
We often stereotype creative and uncreative people. More often than not, we describe creative people as” flamboyant” and “extroverted”. Uncreative people are often described as “dull”, “boring” or “analytical”. The fact is, creative people come from all sorts of background and do not hold stereotypical attributes. It is not possible to identify creative people by their appearance or their actions. However, creative people share a common behavior: then tend to be brave—they are willing to take risks.
Project teams must find their creative powers to be successful. How do we become more creative? By becoming BIRDS. There are four primary attributes that promote our creative powers:
- Bravery: Be willing to try new things, take risks, go out on a limb
- Inquisitive: Be curious to find solutions
- Receptive: Be open to new people, places and ideas—the greater the range of different ideas, thoughts & views, the greater the diversity of the links our mind can make
- Drive: Energy, determination and enthusiasm makes things happen
According to Dr. Janice Thomas, Director, PM Research Institute Faculty of Business at Athabasca, the future of project management demands creative thinking and problem solving. Areas where we rely heavily upon our creative powers when managing projects include Risk Management, Communications Planning and general problem solving.
Remember, great ideas generally do not derive from logical, analytical, or deductive thinking. So suspend judgment, it promotes tolerance and respect for others. Go for quality to solicit energy for idea generation. Go beyond reason to encourage deeper communication and interaction at the level of emotions and fantasy, and build on each other’s ideas to encourage dynamic co-operation based on acceptance of other points of view.
Lisa DiTullio, Principal, Your Project Office, www.yourprojectoffice.com