How the drive for productivity stifles creativity in the workplace

2015-08-11 07:32

When I first started copywriting, I remember getting the draft documents for a huge copywriting job that never went through - a series of white papers. I spent months writing and rewriting them anyway.

The experience helped me understand not only the power of editing, but also how a piece of writing improves as you’ve had more and more time to understand and process the information; time to repeatedly review, edit and refine the writing into a fluid symphony that ensures consistency of tone, vocabulary and person.

Another reason that the creative process takes time is that you need breaks and to walk away and allow the piece to unfold, in between multiple edits and reviews. This way you have time and space in which you can digest all the information, see the big picture and create a masterpiece that truly encapsulates the essence of what it is you are trying to portray.

Shake That Ass Tootsie!

In today’s rushed and hurried world though, the time and patience it takes to produce a masterfully crafted piece of creative work of that caliber is sadly just not available.

There’s no time for the shading, detail and nuances that go into a production of that stature, because we’re all on a tight budget and on an ever-tighter schedule.

Clients don’t want to waste a cent more than they have to on unnecessary hours, and in many cases are quick to dictate just how long they think they the creative process should take at each stage – often far more cognisant of their budget than the final result.

Sadly, this is not just true of traditionally creative environments like studios, but applies in most business arenas today.

A Masterpiece takes Time

Creativity, when it’s rushed, doesn’t allow you to even begin to scratch the surface of the potential that truly lies there.

For a start, it allows you no time to get your juices revved up, to really get your head into a project so that you can truly understand it and get excited.

Once you’ve had time to see the big picture however, your creative mind can go into high gear, because you’ve seen how it all fits together – and you understand where and how you can add value.

Why does this happen?

In BodyTalk, when you are creating practical functionality in a person’s system, you will often anchor their subtle senses to their brain. When you’re helping them feel more connected, you anchor those same subtle senses to the heart.

Subtle senses are the filters behind the senses that interpret the incoming information of touch, smell, sight, sound and taste. When these filters are blocked they don’t allow the nuances and subtleties of detail through, so everything lands up seeming the same.

Anchoring your subtle senses to your heart effectively means that we are sending the sensory information gleaned from that sense to your heart to help you feel more connected to what is going around you. We would direct it to your brain if you wanted to function more efficiently and be more productive.

A simple, real-world example of this would be the sense of touch: when you’re focused and productive, someone gently touching you on the arm or shoulder can feel invasive and intrusive, but when you’re in a loving or connected mindset, the filter through which you view that touch is that it is offered lovingly and with care, and so you welcome it.

In order to think creatively and operate well as a team so that you get the best creative input out of each person, your team members need to be heart focused, and even go into entrainment, a process where their heartbeats will actually go into sync.

In order to have them money and time focused, cognisant of timesheets and hour allocations, they need to be brain focused, achieving practical functionality. You can see this for yourself with the many productive, focused people who are good at getting things done that are also usually happy to run on their own – and are not always so good at the people stuff.

How do you mitigate this?

An effective way to mitigate this and help keep your team in a creative flow is to engage the heart in the workplace.

Yes, your productivity might take a slight knock, especially in the beginning, but the quality of work you produce will be that much greater in the long run, with visible improvements in unity and harmony in your environment.

Daily team meetings with verbal praise and/or gratitude allows each of the team members to get into the habit of using positive language with each other, giving an opportunity for the group to develop a supportive and empowering vocabulary and the habit of externally expressed positive reinforcement.

Any daily activity where the team talks together will allow them to develop their own internal jargon and language, which will help them communicate more efficiently and understand each other more clearly over the long term. So it’s important to ensure a communication pattern where each and every person is effectively forced to speak out loud during each group engagement, so that they play an active role in the language’s development and feel a sense of ownership over it.

Daily meditations such as the Global Care Rooms initiative which offers an easy to learn and do heart based meditation based on HeartMath’s Quick Coherence Technique.

The Quick Coherence Technique and other free resources on HeartMath’s site are amazingly effective stress management techniques that are child’s play to learn and use.

Employ creative exercises such as those used in improvisation comedy classes and methodology to blast through creative blocks.

Use this free online metaphor tool to start a storyline for icebreakers at meetings and gatherings or to kick start creative thinking with your team. Pick an opening line and go around the table, with each person adding the next line, building a story as you go along. It is important that each person speaks out loud if this is to work effectively.

One caveat for any group activities: make them as inclusive as possible.

When you only work with one small core group, they may land up seeming overly bonded and clique-y from the outside, which may cause external tensions in the larger group setting.

Mitigate this by aiming to include anyone who is around in the gatherings and teachings, including superiors who are willing to participate.

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