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Massive change ahead. Are you ready for the ride?

Massive change ahead. Are you ready for the ride?

Massive change is ahead (or maybe it is already here.) Change in our workplaces, change in our society, change in how we live our life, change in how business operates, change in the type of jobs that we will be doing. You name it … we are living within a time of massive change.

We have a choice; to get on board and reap the rewards that are available to us by being part of this change… or resist and be left behind.

This is the primary message I took from the Wired For Wonder conference held in Melbourne last week.

My brain is tingling from the fresh ideas, the innovation and out of the box thinking, from taking a peak into the future and from the fabulous conversations with many forward thinking people.

The team at Wired For Wonder fired up my wonderings from the moment I stepped into the reception area of the venue.   They had set the scene with a team of white coat clad mad scientist types serving tomato infused tea amidst the theatre of smoking dry ice. At morning tea there were gorgeous flavoured donuts on plates suspended from the ceiling. And a magical table laden with sweet treats of all types that resembled a fairy’s garden greeted us at afternoon tea.

Clearly this was not going to be any ordinary conference.

Here are just a few of the ideas that have remained swimming in my mind over the last few days

1. Don’t be a zombie  Technology pioneer, Nolan Bushnell warned us not to be part of the “zombie apocalypse,” that is taking over many workplaces. He reminded us that we were all once creative, curious and willing to give things a go but somewhere along the way we have been trained to regurgitate the “right” answers and follow the status quo.

Innovative employers such as Apple and Google are regularly hiring people straight from high school who are passionate, self taught and making things happen. They are hiring on credentials, experience and merit rather than university degrees and marks.

2.  Embrace Entrepreneurial Thinking. Successful 21st Century leaders will be those people who can develop entrepreneurial thinking. To get ahead and stand out from the crowd, leaders must develop the ability to innovate, create and engage teams. Most importantly they must have clarity of vision and always be striving to do great work, focused on building trust with their community of customers.

Rachel Botsman made this clear in her presentation on the power of collaboration and sharing. The leaders of both Uber and Airbnb have done this brilliantly, rallying a tidal wave of loyal followers to their businesses. Regardless of the resistance from the traditional players in these industries, “the genie is now out of the bottle” with customers embracing this new way of business. There is clearly no going back from here.

3.  Persistence. Failure and rejection is the norm. The awe inspiringly brilliant Jack Andraka who at only 15 invented an inexpensive early detection test for pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers had his request for lab space rejected by dozens of institutions before convincing an eminent cancer researcher to let him use his lab to develop his theory.

What a great reminder. If we want to achieve great things we must be prepared to back ourselves and to persist in the face of rejection and failure.

You will win some. You will loose some… that’s life.

And then there was Cindy Gallop who is on a mission to disrupt the way we view sex with her Make Love Not porn Website. Given that this website is all about showcasing real sex (rather than sanitized, commercialized and acted out porn sex) she has encounter a range of obstacles; including difficulty securing funding, finding a video platform that would allow her to show adult material and identifying a payment system that was prepared to be associated with her product.

This is a great example of new business thinking bumping up against old world standards and rules. Persistence will definitely be required to find new world solutions!

4.  Focus your mind. Within our mind is untapped potential. Tapping into that potential is ever so simple…. but not at all easy in the busyness of our world.

Aleks Krotosk shared with us that we do our best work when we are in “flow.” But more often than not we get into the state of flow not with important work but with responding to the constant disruption of emails. She asked “Are you focusing on emails because it is useful and productive or because you have been drawn into the vortex through trance?”

We all know that exercise is important. The fabulously high octane Libby Babet bounced onto the stage to get us out of our seats and moving. After 90 minutes of sitting our minds were starting to wander. But did you know that just 20 minutes of walking will increase your focus? And that a 20 minute nap will increase our effectiveness by up to 30%?

And one of my personal favourite moments of the day was being guided through a meditation by Hindu Priest and Mind Coach; Dandapani. Meditation has recently become a regular part of my day. Dandapani reaffirmed that meditation is not something we will get instantaneous gratification from, but the positive effects will come over time, through consistently including as part of our lifestyle.

The challenge from here….

We have no choice. Change is upon us and resistance will be fruitless. Lets embrace the new world and get on board for the ride. I know for one, I am excited about what the future holds.

Thank you Women In Focus for the opportunity to attend this event that has changed the way I think and see the world as it now is.

NEXT STEPS?

If you like what you have read, Click HERE  and pop your name and email into the boxes and come join this growing community of extraordinary, passionate, down to earth women just like you who are committed to finding their place at the leadership table.

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7 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Creative Thinking

7 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Creative Thinking

Innovation, creative thinking and problems solving is becoming an increasingly important skill for all leaders to foster.   Organisations are hungry for employees who can see things from a new perspective, solve long-standing problems with simple changes and really drive progress within the business.

Being able to think creatively, solve problems and create new and innovative ideas will have you stand out in the crowd and put you in a powerful position.

I once thought that I wasn’t creative, able to think strategically or to come up with innovative ideas. I now recognise that actually I am … I just hadn’t nurtured these skills or learnt how to create the best environments for me to allow my creative juices to run free.

 

Here are 7 surprisingly simple ways to supercharge your creativity.

1.  Create thinking time. It is nigh on impossible to be creativity let alone productive when we are surrounded by distraction or you are on high alert for the detractions that are likely to come your way.

Put aside a chunk of time in your calendar each week dedicated for work that requires clear thinking or creatively such are specific project work, big picture planning or nutting out a problem.   Turn off your phone, shut down your emails and shut your office door if you are lucky enough to have one.

2.  Manage your mood. Research has found that we do our best creative work when we feel positive. We tend to be bolder and more focused on solutions and what is possible when we feel good. So think about what gets you in a positive mood? Is it heading out for a quick coffee with colleagues, is it meditating in the mornings before work or hitting the gym?

3.  Find your creative space. One leader I was working with some years ago was struggling to come up with a business strategy that was innovative or inspiring. She felt bogged down and void of new ideas. Not surprising really… she was working in a classified area of the Defence Force requiring her to conduct all her work in a windowless bunker!

Our work environment plays a huge part in our creativity. All my best creative work is done sitting in one of my favourite café’s. Yes the coffee is good but I think it is the ambient noise and the hustle and bustle around me that allows me to focus, create and come up with new ideas.

I wonder where your creative space is? Is it a café, sitting on a park bench or your kitchen bench after the kids have gone to bed? Wherever it is … plan to spend more time there. Not only will it be good for your creativity, you will also see your productivity take off.

4.  Get exercising. We know exercise is good for us for lots of reasons and here’s another … studies have shown that exercise can improve our ability to think creatively.

I love the way it’s explained in this Psychology Today article:

“Sweat is like WD-40 for your mind—it lubricates the rusty hinges of your brain and makes your thinking more fluid. Exercise allows your conscious mind to access fresh ideas that are buried in the subconscious.”

So … head out for a walk at lunch time to clear the mind and expand your thinking. On countless occasions I have been mulling over a problem all morning only to find the moment I step outside for a walk, the answer appears simply and easily even before I get to the end of the street.

5.  Extend your boundaries. There is a very good reason why training programs usually involve butchers paper and colour textas. It is to encourage us to return to our child like exploration of ideas and to remove the limits and linear thinking that comes with lined paper or the standard work document.

To get ideas flowing ditch the computer and map out your thoughts on flip paper or a white board. This is the time for out of the box thinking. Believe no idea is a crazy one because it is from these crazy ideas that the gems appear. You can always amend them later to mould them into workable ideas… but for now just go with the ideas.

6.  Find some friends. You are no doubt smart. It may be your responsibility … but you don’t have all the answers. Very often the best solutions and ideas happen through collaboration. Reach out to your team, colleagues and mentors to bounce ideas around with. Ladies, we are known for our strength as collaborators so lets put that skill to work. Stop believing you need to do it all. You don’t!

7.  Be Inspired. We do not find new solutions or become more creative by maintaining the status quo. New ideas come when we step outside what we already know and experience new things.   Explore new places, seek out new experiences, visit places of inspiration, engage in wild and crazy conversations to extend your thinking of what is possible and expand your horizons by immersing in the works of the brightest thought leaders of today.

New ideas and solutions do not always come from brand new thinking … often it is from repurposing, redefining and reshaping the bright ideas of others.

Building your creativity is just like building any muscle. It takes persistence, practice and perseverance. We were all born creative but somewhere along the way it gets beaten out of us. We are told to colour between the lines, to be like everyone else and to follow the rules.

If you want to create innovating marketing ideas, develop game changing strategies or to solve the challenges that are thrown your way day in day out, you must flex your creative muscle. See this as a critical skill you can develop. Be bold. Be brave and have some fun.

Next Steps?

If you like what you have read, Click HERE  and pop your name and email into the boxes and come join this growing community of extraordinary, passionate, down to earth women just like you who are committed to finding their place at the leadership table.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
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Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

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Imagine this….

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