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Imagination At Work, Halloween Style

Monday, October 31, 2011 by Ashley Lee

Ashley Lee

Today is Halloween! As we speak, kids across America are anxiously awaiting school parades, costume parties and candy. And while we certainly know the elation trick-or-treaters have for the fright night celebration, we as adults should view the evening as a source of inspiration rather than just tooth decay. After all, if creativity can take kids to a whole new world of excitement, why can’t we do the same in the workplace?

One of the greatest attributes of children is their incredible ability to imagine and create. I am certain that anyone who remembers their own childhood would agree: a child’s imagination is more than just fascinating. Their creativity is inspiring. Because no matter the object or scenario, they can transform ‘boring’ into ‘complete awesomeness!’

While adults see a tent, children see an alien spaceship on a mission to Mars. While adults consider cardboard boxes garbage, children cherish them for the life-sized building blocks that they are. A simple seesaw in the backyard is far more than just a tool for jumping up and down. It’s an over-sized catapult that Cabbage Patch Kids and GI Joe’s use to leap across mountains. And tonight as we toss candy into plastic grocery bags or pillow cases, we know they aren’t just bags of candy. Rather they are satchels of treasure more precious than gold that will surely be protected in hidden caves beneath beds and in closets.

But regardless of the story line, what can be seen is that children live in a world where bikes turn into race cars, bunk beds into tree houses and toothbrushes into airplanes. And as we watch imagination at work, it’s hard to deny just how mystified we as adults can actually become by the intricacies of creativity. After all, if there’s one thing we know, it’s that conjuring up new and bright ideas creates endless possibilities!

So why then, do we often  find ourselves in a rut in the office? If we know that creativity can transform ordinary into extraordinary, why are we still working in the same patterns and using the same systems that have long since been outdated?

Whether it’s our fear of failure or difficulty with implementing  change in the workplace, when we ignore the opportunity for innovation we must prepare ourselves for negative results. Because believe it or not, when we fail to empower ourselves, we damage our motivation for discovering better, more efficient ways of working.

So if your inbox is suffocating you, consider that establishing a progressive email usage policy on email may be just the ticket to opening a new avenue for creative opportunity. Don’t be afraid to stand strong suggest something crazy, like the idea that  conference room without chairs could foster better, more productive meetings. Or, even if you don’t have a talent for sketching, why not grab that pencil and translate thoughts into pictures? No matter the situation, no matter the idea, don’t hesitate to use your imagination to further improvement in the workplace.

Resurrect your creativity! Get inspired by the wacky costumes and wild inventions of this season. Consider bringing new ways of thinking to work.

Happy Halloween everyone!

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