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Saturday, July 25, 2015

How You Get to Trust

     “You’ve got to trust me on this one.” Confident voice, arm around the shoulders, the whole scene just like in the movies, until the response: “No, I don’t. No way I have to trust you.”
     That flat-out vote of no confidence did not come in a movie – it was a real-life business moment.
     The key word was “trust,” and that was the issue. Trust requires the surrender of your independent judgment to someone else. You’re a fool if you give very much of it without really believing you should. That’s why we rarely place total trust in another person.
     How much trust do you think we exercise every day, and in whom? We do it frequently, but usually in small doses. You couldn’t get through an intersection controlled by a three-phase traffic light if you didn’t think the cross-street drivers would really stop.
     Sometimes they don’t, so we enter intersections with caution. We limit our trust.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Creativity on Demand

      We don’t have to wait for that cartoonish light bulb to pop up. We have a switch. We can turn on our creativity. Maybe not instantly, but pretty reliably.
     How can we do that?
     First of all, we have to crack our devotion to the familiar and the routine. That’s the hard part. The unspecified assumptions that direct our regular behavior do not often trigger original ideas. If something unheard-of arises spontaneously, it usually is smothered or brushed aside. Maybe we’re on autopilot.
     The door to creative thinking opens when we accept the need to practice awareness more effectively. That means paying conscious attention to conversations, developments, suggestions and even our own occasional idle thoughts. We’re busy, though, and we can’t spend too much time chasing off-the-subject possibilities.

     Still, new challenges demand new thinking, and projects are projects because they are out of the ordinary.