I’ve held a good number of jobs, from bagging groceries at a local grocery store to selling commercial lending at one of the largest companies in the state. During my professional life there have only been a few positions where my employer truly considered creative feedback from employees. In fact, my longest tenured employer never really encouraged creative feedback from the rank and file employees, they actually made their business model so streamlined that most of my co-workers felt like a number that could easily be replaced.
According to Dictionary.com, creativity means – the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.
That makes sense; creativity means thinking in different ways to create, whether it is to create a piece of art or a realizing that placing the round cog into the square hole just doesn’t work. It can also mean being creative to gain more market share or to create an entirely new widget or business to meet customer demand. We keep hearing more and more about the Startup community in Des Moines, a community that is obviously very creative. But, one of the areas that is not discussed enough is the fifty some financial service and insurance companies that call Des Moines home or the other larger businesses that really don’t think about creative elements that often.
Now that I am in an industry that needs creativity more than ever just to survive and I am very excited for the upcoming Iowa Creativity Summit that features Matthew E. May, the bestselling author of The Shibumi Strategy: A Powerful Way to Create Meaningful Change. The Summit, on March 1st at Drake University, is intended to inspire creativity in life, not just at our places of work. Matthew will lead two 90 minute interactive workshops that will spark creativity and encourage participants to take those thoughts back to their employers. Many of the cities major employers are already getting on board by sponsoring the event, employers like the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Principal, Centurylink, and many others. Tickets are $35 in advance, $50 at the door, that also include dinner.
I am very excited for this event because, as I said, I work in an industry that truly needs creativity to keep our doors open. My specific focus within our industry is also very new, so our world changes nearly every day.
How about you? Does your employer encourage creative feedback from your team? I am very interested to hear…