Processing Change Using Creativity Tools
In Colorado we are in a holding pattern waiting for one of our favorite changes in the seasons. The beginning of the Snow Season! We are having unusually warm weather and some are beginning to do the snow dance while others are dreading the cold weather. A perfect example of how we humans look at the same thing and think differently about change.
Change is a powerful force. It occurs in today’s technological world with greater speed and greater complexity. Change is difficult at best for most of us. Resistance to change is a natural human response. It’s one that keeps us safe but also one that can keep us at a standstill. It brings us opportunities to use new creative thinking skills and tools.
We all perceive and react to change in different ways depending on the issue and our personal circumstances. Some see multiple points of view and new possibilities. Others quite naturally resist, preferring to cling to the status quo that is familiar and safe.
Sometimes change happens to us and we feel it is imposed on us. Other times we may proactively choose to create change. In either case, it can be stressful and even overwhelming. Consider your (and students’/children’s) immediate reactions to the following:
- It is illegal to eat or drink while driving or riding in a car
- Parents must get training and a certificate for parenting
- Every government body is at least 50% women
- After age 60 everyone pays no income tax
- US Presidents have 4-year term limits
- People are charged for garbage collection by pound
- A total ban of public smoking
- Marriages are renewable 5 year contracts
- The government makes prescriptions free for all
- All schools are put on a year-round calendar
We’re guessing the responses to the changes listed above heightened everyone’s emotions. Our emotions can rob us of good thinking processes. Using a tool like PMQ (Pluses, Minuses, and Questions) allows for a careful consideration of the change and a chance to explore it further with discussions.
When reading the literature on creativity, you will find over 100 definitions. A favorite of ours is “creativity is an attitude!” In Colorado we like to say “creativity is an altitude!” When experiencing any change, encourage your children or students to first view the new reality with a positive outlook. With this attitude in place you can then move them into a problem solving mode.
When we ask questions like “What if?” or “How might we?” or “Is it possible?” we can look at making changes that often lead to improvements in products, processes, situations, and most importantly attitudes. Exploring change with thinking tools helps you and your students/children make more informed and rational decisions. Use these stems to create questions for the PMQ tool.
Creativity Tip of the Week
Instead of immediately reacting emotionally to an idea, use tools to suspend emotions and allow everyone to explore ideas fully. This can be the place where new ideas, solutions, and/or alternatives are born! To help your students/children be more emotionally prepared to deal with change, practice using the PMQ tool (Process Fan Blade) often on fun and interesting ideas.
Here’s one more tip: Change passwords to phrases that inspire awesome attitudes like “HappinessForever!”
The Most Important Thing:
- Change is constant and can be very stressful.
- A belief in continuous improvement changes attitudes.
- Tools help us explore ideas & temporarily suspend emotions.
- It is not enough to accept change. We must also explore it.
And finally we leave you with one of our favorite songs that speaks to dealing with change in today's world . . . Sowing the Seeds of Love, by Tears for Fears. It's an awesome creative video - we hope you enjoy it!
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
- William Author Ward
Live creatively and prosper!
Patti & Rick Shade
Founders - Curiosita Teaching™