Creative Leadership – Fishing for Ideas

I spent a fascinating morning with an enthusiastic management team last week, workshopping conversations and ideas around improving sharing and communicating. By way of a little context, this team don’t see each other very often. They are spread all over the globe, and although the distances between people, both physical and in time, make getting together a challenge, this point was simply observed by them, not put up as an ‘excuse’.

At one stage in our time together, someone drew a picture on the whiteboard. Now this was a fairly crappy whiteboard, a fairly crappy pen, and without wishing to cause offence, the drawing is unlikely to make it to the Royal Academy any time soon, Summer Exhibition or not. It was a simple sketch of a boat, on a lake, and some fish. The boat represented transition. The lake was huge, so big we couldn’t really see land after we’d sailed a little while, and the fish in the lake, they are the ideas.

A few weeks ago I wrote about Sketchcognition, which is in essence using sketching to figure stuff out. This sketch, hastily scribbled on a whiteboard, has begun the process of fishing for ideas, and we moved from the picture to thinking about people in the boat, about the journey, the distance and the fish, and about how we might catch some of them.

The drawing was copied onto a piece of paper so we have a record of it, and it is in the process of being sent to various points on the globe, along with a few fish, the accompanying ideas. Pencils and paper were passed around to take away before we broke for lunch, and though we didn’t eat fish at the lunch break, the team has the opportunity to sketch plenty more of them now.

This process is simple. Anyone can do it, even all those people I meet who say to me ‘I can’t draw, I’m not an artist’.

In early July I’m launching ‘I’m Not An Artist’ which is a one day exploration combining basic art and drawing techniques. The workshop is all about creating excitement and progress, accelerating and embracing failure in order to succeed, and seeing work through an artistic lens to aid problem solving. We will explore a broad range of techniques designed to help you understand and experience creativity, and importantly, apply them to your work. Watch this space.

photo credit

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

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