Mar 15, 2016 Michelle Royal Business, Design, Thought of the Day, Visual Thinking No Comments

Serious Play for Leaders

Recently, I attended an event at the iconic Salvador Dali Museum located in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

Nathan Schwagler from Dali Innovation Labs was facilitating a session on community leadership with a group from Leadership Florida. He kicked off the event with a thought provoking, visually-driven mini-lecture on how to see the world differently.

“When we see something that does not fit our mental models,” he said, “the first thing we notice is the problem — what is wrong, what won’t work. The difference between a pile of problems and a work of art is one thing: perspective.”

Next, we used a process called Strategic Play. This method coaches a new, playful, and sometimes group-oriented perspective into the minds of the participants trying to solve a given problem.

“Unconsultant,” Jacqueline Lloyd Smith, author of Strategic Play: Creative Facilitators Guide and official LEGO® “Playologist,” commented on the role of making and connecting to create meaning. Smith challenged us to reject this traditional timeline:

  1. Play when you are a baby and as a small child
  2. Learn when you are a youth in school
  3. Work when you are an adult
  4. Reflect and play again when you retire

I love working with innovators like Schwagler and Smith. And over the last 20 years, as I have consulted with hundreds of individuals and companies, RIDG has honed a process for the individual to access the creative process, without mentioning the word “creative” at all.

Here’s what I recommend:

  1. Everyday you must ACTIVATE your senses.
  2. Give yourself time to INCUBATE new ideas (or recurring ideas that are not yet instinctual).
  3. Next we must become MAKERS and do something with this inspiration and thoughtfulness.
  4. Finally, we must CONNECT this new thing with others for feedback, growth, appreciation, or acknowledgement.

If you are interested in hiring RIDG to facilitate or coach you or your organization through the change or innovation process, I’d love to hear from you. If we work together, I promise to provide you with easy-to-digest, easy-to-implement tools that will unlock the power within you (and your team) every day.


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