Monday, December 28, 2015

Announce Your Goals

Are your goals a secret?

Whenever I keep a goal a secret, it gives me instant anonymous forgiveness to not achieve it. Who knows? Who cares?

Whenever I TELL someone about a goal I am far more likely to achieve it. I don't ever want to explain why I didn't achieve a goal. The accountability factor multiples my efforts and increases my chance of success.

Secret goals are seldom useful.

Secret goals don't engage others, mobilize commitment, or bring about change with the energy of collaboration.

Announce your goals. Tell people about them. Increase your chances for success.

What's your goal for today?

-- Doug Smith


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Get Creatively Busy

How many goals are you working on?

I'm not saying that you should have too many goals. A hundred should be plenty. (OK, you can pick yourself back up now, I don't actually expect anyone to list a hundred goals.)

Creativity likes to be busy. Creativity likes idle time, too and if we're idle long enough the creative mind gets busy.

Your goals stand a better chance of achievement when your creativity is cranked way up. So keep your creative mind busy and your creative impulses, ideas, notions, and results will multiply.

The creative mind is always busy.

We just need to pay attention.

What is the creative side of your mind telling you right now?

-- Doug Smith


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Garden or Laboratory?

Where do you test your best creative ideas?

Not all creative ideas are the same. Some require a sort of close inspection with careful boundaries and controlled conditions, otherwise they will become impossible to work with or change into something we hadn't counted on.

But not all creative ideas are like that.

Some creative ideas benefit from a quick planting and careful observance to see how they're doing but are left to grow on their own. We tend to them, we remove obstacles and aberrations, but we let them grow naturally.

Some creative ideas need a garden and some need a laboratory.

If no one can get hurt, if you you've got lots of time, and if you want the unexpected to be welcome, plant your creative ideas in a garden like atmosphere of freedom and spontaneity.

If the risks are high, the conditions are dangerous, and the talent is exposed to sudden change keep a laboratory-like grip on your creative conditions. Focus your attention on them but don't let them explode in your face.

What kind of environment do you tend to set up for your creative ideas?

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Values Should Help, Not Hinder Collaboration

Have you ever had to work with someone who does not share your values?

In all honesty, I think we all do that all the time. Our values are important, and we strive to live by them every day, but not everyone shares those values and yet we do need the help of people who have different values.

It IS so much easier to work with people who share our values. Shared values build trust. Shared values build understanding. Shared values build collaboration.

But sometimes we have to be a role model for those values and hope that our demonstration of our values in action will show their merit. By being a positive example of our values in action, we might just encourage other people to embrace those values.

And by showing our willingness to work with people we disagree with we can show how we facilitate, rather than force, our way of living.

It's harder to collaborate with people who don't share our values -- but not impossible.

Who have you been avoiding because of their values? What if you could find a way to demonstrate the benefits of living your values by working with them?

Action Steps

- The next time you find yourself working with someone with differing values, talk about it. Talk about how you will approach your work. Talk about how you will cooperate as much as possible AND where your boundaries are.

- The next time you bump against a value that seems to conflict with your values, talk about it. Find out if the conflict is intentional, accidental, or incidental. Communicating for results talks bold and honest talk. Are you ready for that?

-- Doug Smith