The Genesis Project Episode Six

Grace was looking forward to meeting Dr. Shirley Jenkins. She was hoping to find out how to build the creative thinking capacity in her various businesses. What she had learned from Dr. Stone had been invaluable. Now it was time to turn that into action.

When Doctors Stone and Jenkins arrived, there was an instant rapport. It was like they had known each other forever. In fact, professional titles were no longer used. It was just Grace, Jim, and Shirley.

As they were eating, Shirley asked Grace to describe her own creativity development. Grace began by telling them about growing up in a rural community where going to the library was a two-hour drive over winding roads. She created her own stories with imaginary friends and adventures. She went on to describe how she would use her creativity in schools. Thankfully she had teachers who accepted that she approached assignments differently. Then she described how she created businesses around things she observed as being needs. She described herself as an introvert who thrived on time alone when she could just think and write.  She continued to write stories as they popped into her head.

As Shirley heard about Grace’s creativity journey, she began to get a sense of the frustration she must have in not understanding why others are not as creative. “You are what psychologists call a paracosmist. Your creativity was born out of your aloneness which led you to create your imaginary world. Imagination is your talent and that’s unfortunately becoming more and more of a rare talent. We script the lives of our children with play dates, camps, after school programs, and other activities. We just don’t let them imagine their own world as you did growing up. It sounds like that imagination has continued with you even to this day by your love of being alone where you can turn observations into opportunities.”

Grace was astounded by Shirley’s insights, but also troubled. “Are you telling me that I need to look for people who grew up like I did?”

“That’s not realistic”, Shirley responded.

“While you grew up with an active imagination, we can’t reverse time. But you can develop creativity with some of your staff. I suspect you have people working for you who have the hidden potential to be creative.”

“How do I tap into that potential? Is there some kind of training program I can implement?” asked Grace.

“There is”, responded Shirley “but I wouldn’t describe it as training. It’s more of a transformation of thinking. What I would like to do is put together a proposal for you. To me this is very exciting. I’ve never seen anything like what I’m proposing done before. This could be truly groundbreaking.”

With that, the dinner was over and the three agreed to meet the next week to see what Shirley proposed.

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“As children, we all live in a world of imagination, of fantasy, and for some of us that world of make-believe continues into adulthood.” – Jim Henson

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