The Genesis Project Episode Ten

The Genesis Project team met to review Shirley’s ideas for developing creative traits throughout the organization. She began by asking Grace and Jim a question: How did you develop your own creative mindset? This was a stumper until both Grace and Jim realized that their creative mindset had its origin in an apprenticeship relationship.

For Grace: “I had this wonderful mentor who went out of her way to guide me. She would pepper me with questions, but really, I learned more by observing her. When I saw her do something I hadn’t seen before I would ask her why she had done that. She was tough on me, but I think that helped me become more confident.”

For Jim: “I’ll tell you first what didn’t work for me: conferences and research publications. Like Grace, I had a mentor. We would meet often and he always had a challenge for me. Typically they were medical cases that were troubling him. He would take me through a question journey, and I began to discover he was learning by asking me questions. He would tell me where my analysis was flawed. It wasn’t until later that when he challenged my answers, he was creating new insights at that moment.”

“Both of you have described how I envision the apprenticeship program working. Grace, could you identify your most creative thinkers in different areas of your business, like R&D, engineering, marketing, manufacturing, and finance? Then I would like each of you to share with them your own creative journey stories.”

“Then ask them to identify a protégé who they believe has the potential to be a creative contributor. What I would like to do is to identify the traits they should focus on.”

“What are those?”, asked Grace.

“The ones I would like to stress initially would be: asking questions, observation, avoiding self-censorship, and seeing connections.”

Jim added: “I would also suggest you show them how to understand brain functioning especially hynagogia. This will likely involve some understanding of mind/body interactions.”

“I’m so glad you mentioned that”, responded Shirley. “We have a lot to learn from neuroscience.”

“I have a concern”, Grace interjected. “What you’re suggesting is a program for about five people. I understand why you don’t want to measure training. But what can we do to at least develop the creative awareness in all of our employees?”

“Let’s talk about that next time”, Shirley responded.

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We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever become a master.” – Ernest Hemingway

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