We all have the capability to be creative; what we too often lack is the time and space to let that creative thinking happen, and the self belief that our ideas are considered important enough to be worthwhile.
There is a creative spark being lit for local transport this summer, but before I tell you about that, lets take a quick look at what we can all do to nurture our own and others ideas.
I’m currently reading the book Time to Think, by Nancy Kline, and it’s opened my eyes to the power of giving others time; to say their piece, and to think.
What do you do when someone comes to you with an idea? Tell them what you think? Why it won’t work? How someone else has done it before? How there’s no time or money to do anything about it? Next time someone comes to you with an idea, try just going with it.
Try silencing your inner critic and make some time to just listen and support them. Follow their lead. Explore it with them. Value their thoughts. Then, here comes the crux of it, see what you can say or do that makes a positive contribution to that persons self belief that enables them to get on developing their idea, their way.
Think of the last time you were stuck with a problem, at home or work. Did you want someone else to solve it for you? Or did you want to explore it with someone else who was non-judgemental and could office advice and support but would not expect you to do as they say?
As for finding the time and space to think, I had my eyes opened recently when I learnt of a new style of conference designed specifically to inspire a relaxed creative vibe that enables people to explore and develop new approaches to delivering local school transport.
Creative thinking comes to transport: 15-18 June 2014
With over 20 years international transport experience between them, Interchangeability co-founders Sian Thornthwaite and Kirsti Robinson have carefully designed an impressive international line-up of speakers for this event that will nurture and encourage creative thinking for school transport like never before.
Is this conference going to be any different that any other for school transport? Perhaps in the sense that it is gathering of people with shared interests to learn from and network with each other, probably not.
But where it does differ, in my opinion, is the attention to detail and design that has gone into bringing such an ecletic, yet relevant mix of speakers together with the sole purpose of generating ideas and sparking creativity to improve, in this case, school transport.
Believing in yourself
Kirsti and Sian were driven to create this event because they shared the frustrations of many in the sector that industry conferences are just one and the same; the same messages, the same people and the same problems recycled in different packages each year.
They had the idea, and the belief in themselves that a brand new style of conference was called for. One that was built on a rare but essential balance between technical knowledge and a solid understanding of creative thinking and human behaviours, where the event is designed specifically to maximise human talent rather than crush it.
This understanding is evident in everything from the choice of venue, structure of the event over 3 days, and the mix of technical and creative speakers. Listening to Kirsti and Sian talk about this is inspirational in itself, they ooze dedication, passion and belief that their equalising of the balance between technical and creativity is long overdue for the local transport sector as a whole.
As Kirsti says:
“The reality is I don’t think we’ve anything to teach people in the field; they know their jobs, they know what they’re doing, they know the policy, they know the legislation. What they don’t get the opportunity to do is to really reflect on how that benchmarks with the rest of the world, but also opportunities to self enthuse, gather energy and go out and take that energy and distribute it amongst pockets that need it. It’s as much about generating energy and people leaving with a sense of energy as it is about imparting information and knowledge.”
Conceiving and delivering this first of its kind event is a truly inspirational step forward for the sector, and at the same time a shining example of what is possible when you have the confidence, as Kirsti and Sian have, to believe in your own ideas and bring them to reality. How are you going to support it?