Yesterday, John and I did a “Steve Jobs” mini-marathon. It started when I suggested we watch “Jobs” on Netflix. The movie got us thinking and we searched out a PBS documentary on the life of Steve Jobs. (The movie is rated PG-13 with some bad language and drug use. The PBS special gave us much of the same information without the PG-13 rating “stuff.”)
For those of you who don’t remember Steve Jobs or his life: He and his engineer colleague (where would we be without engineers!) envisioned and created Apple Computer. Jobs had huge successes and failures as a leader, but was an amazing creator. He is responsible for the Apple, iPod, the iPhone, the iPad and much more. What a visionary!
As I picked up the Sunday paper, I read about the features of the latest iPhone coming out this week. Buyers will now get iMessage (adding audio and video to text messages), Apps within Apps (improving functionality), more photo features, family sharing and so much more. (Or so writes Jefferson Graham in USA Today.)
Perhaps the greatest legacy of Steve Jobs is how he established an organization that fostered creativity.
Do we need more creativity in our workplace? Can we, as leaders, dare to encourage creativity? The show Undercover Boss has taught me that improvements can happen in all areas of work. If you are also a fan of the show, you have seen production line workers identify changes in processes, resulting in massive cost reductions and quality improvements. And, telephone customer service workers have changed the entire images of their companies.
Sometimes leaders shy away from encouraging creativity. We too often see it as taking time away from the “real work” and letting people “goof off.” But, are we eliminating an opportunity for improvement? Could we be costing our organization increased profits by shutting down a “good idea”?
Our creativity comes from our Maker, the Creator. His creation still amazes me – the stars, the flowers, the rain clouds, and you, the one made in His image. I do not believe that God has ever stopped being creative. And, neither should we.
What have you always wanted to do in your home, your place of work, yourself? What is stopping you?
When I was appointed to my last (and most favorite) job working in the Navy and Marine Corps, I asked the leadership team “What changes would make life better for the people in the field?” After they had had a chance to talk with their organizations, we met for a day-long workshop. They brought amazing ideas. At the end of that day together, we had a plan. Within a year, staff members in the field had gotten promotions, huge bureaucratic burdens had been eliminated, my staff had completely rearranged the priorities of our projects, and so much more. It was exciting and many (not all) of the ideas worked.
On this Monday morning when the pressure of work hits the hardest, take a few minutes and reach back into your mind. What good ideas, what dreams have you put on the back burner? Just dream a little dream with me.