Sunday, July 14, 2013

Genius in the Workplace

More naps, increased curiosity, less detail and an abundance of positivity. Sounds like a great way to approach work? It's actually pure genius.

Genius in the workplace goes beyond brainstorming sessions and innovation mandates. It is an innate way of thinking differently that becomes a pre-occupation. An evolving mind map of thoughts that explores possibilities while adjusting variables to take into account new information of relevance. An obsessive need to solve problems to provide enhanced solutions.

Culture change programs are focussing on creating work places that adopt 'Einstein' traits to encourage genius.  These values embrace the following principles:

 Imagination, Always questioning, Old problems new ways of thinking,  Intuition, Strong positive attitude, Naps, Rise above the mundane details, Willingness to try new things...and fail, Maintaining balance, Stay on top of technological trends *

Most of us are not geniuses. We work hard at being perceived to be smart. We facilitate sessions to unlock ideas. We focus on what we can control. We keep an eye on trends and competitors. We response as quickly as we can to new information. 

The learning that I have taken from 'Einstein' and professional observations on ingenuity is this;

* Deep thinking is different to free thinking

   Brainstorming sessions enable free thinking. Deep thinking is an entirely different concept 

   requiring time and intense focus. It is also more difficult to achieve as it requires taking

   resources away from everyday work distractions on a regular basis. It requires a full

   understanding on what the 'old problem' is to apply new thinking to it. In contrast,

   brainstorming sessions don't require much context or understanding to generate  


* Genius emerges from curiosity and questioning
   Genius ideas do not come about by working in isolation. Accessing knowledge, insights and            
   experiences available enhances the thinking process. Beware of individuals that always know 
   the answer. They are most likely to be the ones stifling creativity and progressive thinking.
   You don't need to know the answer to solve the problem, however you need to embrace the
   process of discovery.

* Maintain an external focus on technology, customer and market trends
   Organisations with a strong external focus survive by reinventing themselves. Businesses 
   with an internal focus eventually self implode from not being open or able to change over
   time. Focusing on breaking down an internal barrier impacting on external performance role
   models how new ways of thinking about an old problem creates positive outcomes.

* Minimise burning and churning resources 
   Resources that are over stretched do not have the time or energy to contribute beyond their
   immediate focus items. The ability to contribute quality thinking requires time out to focus. 
   Stressful workplaces do not allow for questioning or time to be curious. Deep thinkers are 
   likely to move on quickly from these workplaces, even though their skills are greatly

...and if all fails take a nap and start again...

* Taken form an article Mike Werling titled '10 Traits Entrepreneurs and Einstein Share' Oct 2008 on 

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