Thursday, December 3, 2009, 10 am Pacific, 11 am Mountain, noon Central, 1 pm EST
Perfect for the Holiday Season!
The Place of Creativity in Career
Creativity enlivens work and can make even routine tasks more fun. Creativity also leads to people seeing themselves in a different and more positive way. Creativity also can improve mental health and make the workplace more healthy.
Dr. Samuel Gladding is the associate provost and the director of the counseling program at Wake Forest University. He is known for his use of creative arts in counseling, which involves the use of expressions such as music, literature, drama, humor, and dance in a therapeutic way. He has presented on every continent except Anartica. Gladding is a fellow in the American Counseling Association and in the Association for Specialists in Group Work and a former president of the American Counseling Association, the Association for Counseling Education and Supervision and the Association for Specialists in Group Work. Gladding has authored over 100 publications. He earned two masters degrees, in counseling from Wake Forest University and religion from Yale, and a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
"Michael Jackson sang ‘ease on down, ease on down the road’ in The Wiz,’" Gladding says. "Creative arts can help people do that; they are a road people can travel. People are not so much sick as they are stuck, and the arts give insight." (www.wfu.edu...~stg/bio/article.htm)
Activity 1: Writing a Therapeutic Fairy Tale for Work
Samuel T. Gladding
The therapeutic fairy tale technique was devised in 1985 by Margaret Hospkins who presented but never published on this method. In therapeutic fairy tales, individuals are asked to write fantasy stories about a person:
- setting the scene far away from the here and now,
- beginning the tale with “Once upon a time"…,
- having a predicament or problem, and
- providing a pleasing and positive solution ending, even if it is outrageous.
Writers then are given 6 to 10 minutes to complete this assignment. The idea behind this boundary is that time is limited. People must make decisions within a time period or opportunities of the time will disappear.
In the therapeutic fairy tale for work, the individuals writing are focused on their vocations and what they will do as work and how. Thus a therapeutic fairy tale might go as follows:
Once upon a time there was a woman who dreamed she could become anything but actually did nothing. She was just a dreamer. Every day she sat in her favorite chair looking out the window and pretending that she was leaving her house and going to the ideal job. However, she never made a move toward the front door and as time went on her fantasies became less satisfactory.
One day she decided that instead of fantasizing about work that she would actually apply for jobs. Thus she consulted the newspaper want ads and went from one potential employer to another offering her services for hire. Alas, none of them took her up on her offer because she was not qualified for the positions for which she was applying. Receiving this feedback the woman decided to enroll in her community college and pick up the training and educational experiences she needed. Then she went back out to apply for positions for which she was interested. She was hired and inspired to tell others what they might need to do to get from despondency to employed. And …she did as well as live much more contentedly thereafter.
Activity 2: SCAMPER and Creativity
Using the SCAMPER Model to become more creative in your career
S = Substitute
C = Combine
A = Adapt/Adopt
M = Modify
P = Put to Other Uses
E = Eliminate
R = Reverse or Rearrange
Since creativity in almost any domain can be taught, there are a lot of ways to become creative. One of the best and most straightforward is the SCAMPER model. This model was formulated by Robert F. Eberle, an educational administrator in Edwardsville, Illinois. His intent in devising this acronym was to give individuals a list of useful words that could be applied as stimuli to help them think differently about problems. He hoped the word “scamper” would be seen as playful and inviting and would remind people of what they could do to generate original and pragmatic ideas.
In SCAMPER “what if,” “so that,” and “in order to” types of questions and statements are made and potential answers imagined. Each letter in SCAMPER stands for a specific action that can be taken to promote creativity. SCAMPER works by providing a list of active verbs to associate with a problem and hence to create ideas. The letters and corresponding words of SCAMPER are listed below.
S = Substitute -the process involves inserting or replacing components, people, or materials.
Think about substituting part of your product/process for something else. By looking for something to substitute you can often come up with new ideas.
Typical questions: What can I substitute to make an improvement? What if I swap this for that and see what happens? How can I substitute the place, time, materials or people?
C =Combine - the process involves mixing or combining people, procedures, and products with others or integrating services.
Think about combining two or more parts to achieve a different product/process or to enhance synergy.
Typical questions: What materials, features, processes, people, products or components can I combine? Where can I build synergy?
A = Adapt - the process involves altering, changing function, or using part of another element.
Think about which parts of the product/process could be adapted or think how you could change the nature of the product/process.
Typical questions: What part of the product could I change? And in exchange for what? What if I were to change the characteristics of a component?
M = Modify - the process involves increasing or reducing in scale, changing a shape, or modifying attributes (e.g. colors).
Think about changing part or all of the current situation, or to distort it in an unusual way. By forcing yourself to come up with new ways of working, you are often prompted into an alternative product/process.
Typical questions: What happens if I warp or exaggerate a feature or component? What will happen if I modify the process in some way?
P = Put to other purposes - the process of using something in a way which it was never intended for.
Think of how you might be able to put your current solution/ product/process to other purposes, or think of what you could reuse from somewhere.
Typical questions: What other place could I use what I know? Who or what else might be able to use it?
E = Eliminate - the process of elimination involves removing elements, simplifying, reducing something to its core functionality.
Think of what might happen if you eliminated various parts of a product/process and consider what you might do in that situation. This often leads you to consider different ways of tackling a situation.
Typical questions: What would happen if I removed a component or part of it? How else would I achieve the solution without the normal way of doing it?
R = Reverse/Rearrange - the process involves putting something in a different order, e.g., turning it inside out or upside down or exploring other layout and other sequencing in order to see new and different patterns.
Think of what you would do if part of your product/process worked in reverse
or done in a different order. What would you do if you had to do it in reverse? You can use this to see your situation from different angles and come up with new ideas.
Typical questions: What if I did it the other way round? What if I reverse the order it is done or the way it is used? How would I achieve the opposite effect?
In essence you should ask yourself questions relating to each of the SCAMPER words to come up with new ideas. Spend some time developing questions which challenge your current way of thinking.
Definition of Creativity
Creativity is “the ability to produce work that is both novel (i.e., original or unexpected) and appropriate (i.e., useful or meets task constraints)” (Sternberg & Lubart, 1999, p. 3).”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s (1996) states that: “Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives… most of the things that are interesting, important, and human are the results of creativity.” (p. 1). He goes on to say that creativity is “so fascinating that when we are involved in it, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of our lives” (p. 2).
Creativity correlates highly with a person’s overall sense of well being and wellness (Goff, 1993; Myers & Sweeney, 2005; Myers, Sweeney, & Witmer, 2000). Through creativity individuals are able to navigate through the shoals of life and find direction, significance and intentionality in their existence. At its best creativity empowers and enables its users to explore new courses and vistas they might not otherwise have considered. Creative people as a group have: “autonomy, acceptance of self, others, and nature; a democratic character structure; confidence; intrinsic motivation; a wide range of interests; and a tolerance for ambiguity” (Carson, 1999, p. 328)
To be creative, people need to have intelligence, knowledge, a thinking style that utilizes their abilities, a risk taking and strong personality, motivation, and a supportive environment (Sternberg & Lubart, 1995). No one of these factors by itself guarantees creativity. However, in combination these ingredients are powerful in the creative process.
This is Dr. Sally Gelardin of Careerwell Tele-Interviews. Welcome Dr. Samuel Gladding and welcome listeners. Before we begin, I'd like to remind listeners to press 5* if you have a question for Sam and fill out the evaluation form linked to your call-in information, expecially if you want CEUs.
Dr. Samuel Gladding is the associate provost and the director of the counseling program at Wake Forest University. He is known for his use of creative arts in counseling, which involves the use of expressions such as music, literature, drama, humor, and dance in a therapeutic way. He has presented on every continent except Anartica. He is a fellow in the American Counseling Association and in the Association for Specialists in Group Work and a former president of the American Counseling Association, the Association for Counseling Education and Supervision and the Association for Specialists in Group Work. He has authored over 100 publications.
Sam, here is my first question...
- What is your definition of creativity? How have you incorporated creativity into your career/life?
- Did creativity influence your visits to all the countries in the world? If so, how?
- How could creative people find work in the current economy? Could you give some examples?
- You posed an activity about using therapeutic fairytales for work. Do you have an example of how someone wrote a therapeutic fairytale for work?
- The SCAMPER activity that is posted on your Careerwell Web page makes me think of SANTA's elves, scampering around his workshop. Could you elaborate a bit on this acronym, connecting each word represented by a letter with a career concept?
- Listeners are welcome to volunteer to explain how they used the Therapeutic Fairytale or SCAMPER model to deal with a work situation.
- Since it always gets a bit hectic as we approach the holidays, could you share some creative tips on how to tie loose ends together at work so we can enjoy the holidays?
- Could you summarize the role of creativity in career?
Thank you Sam, for your delightful interview on the role of creativity in work. It actually works!
Listeners, stay tuned for more interviews to energize you. Next week, on December 10, Antonio Sausys will talk about how to ask for what you want in work and life. December 10. Then In January we feature best-selling author John Gray (men are from mars) on Jauary 7, Carol McLelland (green careers for dummies) on January 14, and Jan Johnston-Tyler (neurodiversity, providing career advising for individuals with hidden disabilities) on January 28. Look forward to your participation in these great upcoming tele-interviews.