Creative Workspaces and Other Epiphanies

This morning's conversations have led me to think a little bit more about how creativity can exist where I work.  I was trying to tweak this idea by referring to company as community.  In my head I was talking to myself and mouthing the words c-o-m-p-a-n-y and c-o-m-m-u-n-i-t-y.  It starts to feel a little bit different talking about the work place as a community instead of a company.  I started to feel a little bit of gusto.  A little bit of creativity.

I had a couple of things to address this morning.
  • Meeting with an employee who wants to avail of early retirement.  I had to find out if I can make him stay on or at least stay longer till a replacement for him is found.
  • Call with the senior manager of our telecom provider.  I had to find out when they will send their network team here because it seems that they are not listening to our red alert.
  • Call business dev't candidate.  I had to follow-up on an interview schedule for the president because the candidate wasn't replying yesterday.
All of these tasks needed to happen simultaneously and needed to be addressed before 10am.  So I breathed in and told myself to breath slower.  I just came from helping my Mom address her partial car wreck since she got herself into an accident as I was about to leave work.  Talk about chaos.  Talk about urgency.  Everything that needed to be done had to be done in just one moment.

I figured, if I had all the information in my hands I would be able to swing less resistance from the employee. I would be able to convince the telecom provider  to give me a network team today because they didn't visit us yesterday.  I would be able to get confirmation from the candidate today.  If I had all their numbers and if I had a hands-free device, all conversations would be settled in my car as I was speeding 80kph to the office and meet the 8:30am clock in.

I sent text messages to my staff who were already probably annoyed with my urgency but I had to bite the bullet.  And they needed to know how to deal with this situation.

Got all the information I needed on my cellphone by the time I clocked in.  8:45am.  I called the telecom provider and he answers.  I spoke to him for 30 minutes and he says he will form a network team to send today.  Done.  He gets my cell number and now he tells me the team is on their way.  I ask my staff to tell me briefly (which took 5 minutes) the history of the employee claiming for early retirement in the company.  I was impressed with a staff newbie because he took the initiative to help me calculate the % increase in salary he was getting so that I had ammunition to negotiate.  I spoke to the employee at 9:15am.  His mind was made up to avail of the early retirement.  The information that the staff newbie gave me however still proves to be useful because I needed to do similar studies to see if we can justify fixing the salary structure especially for those who are exposed to retention risk.  Now I'm wondering how fast HR can give me the data.  Within an hour I got a call from the candidate and confirmed his meeting for tomorrow afternoon.

All solved.  All moved forward.  Now how do I replicate this ability to each person in my team?  What did I exactly practice in the situation that allowed me to navigate these pressure points and get what I want in the end?

Slowing down even further I surmise that it was accepting all these pressure points as my reality and challenged myself to do everything before 10.  I didn't know how to do it, but the ideas just arose in that brief moment of enduring tension.  The confidence in talking to these people to get what I want was unleashed.  And I got what I wanted.  How do you teach people to influence?  

I'm not sure yet.  But I'm toying some more on the idea that I need to get them to learn how to think faster.  Modeling from IDEO's practice of creating creative workspaces I was bouncing thoughts with Erika on how to replicate a creative space without actually changing anything.  IF this were theatre, we can just pull in the props and create the environment since we do not have much control over the physical design.  Then after the session, we can all pull it down again.

I read this article from the HR Ring Leader and this article from The Insider and am quite determined to pursue studying how to install a more creative environment in the community.  

Currently our work spaces are a drab.  Unfortunately, I cannot have any touch on the design.

I am praying for an open window to have a chance to transform these spaces into this.

Okay, so much for feasting on these designs but looking at these photos right now help me overcome a little bit of the drab-ness of my area and think of a way on how I can experience this creative workspace subliminally.  



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