Creative people are dangerous !! At least, that’s how it feels. You see the word “creative” is bantered about in blogs, articles and books. There are several “step” plans to help people be more creative, but it seems to take some superhuman effort.
Why is that?
What is so scary about being creative? Is it that when we hear the word we give it a massive scale like painting the Sistine Chapel? Or, is it thought to be too scattered, unfocused, blue sky, etc.?
Being creative in HR is necessary. It’s not something that is even an option really because great HR is in the midst of humans. If you don’t have a creative approach in how to work with, for and around people, then HR is going to be massively frustrating !! It doesn’t have to be, but I think that the general malaise and jadedness that fills the vast majority of the social space communicates that HR is rough.
I have to disagree !! I recently had a great conversation with a friend who said, “Man, you (and a few others) always seem to be positive. And, you’ve been in HR a long time, but it still seems fresh every time I hear you talk about it.”
There’s a reason for this. I call it the “what box?” approach. This isn’t another rally cry for you to be outside a box. It’s not allowing yourself to have a “box” at all. Is that possible? It is. Let me share why . . .
I think that the fact of structure and processes still allow for vast amounts of breadth, depth and creativity !! I don’t see them as the enemy or opposite of creativity at all. We need to have vision, direction, focus and structure. People feel comfortable and can perform exceedingly well when they know what the parameters are for them. It clears up ambiguity which is what we all truly long for.
When it comes to approach, however, that’s where you can truly differentiate yourself and not conform to any particular box. Great HR can jump from box to box to box and still be wildly effective. In fact, by meeting people in their comfort zone, you can connect, communicate and create in amazing ways.
I follow a great book that was given to me by a friend who came to an HR Roundtable. He said the coolest thing to me when he said, “I read this book and thought of you.” It’s called Orbiting the Giant Hairball. It’s a personal tale of being creative at Hallmark Cards. He had to fight to be creative in a company who is supposed to be creative in order to make it’s products !! It’s a fascinating and practical read.
You only have to dive into the hairball (box) when it’s needed. If you don’t need to be in it, then you can orbit and create. So, HR where do you find yourself ?? Are you stuck in your own box, or in the boxes of what others expect HR to be ??
This week, get rid of it. Get to the point where you can say . . . what box ??
Photo credit – Outside the Box, Inc.