February Blog: The Leader Mindset: Analytic + Creative

February Blog: The Leader Mindset: Analytic + Creative
Featuring: Stacey Morse, Co-Founder, The Morse Group

    In our work at The Morse Group, we have been inspiring people to tap into the power of analytic + creative thinking for more than three decades. It is rooted in our philosophy that when people make a creative decision, they ‘own it’ and it unlocks pathways to new opportunities. 

    We have come to this belief structure based on personal and professional experiences. My career path started with the general assumption that I needed to follow family protocols and pursue a business degree. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to take a course in photography that I began to see the world, and my own unique path as one that had to include creativity. It was a timely and invigorating spark, my personal ‘Aha’ moment. I went on to get a degree in Fine Art Photography which helped me to explore ideas, systems, and opportunities from a whole new perspective and with a different set of tools. However, I didn’t leave the business side behind, it was still part of my DNA. It became clear that the sweet spot was in bringing a “whole brain” approach to work and life—the creative mind in balance with the analytic mind.

    When you think about it, as kids we all start out creative – finding unique ways to communicate who we are whether through drawing, dance, music, storytelling, building things, etc. It is part of our human DNA. Somewhere along the way the perceived ‘serious stuff’ takes precedence and, for most, creativity is left behind or as a side interest pursuit—if you have the time. 

    Rediscovering my own creativity evolved into new forms of helping leaders and their teams harness the power of creative thinking in balance with analytic thinking to achieve new levels of idea generation, engagement, insight, and growth.

    Leaders often say that they are really focused and good at processes, structures, and execution – the analytic side of the equation which is more ‘linear’ or left brain. They are not as good at the creative ‘non-linear’ or right-brain side. The creative side is visual and human-centric. It is focused on elements of observation, questioning, stories, experimentation, and discovery. It is the place where engagement, experiences, and innovation live. 

    So, if the sweet spot is creating balance across both, how can leaders and their teams begin to address any imbalance? 

    Assess: Take a quick look at where you and/or your teams tend to gravitate. Do you fall more to the analytic or creative side of the equation? Are you in balance?
    If your balance tends to fall more on the linear or analytic side, work to explore and strengthen the creative side. 

    Make it visual. The ‘picture’ people have in their head is often more powerful and illuminating than the words that are shared. Ask people to draw what they are seeing. What does this look like to you? It does not need to be a masterpiece. It can be as simple as a diagram. 

If you don’t have a whiteboard, get one, and use it with consistency. It gives ideas a place to land, for everyone to see, reflect upon, and align their thinking. This will also provide a visual path of discovery and idea generation.

    Explore ideas. Creativity does need constraints. When you begin to explore a challenge or opportunity in new ways set parameters by narrowing it to a theme or area of focus. Keep the thinking wide open and play with ideas as they evolve. Every idea may spark the next innovation. 

    Mix it up. Make it experiential and fun. Get outside of your standard working environments and into spaces that can create different experiences, energize people, and inspire new thinking.

    Engage and Connect. Embrace our collective diversity by bringing people together from different perspectives, experiences, and skill sets. Enable opportunities to discover and co-create together. 

    Leverage perspective. Challenge yourself and your teams to look at things from varying perspectives – physically and conceptually. How something looks or is interpreted from one perspective can look and feel very different from an opposing angle or point of view.

    Storytelling. Share ‘Aha’ moments to explore how the balance of creative and analytic thinking has led to new ideas, systems, and innovations in your work and life. Individual and collective storytelling will lead to new insights, and actions.

    Go beyond the Status Quo. The leader mindset operates above the status quo line. Break the norms and ‘business as usual’ mindset to create new levels of success. 

    So which steps will you take today to tap the power of creative thinking in yourself, and in others?

    Discover More About the Morse Group here