Corporate v. Creative

As a society, we love setting up false dichotomies. Because really, what’s easier to deal with (and write off) more quickly than good vs. bad, black vs. white, science vs. religion, bacon vs. the vegans? These never serve us well in the end, though, because it turns out everything is murkier and more mixed up than all of that.

Case in point: going corporate or going creative. As if, when you go into business, you turn in your creative card at the security counter. As if, creative are unfit for (and unwelcome in) the corporate world. Really, the opposite is true. Artists in all realms and genres, to be sustainable, need to be their own advocates and entrepreneurs (or have deep-pocketed patrons); and businesses sink without nimble and creative thought informing their decision-making.

Forward-thinkers in the corporate world know this. It hasn’t hurt that half of the big-time tech companies were started by kids, as a wild hare, in their garages. That narrative is compelling and catching. (A few examples here of articles and/or TED talks)

David Whyte takes this whole thing a bit further and says that feeding our creative souls in the work world isn’t just good business, it’s good for our souls – and the souls of our companies. He brings poetry – and poetic ideas – into the corporate space in order to illuminate what really matters.

heart aroused
At this time when there’s an almost hero-worship around hamster-wheel business, what a thought, to re-imagine what we’re doing within ourselves and within the world, and to marry the two. What a thought.

To learn more about or to purchase David’s amazing book, The Heart Aroused, check out his site .

Musings on Active Listening

 

Listening

So often, in our daily lives we ask questions without really caring about the answer (“Hi, how are you?”) or sometimes we’re so clear on what we want the answer to be that we hardly even listen for it. And then there are there times when we do care, but we just don’t stop to take the answer in.

Some of this, probably, is part of our naturally self-centered human nature. But we can probably all agree that it’s gotten ever harder to listen well in this, the age of distraction. Honestly, half of the time we’re doing something else while we’re asking – and while we’re supposed to be listening.

Thus the term Active Listening. Would you look at that? We’ve had to modify the original verb and make it sound more like a sport to really ensure that we’re all in!

We often say to our clients that while the obvious part of what we do is ask good questions, the more important part of the job is to listen, really well. Sometimes people think they don’t have the bandwidth for truly active listening if active listening implies single-minded listening or total presence. We’re busy! We’re in hurry! What a waste of time!

Our experience has been the opposite. Listening like this – actively, curiously, and without multitasking – it’s how we as business people and human people are our most productive. And our most connected. True thoughts, ideas and feelings get received – and responded to. Work happens more efficiently, progress happens more productively, stakeholders are happier. What’s not to love?

 

Core Values

As a consultant, I reflect important truths back to my clients – who they are, what they care about, how they’re doing, how they might change. These are truths that seem like they’d be self-obvious, but they’re not. Honest awareness of identity isn’t any less daunting for a business than it was for each of us at 17.

Mission statements and core value statements are really just that, though. Companies and organizations becoming self-aware and then getting their activities in line with that awareness.

I couldn’t help but smile over this article that uses some highly-recognizable businesses to illustrate how specific, how creative, how confident and how fun identity-making can be. (A lot more fun than it felt at 17, don’t you think?)

Click here to enjoy it with me

 

 

 

Welcome!

Sage Baker Consulting has a new look to complement our curiosity, enthusiasm and forward-reaching purpose. Please, have a look around! And don’t hesitate to get it touch if we can serve you in any way.