Today there is a broad recognition that a well designed business- one that delivers customer delight-has a significant competitive advantage. (Robert Safian- Fast Company)
How important is creativity to your team, your organization and your mission? What can you do to foster creative disruption? How can you harness the power of creativity to jump start your personal performance? If you are in need of getting the creativity going, then these questions are a good place to start.
What does a Green Beret know about creativity? What does a SEAL, Marine or Ranger know about good design? A lot actually.
Imperatives such as "Develop Multiple Options" and phrases such as "never surrender", "will not fail" along with the full range of missions that SOF teams have conducted throughout history, and for which they must stay prepared for, necessitate a certain creativity that many don't realize.
Small teams, highly trained and sent forward into remote, austere environments are often on their own. Of course there is satellite connections to rear command and control elements, but for practical purposes, it's you and your team. In 100% of missions, the situation on the ground is different than expected. The ability to react, change and adapt, is key to survival for commandos, and has been as long as we have history of special operations. What's the secret to adaptability, flexibility and creativity? It's in the training and preparation of highly trained individuals who are formed into highly trained small teams, who are tasked with the most difficult missions imaginable. You might say it's by "design". SOF units understand that their success, and high level of performance is by design. It's this understanding and knowledge of what has gone into the building of themselves and their teams, that allows them to continue to perform at high levels throughout future missions and their lives.
SOF teams also understand that for each mission they are given, failure is not an option. If it was, they would have sent someone else. If a SOF team fails, or performs poorly, they have embarrassed the country, their organization and each other. The power of SOF pressure is enormous. It causes out of the box thinking, high level collaboration and a mission focus that is simply unparalleled.
How can you or your team learn from this?
First, realize that creativity is key to you and your team's success. Creativity is often viewed by conventional people and organizations as risky, unnecessary or worse. Avoid this type of thinking. Creativity is the answer for many team's lackluster performance. Challenge conventional wisdom. The most successful people, the most successful teams and companies apply creativity at high levels to gain ground against their opposition.
Second, learn to foster creative disruption. Boldly proclaim creative ideas and thoughts to your team mates. You will be surprised at how quickly "creative leadership" will catch on and soon you will be viewed as a thought leader and change agent within your team. Encourage those who lack creativity and surround yourself with other creative types. Be bold and act courageously, but ensure that you possess the ability to carry thru with action on your creative ideas. If not, you'll lose credibility.
Finally, there are two ways to harness the power of creativity to jump start your personal performance. 1) Recognize that you are probably not as creative as you think you are and start training today. Find activities that require balance, quick reactions, boldness and highly developed skills. Challenge yourself to learn a new skill that will require you to act boldly. You will be surprised how quickly you will start to see changes in your thinking. Surfing, Kayaking, Climbing and Mountain Biking are just a few examples of readily available activities to super charge your creativity. 2) Force yourself to disconnect and unplug on a routine schedule. You have to separate yourself from your normal battle rhythm so you can take stock and really evaluate what needs to be done in your life or on your team. Escaping from the chaos once in a while will separate you from the pack.
Creativity is what will get you, and your team through unexpected situations and allow you to overcome major obstacles on your way to successfully completing mission after mission.
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Adventure Operations Group (AOG) is a veteran owned company dedicated to the pursuit of adventurer. AOG's Training Programs and Adventures will take you "Beyond Normal Limits". AOG leads epic adventures, instructional programs, leadership training and assessments for individuals and organizations. Our programs are unique and emphasize mental focus, individual skills, leadership and personal achievement. We specialize in Human Performance Training. Working with AOG is the best way to achieve "next level" results for your corporate group or to enhance your personal capabilities. Contact AOG today to learn how we can get you or your team "Beyond Normal Limits".