Do You Want to Play?

2 min read

by Nicole Hargrove


“What is the intersection between technology, art and science? Curiosity and wonder, because it drives us to explore, because we're surrounded by things we can't see.” – Louie Schwartzberg


The quote above speaks volumes!  I recently had the opportunity to work immersed in the inspiring art of the Miami districts of Overtown and Wynwood.  As we made our way to the non-traditional office.  I jumped out and had to grab a pic in front of this amazing art.


As I sat back and took in the imagery before me, I started to think about the DevOps Diversity Podcast episode with Natalie Nixion. In this podcast Dr. Nixon speaks about incorporating wonder and rigor into business tasks to unleash the creativity in everyone! Her book, The Creativity Leap is a must add to your library! She uses various techniques to unlock creativity in leaders that can be used as a source of innovation. Enterprises can funnel that innovation into a competitive advantage for creating products and services that add value to their clients.  


Where has our creativity gone? One technique Dr. Nixon mentions in her book Design Thinking. I was introduced to Enterprise Design Thinking when I was a Client IT Architect at IBM. I led Design Thinking workshops with senior business leaders. We would take them out of the normal office space into areas that had open layouts, whiteboard walls and supplies of a scrapbooker. We would tell these leaders that we were giving them permission to play. We encouraged them to take the limits off the possible and create! Design Thinking brings play into our routine of creating business value based products and services. 


Enterprise Design Thinking focuses on user outcomes and empowers diverse teams to continuously observe, reflect and make products and services that delight their customers. I would ensure that we had representation from various parts of the organization who would influence and be impacted by the proposed solution. This diversity of thought was key to generating more ideas because they were able to see the same problem from many sides. This is where breakthrough ideas are found! This diverse team collaborated to define a goal that denoted the what of the solution not the how.      


With the leap many of us have taken into the new way of working, we have the opportunity to improve the way we collaborate and innovate. Innovation does not need to be confined to a specific time of day or place. For many of us, our workspaces have gone from being in an office or cubicle, to being anywhere. I believe we should be embracing this freedom and using it to broaden our ability to think, learn and innovate. 


One piece of advice Dr. Nixon shared with our CEO, Conor Delanbanque, was to participate in something new that you’re not good at. Try a new activity that brings you back to a place where you’re unqualified, uncomfortable and need to learn. This will have you asking questions and being OK with the unknown. After this experience, bring the new mindset and knowledge back into your organization and share what you’ve learned. 


I hope this inspires you to take some time to add play to your rigor so you can tap into your creative genius! Remember SHARING KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and KEEP LEARNING!