As we grow older though, something tragic happens. The playground slowly disappears. We don’t really play on jungle gyms anymore in junior high, and there is no recess in high school, only study hall. By the time we get to college, the most creative thing we can think of to do outside of class is get drunk or play Frisbee. As we advance through the school, the playground disappears and the classroom takes complete control.
This is dangerous because once we’re out of school, it’s time to get a job. Ever wonder why the majority of office spaces in America look more like classrooms than playgrounds? Ever wonder why most employees act more like students than imaginative creators? Perhaps because the playground, the garden of imagination, is taken away from us at such a young age.
If we want to get creative, we have to stop viewing our office or workspace like a classroom and start viewing it as a playground.
If you’re a manager, or anyone in a role of leadership, it is your responsibility to create this atmosphere. We do this by rewarding things like risk taking and out of the box ideas, even when they don’t work. It’s not about working, it’s about trying. It’s not about being right, it’s about being new and unique. There is no right answer on the playground, there is only, “who has a new game for us to try?”
Creatives take the knowledge they learn in the classroom and use it on the playground. It’s time for some recess.
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