Have you ever really considered the impact of what you wear, your environment and how you act? This article will provide you with room to reflect upon parenting in the broader sense of the word. Find ways to draw upon your innovative flair to further develop your skill set.
The role of a mother is multidimensional and multifaceted — you know that already. So where’s the link to creativity and innovation? Research from business and industry shows that creativity promotes efficiency, increases productivity, improves quality, encourages benchmarking and accelerates change.
To be efficient, you use your energy wisely, choose your battles and take the lead role in power relations only when it is really needed. You are resourceful in terms of the human resources you draw upon for help as well as your management of money and other forms of capital. You are good at your role and have a clear vision of what you want for you and your child.
Being productive is about getting things done in a timely manner and knowing what you are achieving. It’s about being useful and creative as well as moving things forward. Productivity is not just about quantity, it is also about ensuring that what you do is powerful and has an impact.
Next, we have quality which is concerned with getting things right, moving form good to great, knowing your value and being valued by your child. It’s also about eminence, consistency and providing a safe environment, where your child feels love and belonging.
Benchmarking is an interesting aspect. It is argued that we should not compare ourselves to other parents when, actually, we can learn so much from each other. To see things from an entirely different perspective, ask your child where they feel you are on different aspects of parenting. This can provide a great impact and food for thought, especially if you also ask where they would like you to be and why that’s the case.
Finally, innovation is about change and as your child grows up you will have to change to meet their needs. By accelerating change, this means that you do not stay entrenched in how they used to be or how you alone want them to be, but you choose to adapt and learn with them. This ensures equal power relations.
Yes, change can be scary. It can be a challenge and it can also be an exciting, transformative experience that, if handled appropriately, brings you and your child closer together.
The need for creativity
Innovation enables you to generate ideas to solve problems and processes, anything from getting your child out of the door on time in the morning to being brave enough to allow them to take that overseas trip without you. It’s about stepping out of the box, steering away from your comfort zone and thinking divergently.
There are often more solutions to problems that we initially see and children are so creative, it is crazy not to involve them in decision-making too. Using metaphors is an imaginative way of clarifying understanding; it also helps with memory skills.
Consider what shoes you wear, metaphorically or physically, most of the time as a mother. Which is your most preferred shoe style and how about trying on your least preferred style on occasions?
High heels: Classy, elegant and confident, this person can play the devil’s advocate by questioning ideas, seeing that there may be up-shots of certain decisions.
Sandals: This person is flexible and uses their intuition or gut reaction when making decisions. They are pretty grounded too and they may not like relying on theory.
Wellington boots: This person is methodical. They follow a road map and don’t mind getting ‘stuck in’ or getting messy.
Slippers: This person likes to make everyone happy. They nurture, make the tea (and cake) and can’t be around confrontation.
Trainers: This person thinks fast. They are pace setters and ensure things get done. Yet they hate fine details.
None: This person is a free spirit. They have tonnes of ideas and need to ensure they work with people who can roll them out. They ignite innovation. They are the spark where it all starts.
We are often living our lives as mothers out of habit or by relying or modelling the way our mother was with us. It’s also important to discover, through intrapersonal awareness, what your reasons for those habits are and also if you wish to change them.
Thankfully, we are all different otherwise life would be boring and our children, if drowned by our conditioning, would all turn out the same. The more awareness we have about our own thought processes, the more we can develop our skills, knowledge and behaviours and encourage our children to do the same too.
Below are six different types of innovators. Together they form an innovation index or typologies. Ideally, we need all these different innovative personality types to ensure true creativity. Discover your preferred type, whilst also understanding your development areas to increase your creative talent.
Each of these cognitive dimensions has its strengths and development areas. There are no good, bad, right or wrong.
The clarifier is investigative, checks understanding and puts things in context. They won’t want to move on until they understand. They may drive their children bonkers at times!
The strategist examines patterns and meanings, visualises outcomes, and transforms. She is imaginative and assertive. They don’t like fine details, so they may hate day–to-day chores.
The critique looks for blind spots. She is evaluative, assertive and resilient. She reasons and checks for accuracy and relevance. Critiques may slow decisions down. They need to self-regulate to ensure they have an impact as opposed to opposition.
The adapter experiments and uses transition management skills. She is a doer, often sociable, open to change, supportive, open-minded and flexible. They may start more things than they can finish. Sometimes, they need to slow down.
The theorist is a thinker, who can develop and re-design. She is structured and likes theories and facts. She may work as an individualist and is known to re-examine. Theorists don’t always consider practical implications. Yet they do like to see things drawn out clearly.
The perspective person is non judgmental, flexible, non linear and is an influencer. She has a free flow of ideas, can work under pressure and sees different perspectives. These people question things, but may go off at a tangent.
Innovation is influenced by everything, the clothes we wear, the colours we are around, the weather, the food we eat, the temperature and the environment we work in. Identify the moments when you are most innovative to understand what works for you.
Go to that place to help you facilitate your child’s learning as innovation is also about supporting and building upon others’ ideas. It is not about imposing your own thoughts and beliefs. It is about encouraging positive energy and allowing the freedom of time and resources to support better relationships. Energy works at its best when it is fuelled by positive emotions.
Being creative is fun for some and scary for others. Where do you lie on a creative continuum? More imprtantly, where do you want to be?
Beckett McInroy Consultancy (BMC) delivers a range of workshops, psychometric profiling tools and coaching across the GCC to enable personal and professional potential. Visit www.beckett-mcinroy.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org