Inspiration for Start the Art of Change
Having obtained my Masters as an Industrial Psychologist, I have spent the last seven years as a strategy and change consultant. This involved travelling across South Africa to various clients and enabling sustainable transformation within organisations during their change challenges. What I began to notice was that organisations today require their people to constantly innovate, initiate and push boundaries. Yet as organisations - in our fast paced competitive environments - we continue to drive left-brained logical and rational thinking in our people as the key driver to success. The focus on product, outcome and performance drives people and the organisations they work for. The downside of this is the suppression of our creative selves – the very food needed for constant growth and success. Very little time is given to finding ways to enrich and explore creativity in the workplace and to nourish the innovation required by our organisations to be the best in their Industry.
The people I met constantly expressed a need within their work environment to have more fun, to have the space to play and to find ways to cope with the constant pressure they face in order to remain effective and productive. People have a burning desire to reconnect with themselves and others in a meaningful way. In addition, the unique transformation challenges in South Africa’s organisations have deeply impacted leader and employee mindset and behaviour. Issues related to diversity, affirmative action and Employment Equity continue to challenge organisations. The creative processes transcend traditional boundaries and through non-verbal expression enable appreciation of uniqueness and individuality.
About three years ago, I did a weekend workshop called ‘Moving Art’ with Lindy Solomon and it was as if something inside me woke up. Having always thought I was not ‘artistic’ and having been afraid to make even the smallest mark – I was overwhelmed by the power of having the space to create without fear or judgement. I immediately began working with Lindy and went on a personal discovery journey through Lindy’s art processes. It ultimately led me to leave the safety of my job, train as an ASTAR facilitator and find my true passion – combining unique art processes with my strategy and change management skills and knowledge.
Having experienced the transformative power of creative process and time in my personal life and the impact that it has had on my work life, I wanted to share this discovery with the organisations and people I was encountering through my change management consulting work. Art making has such intrinsic and profound benefits that it seemed only natural to apply it to the place where we spend most of our time – work!
In our fast-forward “doing” culture, it is easy to lose sight of the importance of “being.” As Linda Naiman says "We all need balance in life between doing and being, between thinking and feeling, between work and play. Creative time moves us out of doing and into being, out of thinking and into feeling, out of work and into play, out of our left-brain and into our right. This balance is the key to improving individual and organisational performance".
Creative time in START – the Art of Change workshops is about process rather than outcome removing all barriers and limitations of the critical and judgement filled mind. The regenerative benefits of creative time can have a profound impact on leaders and individuals unleashing the powerful creative forces that exist in every person and thus stimulates the innovation required in today’s competitive environment.