Is Your Financial Picture Congruent With Your Creativity?

by anika collington, guest contributor & hugh anthony, certified lifestyle speaker · author · lifestyle coach

As an entrepreneur or a creative professional you have moments when inspiration begins to flow, everything seems to be in order and your ideas seem to be manifesting into reality. It is like all the pieces of the puzzle finally appears to be coming together in a grand picture or like a work of art!  This is the moment everything appears to be going seamlessly  and there is this great sense that you are on the cusp of that next big thing.

We are often so focused on ‘our baby’ – that entrepreneurial or creative project – that we do not take note to see how our finances could actually be having a direct or indirect effect on our project.  Are your finances congruent with your creative endeavour?   We may or may not plan out the financial commitment for our endeavours, be they creative, entrepreneurial or otherwise, however it might be possible, that your own personal finances could impact your creativity.

Imagine in your moments of great inspiration or creative confluence, your mind is subconsciously concerned about your financial state. Then your conscious and subconscious minds are not in agreement with each other, and what you want to accomplish is success with that endeavour. We believe that if your personal finances are not in order then, at the end of the day when you are faced with your own personal reality, your emotions become affected.  Not having that great feeling and good emotional health can  impact your creativity and capacity, resulting in you not being able to give your best to the creative process.

What would it mean to you emotionally, if you did not have to worry about your future financially or otherwise? Having a great financial plan in place and knowing it is working for you  can be so much more liberating.  Your creative ebb and flow would be nsync, knowing that you have financial congruence with that entrepreneurial or creative project you want to accomplish.

We are not only advocating congruence with creativity and finance; its sharing another perspective and some food for thought from our own entrepreneurial journey.  Making that important step towards financial planning will be insightful for your creative life.  It will coalesce in unleashing your creative edge, to provide not just an outlet for your creativity, but also an avenue to optimize the economic and financial benefits of your own endeavours.

© 2012 anika collington & hugh anthony. all rights reserved.

Anika Collington is an entrepreneur, mother of four and a poet.  She loves helping people and share her insights with individuals on gaining financial independence.

Follow Anika on Twitter @anikaever

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The Dreams of an Innovative Generation

hugh anthony, certified lifestyle speaker · author · lifestyle coach
“History has shown that many of the innovations that we have come to take for granted were a result of entrepreneurs, pioneers and early adopters willing to invest their own money, and sometimes lives, in a big idea.”

Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Galactic.

The Discovery space shuttle orbiter made its final takeoff and landing, piggybacking on the jumbo Boeing 747, NASA’s Pluto 905, making its way to its new home, the Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Centre in the Washington DC area.  The gleanings from the media coverage, the images of the flyover in Washington DC and the final moments as it landed reflected mixed emotions.  I reflected on the dreams of a generation and of a great era for Discovery‘, the shuttle orbiter that ‘led the pack’ with the most missions into space and is now  at the end of a great run.

Growing up and hearing about the iconic Apollo 11 misson, and Neil Armstrong being the first man to walk on the moon was very fascinating.  With such fascination and interest in human space exploration, my eyes were glued to the TV when there was a space shuttle launch, a delayed launch, disaster or a safe return to earth. Having witnessed the triumphs, difficulties and tragedies, they are all experiences that have contributed to innovation and advancement in science and technology.  Discovery like many other space shuttle orbiters have contributed immensely to the creation of a reservoir of innovative technology and understanding in science (earth and space), medical and technological advancements.

Discovery, as well as the other space shuttle orbiters, enveloped the dreams, aspirations, inspiration and fulfilment for a generation directly and indirectly. I recall a lecture by Dr. Mae Jemison’s (first black woman in space) 14 years ago at an anniversary lecture in Jamaica, and her dreams as a child growing up and the inspiration shared. More vividly, my sister’s recount of the excitement of having Dr. Ronald Ervin McNair  (1950-1986) the first black man in space who visited her high school and the sadness that greeted us with the news of his death in the Challenger disaster of 1986.  Reflectively,  those moments and now have contributed to self-fulfillment, actualization or personal successes, not just for those who shared with us, but for generations of individuals, whose fascinations were kept alive,  vicariously through the space shuttle events.  Discovery provided the satisfaction and feeling that aroused with the accomplishment of those individuals’ dreams, goals and expectations. Here are thoughts from an innovative generation, shared from NASA’s Blog through the eyes of those who worked with the space shuttle programmes:

“I realized that I wanted to work on the Space Shuttle Program as a junior in high school, while sitting in a Physics class. My teacher was a semi-finalist for the Teacher in Space Project and his enthusiasm was contagious……It took nearly 21 years, but my goal of working on the Space Shuttle Program was finally realized in January of 2007. I have had the privilege of contributing to the safe launch and performance of the final six flights of Discovery, Endeavour, and Atlantis; 18 flights in total. It has been an honor to work on these tremendous vehicles and with the dedicated teams that kept them flying safely.”

Becky Crownover, Jacobs Engineering Group

It’s been a great feeling to be part of the space shuttle team. A funny thing happened on the voyage, they, the shuttle team, became my family. We have dreamed big, ventured on wild seas, lost sight of the land a few times and found stars to guide us on our journey. We expanded our horizons and learned lessons. I can truly say I was blessed by our Creator to be part of the greatest human adventure of all time.”

Tom Milner, Reusable Solid Rocket Booster Project Office

“What an awesome experience! Working in the Space Shuttle Program gave me a dream to live. It involved me in one of humanity’s great achievements, and I got to work alongside some of the greatest minds of all time. It taught me more than I thought possible. I made great friends. Over the years the shuttle gave me, my loved ones and the world a sense of exhilaration, connection, despair and triumph. The adventure has only begun. The Space Shuttle Program personifies what a great people can do, and provides a glimpse of the greatness that lies ahead.”

Michael Mitchell, Propulsion Systems Engineering and Integration Office

My thoughts are, for a generation that lived and experienced not just an American innovation, but also the confluence of innovative collaborations in science, aerospace technology, human space exploration and innovation, what’s next?

The global community is experiencing innovation and creativity at an even more rapid pace than ever before.  Our world still has miles to go in every field of endeavour, more so now than ever. Given the realms of scientific research garnered, and to explore the potential and capabilities these discoveries hold for humankind. We now have over 30 years of valuable information from the first space shuttle launch of 1981 to build on.  There is still so much to discover, to create, to learn, to share, to cultivate, to innovate and to enhance our lives.  What are the possibilities…endless of course!!

Similarly, over three decades ago, the space shuttle era inspired us to dream even bigger, it created a community of believers, gave us a culture that fostered a spirit of discovery and innovation, new techniques and ways of seeing, doing and pursuing things. Having experienced it all, do we now have even bigger dreams as an innovative generation, given the possibilities that lie ahead?

We have an opportunity to inspire innovation around us, in every field of endeavour be it the hard or soft sciences, businesses and in our communities. We may not have the foggiest idea what that will be, however needs and demands are all around us to be met, and its for us to find solutions.  However, we collectively must invest in our people and future generations to foster that spirit of innovation and ‘why not’ as team members of private, public and non-government enterprises and institutions, and as citizens.  There is power in our dreams, potential and capacities to rapidly transform our capabilities, building on our dreams or that idea ‘collaboratively’ or ‘collectively’ of the generation before us and making better what we have learnt.

“People are the quintessential element in all technology… Once we recognize the inescapable human nexus of all technology our attitude toward the reliability problem is fundamentally changed.”  

Garrett Hardin

NASA Video – Shuttle Discovery Makes Final Flight over the US : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_IfoCUHyeo.

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© 2012 Hugh Anthony. All rights reserved.

Musings on Creativity and Creative Leadership

hugh anthony, certified lifestyle speaker · author · lifestyle coach
“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.”

— Edward de Bono

There is recognition that creativity is an essential skill for the 21st century; people and organizations need to optimize creativity to ensure responsiveness in the rapidly changing, complex and unpredictable business environment.    According to IBM’s 2010 Global CEO Study, creativity was identified as the most important leadership competency Imagefor the successful organization of the future. Highlighting that creative leadership is fundamental, more than rigor, management discipline, integrity or even vision in successfully navigating an increasingly complex world will require creativity.

Creativity has changed how people and organizations think and view leadership, and impacting results through perceptions such as creative thinking, creative problem solving, creative processes and creative leadership. Given that creativity is an essential skill, how can creative leadership help with dynamics of the workplace and workforce of the future? Creative leadership is more adaptable to organizations and team often times, than management in a world of complexity and unrelenting change.   Not negating the latter, the focus here is gleanings on creative leadership and the vital characteristics for creative leaders in realizing success in the 21st century organization.

Creative leadershipImage in this context is viewed as the ability to deliberately engage one’s imagination, dispel conventional beliefs by defining, guiding a team towards a novel goal, employing transformational and radically creative concepts and executions.   So how does the creative leader inspire their team and motivate the leaders of tomorrow?  They exhibit characteristics and traits that create and supports:

  • Unlearning beliefs that inhibits the creative imagination and thinking
  • Willingness to make changes to realize strategy
  • Creating an organizational culture and climate for creativity
  • Utilize innovative strategies to communicate and lead
  • Challenge  the status quo, even if it is successful
  • Openness and commitment to disruptive business solutions
  • Collaboration and co-creation with partners (internal and external)
  • Engage in idea generation, rioting and value creation
  • Identify, develop and  nurture creative leaders, processes and culture
  • Societal and philanthropic causes

Creative leaders continuously meet challenges, recognize and pursue new opportunities through bold innovations in an environment that encourages creative thinking, supports innovation and allocate resources to realize organizational strategies and goals.Image

Creative leaders have emerged as crucial resources to the myriad of challenges facing 21st century organizations. They have the quintessential ability to harness diversity, creativity, innovation and productivity so as to chart new paths for their organization in navigating the future. They welcome and embrace ambiguity, view problems as opportunities through a different lens.  They have competencies that include how to read and understand the environment, build alliances, recognize the importance of social responsibility, manage complexity, utilize technology, and encourage creativity.

Your role as a leader is even more important than you might imagine. You have the power to help people [and organizations] become winners.

 -Ken Blanchard

Creative leaders are risk takers who value creativity and employ proactive steps in their organizations to enter uncharted territory.   They have a unique ability to inspire people to believe in themselves and generate shared perspectives, radical thinking, and solutions to current and emerging complex scenarios and situations.  They never stop asking ‘Why’ and are willing to initiate change that impact and meet the needs collectively of the individual, the organization and the society as a whole.

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© 2012 Hugh Anthony. All rights reserved.