A Message from our President
Some of the most fun, most playful holidays of the year are swirling ahead of us. Snapshots in old photo albums, posts and pics on social media, and even glossy holiday catalogs show everyone happy, healthy, and laughing. Why is it, however, we don't typically see these scenes in workplaces? Couldn't we all use a little fun at work?
Don't get me wrong - I'm not suggesting we abandon our focus, shirk our responsibilities, or devolve into a giddy mess. We (and our productivity) could benefit from reminders that creativity should exist at work, that enjoying what we do and doing it well are not mutually exclusive. In fact, one feeds the other and encourages us to do even better. This month's article, by Pam Hartley, digs deeper into this idea and gives tips on how to incorporate more fun in the workplace. She should know - Pam's official job title is VP of Play...and she takes her job seriously.
On another note - we have exciting news from backstage! Lauren Kennedy, Artistic Director of TheatreRaleigh, has announced the appointment of Leona Taylor as Director of Development. Congratulations, Leona and Lauren!
Have fun, keep us updated, and check out what's going on around the sector. We love to hear from you!
President, Capability Company
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our services. Thank you.
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Article of the Month
Word count: 478
Approximate Reading Time: 3 Minutes
Play at Work
Whether we're young children or grown adults, we're wired
for play. Think back to the last time you were at your best: you were on a
roll, ideas were flowing, the team was energized, the project seemed to self-propel.
This could just as easily describe a child's Saturday afternoon building
cardboard forts in the backyard as it could your favorite project at work. What
links the two is Play, That time that's fully enjoyable, when we get sucked it,
when creativity and connectivity take over.
A playful work environment lays the foundation for
creativity, flexibility, resourcefulness, and spirited collaboration. Playful
means fun. It also means great hard-work, tackling tough challenges, and
getting big things done together.
Bright colors and space to hang out together help, but a play at work is
more about how we work together.
Playing around with ideas
Building time in projects to play
around with ideas at the start of the project, encouraging divergent ideas,
truly encouraging risk taking all help build creative confidence on the team.
Getting together with colleagues to
create and connect ideas works best face to face. The more we work together
around a common table, eat together at lunch, grapple with a challenge over a
quick walk, and celebrate together over good food and drink, the better
equipped we are to tackle the next big project together.
Play at work is about getting it all done in a creative
environment. Like any good playground, a set of often unspoken rules keeps
everyone in the game and the play moving forward. How do we build time for creative thinking and push forward
to meet the deadline, strive for new ideas and avoid recreating the wheel, go
for gold and remain on budget? In creative environments, it often takes playing
with juxtaposing project goals to keep everything on track.
Act without collaborating, and we
risk operating in a silo, without the big picture and missing creative input.
Collaborate too long or without a clear end goal, and we can slow to a halt and
Big Picture... Details
Paying attention to the context and
big picture while attending to all the details ensures the project will work on
High Impact... Low Cost
Striving for high impact and
shooting for big ideas while crafting simple, low cost ways to execute can keep
projects right-sized and heading in the right direction.
Plan Ahead.... Seize Opportunity
Planning ahead helps make room for
quick change of tacks. Sticking to the plan at all costs can lead to missing opportunity.
And no plans at all can lead to whiplashing between opportunities, keeping
everyone busy but missing the opportunity to grow.
Fresh & New.. Tried & True
Supporting both creative, new
approaches and the tried and true, keeps projects fresh without throwing out
great simple ideas that are already working.
Bottom Line: Next time you think play is just for kids and has no role in the workplace, think again. Play enhances our lives at every age, everywhere.
With more than 20 years in program leadership roles with children's museums, Pam Hartley is an expert on play, learning, and creativity. She is currently the VP of Play Experience at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, NC.
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