I spent the last two weeks in Florida with my daughter while my husband, Greg finished up a project. It is extremely challenging to continue “business as usual” when you’re ten minutes from the beach. I spent my mornings working with many of my afternoons with my daughter spending some much needed get-a-way time together.
Creativity and Technology: Writing With Pen and Paper
The thing about getting away is that it clears your mind to think, to feel, and to decompress. I did something I hadn’t done in a couple of years, I wrote with a paper and pen. The glare of my iPad at the beach kept me from getting things done. So it felt good to get back to basics as I jotted ideas and thoughts onto an old school notebook. And I wondered how many brilliant ideas were lost due to writing technology. Technology getting in the way. Technology streamlining the process. Technology helping us to do our job better, faster, and more efficient.
Remember the days when candidates applied directly for a job by looking the hiring manager in the eye or when you actually clocked in? When’s the last time you had a good laugh with your co-workers or even your boss near or within 200 feet of the time clock?
Have you ever said at a business meeting, “Hold on, that’s a great idea I’ve got to put this into my iPhone?”
No, me neither. And before technology, we did the best that we could when inspiration or an idea would strike. We’d literally grab onto whatever was handy. These days it’s smart phone tools like Evernote and Dragon Dictation. But before that, ideas, inspiration, and invention was played out on the back of receipts, napkins, and even toilet paper.
Writing Technology vs. Writing With Pen and Paper
Are ideas, creativity, and writing essential to your leadership and life processes? I bet these fine folks think (and thought) so:
- J.K. Rolling created Harry Potter on the back of a cocktail napkin.
- The Song, Louie Louie was written on toilet paper after Berry heard a Latin beat he liked.
- Marty Coleman, known as Napkin Dad finds his genius daily by creating beautiful art (like the one above) on a napkin. How cool is that?
- The Gettysburg Address was written on the back of an envelope.
Heck, the Atlanta School Board proposed this year to no longer include cursive writing as part of their educational curriculum. The written word is no longer written. It’s typed, pecked, and aut0-transcribed. What’s next? Maybe we’ll be walking around with our 3-D glasses or a blue tooth embedded behind our ears.
Writing technology is effectively killing your and my daily and creative genius.
One year or two ago, I gave up my handy dandy notebook. I thought I upgraded. And last week sitting on the beach I realized that I was wrong. Each day we, as humans have thousands and maybe millions of ideas. Millions of daily genius slipping through our fingers relying on our memory or technology to map our lives.
And so last night as I began packing to travel to Vegas for the HR Demo Show, I included my Mac Book Pro, my iPad, and my handy dandy notebook. While I won’t leave my technology at home, there’s something to be said about putting pen to paper or even pen to napkin like Marty.
How are you feeding your creative genius or better yet the creative genius of your workforce as a leader?