The four generative behaviors
Creative Populist, Author, Guide
Be humble. The things you really need to know you have not learned yet.
Be playful. The lightness of play increases your ability to have fresh and abundant ideas.
Be enthusiastic in your pursuit of beauty. Beholding beauty improves the quality of your mind.
Lesson: Creatively Entrepreneurial with Carl Nordgren
Step #3 Behaviors: The four generative behaviors
The second generative behavior is to be humble. The most important things that we need to know, we don't know. And that takes a bit of humility to fully appreciate that. Where it can be an intellectual arrogance that often exist that we think we know and so we stop thinking about it, we stop asking the appropriate questions. To approach a challenge, to approach an opportunity with this appreciation that you know very little and what you do know is mostly useful in helping you shape the questions about what it is that you need to learn about what's happening here is a practical reason why you want to be humble.
You can be proud of your accomplishments and still be humble in your person. And that's a very attractive quality and as an entrepreneur you're always looking to be attractive. You want to attract people to your cause. There's a wonderful story about humility. It's a story about Sir Christopher Wren, a celebrated British architect in the 1500s but he was more than an architect, he was also a scientist, he was a physicist, he was an astronomer. The quality of his mind was such that Sir Isaac Newton used to come to Sir Christopher Wren to bounce ideas of off him.
Well he was asked to submit a plan for the Windsor Guildhall. The Windsor Guildhall was going to be this massive meeting space. In those days, to accomplish, to create such a meeting hall, one would have needed multiple interior columns to support the weight of the roof. Well because Sir Christopher Wren was not only an extraordinary architect but again, an accomplished physicist. He was on a cutting edge of the knowledge of load management. And he was able to submit a plan that required only half as many columns as a standard plan would have called for.
Well because the suits, the men who were going to fund this project were caught up in the status quo and were conservative, they rejected the plan. He tried one more time with the plan, it was rejected again. He really wanted the condition and so finally he submitted the plan, Sir Christopher Wren did. With all of the columns that the folks were calling for for the Windsor Guildhall. Well it was built. He died about 20 years after it was built. About a hundred years after it was built, it was time for its first major interior renovation.
And as the workmen were raising the scaffolding to work on the renovation, they finally got to a point where they were eye level and they could see that for all the columns that Sir Christopher Wren said weren't necessary, there was an inch gap between the top of the column and the roof. They weren't supporting any weight. They weren't necessary to support any weight. Isn't that marvelous but what is really marvelous is that he went to his deathbed without telling anybody this.
I would have been tempted to a couple of years later, stood on a soap box in the middle of Trafalgar Square and said, “I told you. " but he didn't. He'd learned what there was to learn so that he could apply in subsequent work and was quite happy to know that he had accomplished it. It's a wonderful humility to that that I think informs creative and entrepreneurial effort.
Be generous, be humble, and then be playful. There's so many reasons why you want to practice being playful to become the most creative and entrepreneurial person that you can be, one of which is, you want to have a really good creative idea, have lots of ideas. You want to generate lots of ideas, consider it to be playful, consider it to be fun. You don't want to stop doing something that's playful, so you keep on in your development of creative ideas. Another reason is that we're always looking for multiple creative perspectives. I kind of discipline myself these days to never say creative perspective. I always want to make a plural to remind myself that I'm looking for many creative perspectives.
Well a playful perspective is going to be a unique perspective often in any given situation. And of course it just in generally cultivates a lightness that promotes fresh creative thinking, so being playful is an important behavior. And it's one quite frankly that the millennial generation has kind of gotten lost in. Research shows that Millenials don't play very much and didn't play very much when they were growing up. And I'm urging my students always to be generous with themselves, practice a little humility and go be playful.
Fourth generative behavior is to be enthusiastic in your pursuit of beauty. We certainly understand how important it is to refresh our digital devices. We have to reboot them occasionally to get them to work at their peak effectiveness. If we load a new application, sometimes you have to reboot it, refresh it for that application to be now absorbed, to be embedded. But we forget how important it is to refresh ourselves.
And my contention is that regardless of what you think of as beauty, whatever is your picture of that which is most beautiful for you, if you just take a moment and pause and just be in the presence of that which is beautiful, just behold it, not study it, just let it be with you that that is such a wonderful refreshing experience but it also has an immediate practical benefit because that which is beautiful is the patterns of harmony, of color, of texture. That's where beauty emerges as in the beautiful patterns of whatever it is that expression is applying.
And creativity and entrepreneurship is about finding patterns, about learning to think and see the emergence of patterns. And so without knowing it, you are improving the quality of your subconscious mind to be really good at pattern recognition, to be good at pattern identification. There's that benefit also in just beholding beauty and just being enthusiastic in your pursuit of beauty.