Knee-jerk Reactions

Wednesday, 21 November 2012   |   Creative Thinking

Ball and ChainLife is interesting, unpredictable and unfair.  This means that every now and then it is going to throw you an event or outcome that you really would prefer didn't happen.  A typical after effect of this is the knee-jerk reaction.  The 'quick, we need to do something so that this never happens again', reaction.  The thing is, these reactions are typically born out of fear and involve restrictions and or checks which often do little to prevent a future occurence of the event but instead inconvenience us, restrict us and stifle creative thinking.

Now what happened was probably really not nice.  Take a step back and evaluate the whole situation.  How long has the system been working fine before this event?  I'm guessing it was quite a while.  What ar the chances it could happen again?  Probably fairly slim.

Realise that no matter what you do, things are going to go wrong from time to time.  It's natural, it's normal and we as humans are awesome at recovering from them.  Don't feel that any and every error must be met with a change in procedure in an attempt to prevent it from happening in the future.  All you will end up doing is restricting and limiting the system to a point where it no longer actually does what it is intended to do.

Creativity also suffers from knee-jerk reatction.  As we increasingly take away freedom we strangle it.  But there is also another more subtle effect going on here.  Knee-jerk reactions often send out the message that errors, any errors are very bad.  Over time they are helping to create an environment where people have less room to explore and are actively encouraged not to explore.  Exploring has the possibility for great success but it also has the possibility of failure, and failure is bad so you should not risk it.

So next time something goes wrong, take a step back.  There's probably nothing wrong with the system, it's just that a perfectly normal anomally occured, we can recover from it and keep moving forward.  More importantly, by doing so you are reinforcing a productive and creative environment.


You're on your way to becoming a Highly Creative Person.