Me? Go back to school? I’m too old. I know enough already. I will feel awkward. I don’t have time. I already have a law degree.
What hooked me?
Admittedly being a skeptic myself, when I participated in a session facilitated by a faculty member of the International Center for Creative Studies at Buffalo State College, for the benefit of an independent school board we are both on, I wondered ‘why are we spending an entire morning on something we could accomplish in an hour?’
As the morning progressed and the process unfolded, I was drawn in by the method used in fluidly generating words and ideas and bringing consensus and buy-in within the group.
Not long after, I happened to interview a consultant to help with a groundbreaking vision for early childcare in the workplace. Seemingly coincidental, yet too connected to not have meaning, she was a graduate of the International Center for Creative Studies at Buffalo State.
These two events occurred within the same two weeks, one not precipitated by the other. At first, the description of the Creative Problem Solving process seemed like Greek to me but I soon began to see the potential differences in the outcomes between following a CPS process versus a traditional subject expertise consultant process.
In my role as non-profit Board leader, it has always been a challenge for me, and at times frustrating, that Boards and committees are filled with exceptional volunteers, with knowledge, expertise and accomplishment in their respective fields, yet too often these resources are left untapped:
How to get them to engage in the process, to contribute to the solutions?
They have the passion and the motivation, they have shown up at the meeting; what is stopping this from happening?
The two back-to-back experiences I had with Creative Problem Solving finally gave me some structure and insight into how non-profit organizations might begin to answer this question.
And with it, my journey into creativity began.