When was the last time you experienced creative glee?
Today? Yesterday? Last week? Can’t remember?
Or – Creative Glee! What?
I’m referring to the experience we have when a creative endeavour just comes together and the words flow or the paints glide or the form emerges from the sculptor’s block.
It may have taken lots of patience or it may have arisen effortlessly but there you are “on a roll” as the diagram or the software code or the choreography seems to gush from you effortlessly – for a while at least.
I think this is different from ‘Flow’ – the experience of just being so ‘in the moment’ and totally absorbed by a performance that time just seems to disappear. I think Flow comes from the performance arts (e.g. Acting, dance etc.). I first came across it when I was facilitating large workshops and becoming so immersed in the group process that it felt afterwards as if I had been on some mystical high.
Glee is more about creation than performance.
I apologise now if this personal viewpoint appears to dismiss ‘performance’ as not being ‘creative’. I agree that a pianist may create an amazing interpretation of a piece of music when they perform it (possibly whilst in Flow) but the composer created the piece in the first place (possibly with glee!)
‘Flow’ and ‘Glee’ might be cousins or even the same thing seen from different perspectives. My point is one of personal concern that it is not an every day occurrence for me at the moment.
Maybe I am being greedy.
My last experience of creative glee was last week, with a small team, doing some physical modelling of a building complex. The blocks were flying up (and down!), hands were dipping into the design all over the place. There were squeals of laughter and smiles everywhere. 120% focus on spontaneous activity and not a ‘task’ in sight. It did not last long, 20 minutes maybe, but when we sat back we were grinning with what we had achieved together.
I wish all my work was like this but I find it takes a range of pre-conditions for glee to happen:
- Time and space
- The right mood
- No pressure
- Being comfortable working with each other
- A mindset of ‘participation’ rather than ‘ownership’
Each of us might write a different list..
Why is an agile strategist and decision designer interested in Glee (or Flow)?
I believe that is how the really excellent work gets done, plus it’s really enjoyable!
Happy to discuss or to explore!
I hope you find fun and laughter this week.
Here’s this week’s cover picture.