What can you learn from your children? Quite some years ago now, being on parental leave with my son and daughter, taught med something I have reflected on a lot. Being privileged becoming a father in Sweden, where you are offered 6 months of parental paid leave per child and parent, you can learn a lot from your children during this time together.

A game I played with my son at my 2nd parental leave was “The Why Game”. I had quickly put out of my mind that I could do something else other than give my kids 100% attention. What ever I put in my sons hands, trying to get some time “for my self”, he would throw it away to get my attention. Now with a happy face, he would ask about everything around him. What is that, why this, that or so? He never satisfied with incomplete answers. Everything from explaining why the sky is blue or what a wind-mill (vindkraftverk in Swedish) is and do. Not being careful and focused, I would end up in a circular reasoning with no end. This also made me remember my own un-acceptance for ambiguous and unsatisfactory answers, always being curious to why. Watching your kids exploring, trying and figuring things out, can many times teach you there are other ways you can do things. Why should you accept things just because it has always been so or so.

The childlike creative imagination is all about constantly being curious. Do, reflect and learn. Always ask why, and don’t satisfy with the incomplete. This is the way children learn. Ambient light, sound, an environment where you really can’t  put a finger on why it is so great. You might not even be aware of it, you just feel great. This is what Ambient Society is all about, understanding what makes great. The Vujà Dé, the things, components and surrounding which is there to make it great, but you have just not been able to see it before.
You can learn to bring forward the curiosity of a child again, your child like imagination. Unfortunately most of us unlearn this inherent power in school, where it is all about the right answers, the solutions, and not the right questions to bring forward to explore and discover. This is also how most large efficient companies and industries are set-up and go forward year after year. Planning, based on the known and the right ways of doing things, and executing accordingly, following up and ticking off, is how we go about. How do we find the right balance of discovering new opportunities and finding new paths? How can we balance the proven way and allowing us to find the new better paths?

Exploring a question with a child, and you will surface a whole new set of questions that you previously could not imagine. To transform, to innovate, we must have the mind of a child, be like a child in our exploration and discovery.

As Professor Ramnath Narayanswamy put it “Creativity can be defined as moving away from the standard way of doing things. It refers to courage, audacity, innovation, vision, all of which combine to make change possible. Creativity is the natural resource that make us truly human.”
As Professor Ram further share below, there are principles to it which you can follow.
The 10 golden rules of unbundling creative potential, it is something we all can re-learn given the right context.

  1. Become a child, not childish
    Receive the world with a puzzle, astonishment and wonder!
  2. Avoid ego, identity, and fears!
    The three principle enemies of learning.
  3. Collapse roles, domains, and functions!
    Otherwise you get stuck in the world of management.
  4. Institutionalise doubt!
    Truth is not a place to go to, but a place to come from!
  5. The past is not the future!
    The future is based on the present!
  6. Intensify appreciative enquiry and deep questioning!
    It is all about self-enquiry!
  7. Past successes are obstacles
    Because it creates baggage!
  8. Don’t absolutise self-image!
    You are pregnant with a billion potentials!
  9. Accept your vulnerability
    Acknowledge what you do not have; the earth will not collapse!
  10. Disable core barriers!
    It is the surest mantra to discover yourself!

Take care!