100 Years of Advancing Destinations

Harnessing Your Creative Courage

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What does it mean for an organization to harness its creative courage and why is it so critical?

We've always lived in extraordinary times. Through humanity's periods of prosperity or crushing hardship, we face life's ultimate and unending riddle, how do we grow? How do we create abundance when confronted with scarcity? We've collectively managed to overcome great challenges through high and low times, although organizations can struggle to even accept answering that riddle, therefore how do we grow despite perceived or real scarcity? 

Creative courage is an intentional mindset as much as it is a revelation of a deep belief and empirical observation for me. Critical, challenging, inspiring and interesting problems, are more likely to show up without any instruction manual attached. Being creative about solving these problems in any organization requires courage and accepting that there is no instruction manual that exist for them. To me, that's the nucleus of why creative courage can be so critical for leaders in any organization. It can be truly exciting to face problems that way and solve them.

We often like to talk about recipes to face the unknown (and they can be useful at times), creative courage talks about a mindset and of the collective heart's health of any organization. Can you approach the mindset of courage and the willingness to solve issues and challenging problems as a practice? That's creative courage. 

How do you create a culture that cultivates creative courage?

Is your organizational culture risk-averse or able to value constructive failure to learn from it? Are there any leaders in your teams that recruit people who have the potential to replace them in their position and do better or they try to protect their ground at all cost? Are you willing to rise beyond your ego to foster the best ideas and concepts in your group? These are a few of the questions that can help explore and assess the creative courage level of your organization.

What are some of the keys when creating a team that is diverse and made up of individuals with distinct abilities?

One of the fundamentals, from my point of view, when aiming to create great teams is doing a deep investigation with the individuals in your group about their true strengths, passion and aspirations instead of limiting your analysis and casting to their role and responsibilities. As much as I can, I try to foster deeper self-knowledge and introspection of the team members on their strengths, their aspirations, and more often than not, the project we are working becomes a space where strengths and aspiration can grow while making the project better. Things become fertile for personal growth and exceptional projects to be created.

What does it mean to design with empathy and how can destinations utilize this way of thinking to connect with travelers?

I first discovered this approach from two sources, first from innovators and groundbreakers of design like Tom & David Kelly who develop so many game changing products and mini-experiences with the customer in mind and secondly from the way at Cirque du Soleil we've found a way from the very beginning of the company's history to include the audience and get them closer to the performance and the experience. Design with empathy for me means understanding where your audience is coming from emotionally, practically and perhaps having a sense of what it is yearning for, and then surprise them, offer something that's unexpected from that standpoint.