Play: Fostering our Inner Einstein

I was in the room with Dr. Carroll Rinehart, Dr. Jack Hughes and Robin Peel.  We were at breakfast and I thought, “What are we talking about?”  I didn’t realize that we were in the middle of what I would later call an IPJ (Intellectual Purpose Jam).  That term was later conceived by me and my colleague and friend, Corey Ferrugia.

Like many of us, if I was in a meeting, I wanted to know why we were having a meeting.  Makes sense, right?  We’re all busy and we want to make sure our time is being well spent.  The challenge with traditional thought in this area is, that once we establish the preconceived outcomes of any meeting, we create boundaries which confine the outcomes to the ones which have been pre-determined.

Back to the breakfast meetings with Dr. Rinehart, my mentor of many years.  Over time, these meetings began to create some very measurable outcomes that blossomed into ideas that are still being used today in very powerful ways.  What changed to make this possible?  The nature of the meetings did not change.  I changed.

How did I change?

I began to play more.

What do I mean?  I began to be more playful in the way I thought and I left room for newness.  I became more willing to play with my ideas and the ideas of others, without any preconceived thought as to how things unfold.

Here’s what I’m suggesting.

  • Next time you set up a meeting, be more open to other ideas and how they might lead to things you had not thought of.
  • Set up a meeting with someone you trust and respect with no specific goal in mind.  Invite them to have a cup of coffee to jam and see what happens.

Now go out and play!

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