- Author: Wendy Powers
A friend referred me to a TED Talk that I watched over the last couple of days. The talk was given by Davis Lee and the topic was “Why jobs of the future won't feel like work”. He talks about most jobs being replaced by robots in the future because we are overly focused on tasks rather than creativity – so our work is well suited for robots. His argument is that we need to bring our weekend selves to work on Wednesday and then Mondays will come easier. On weekends we are creative – we become gardeners, plumbers, builders and quilters. We do things we are passionate about. It follows then that if we had greater opportunity to be creative during the work week, we would be more excited about our jobs, resulting in improved outcomes.
I don't know if the suggested TED Talk is the result of a previous blog post or not, but it fits in the same theme as one of the sessions held at the Western Extension Directors Association annual meeting. That session focused on adopting innovative work habits. We had an interactive session where we worked with Adobe's Kickbox Toolkit to take what was originally presumed to be a bad idea and turn it into a good solution to an existing problem. It was an interesting exercise. My table ended up working through a concept of using virtual reality to teach and train, including demonstrating the impacts of different decisions. We used pruning techniques as the pilot project – through a VR platform, students could explore different techniques and the results of using the various methods. The problem solved was time constraints – for both instructors and students.
During that session we talked about ‘ideation' whereby many ideas are proposed rather than what is presumed to be the ‘best idea'. These many ideas are then evaluated such that small, early failures are achieved through testing and iteration. The idea that ‘sticks' is scaled for adoption and implementation. The goal is to avoid costly big mistakes by not testing ideas early on at a small scale and modifying them before costly scaling occurs. Ideation isn't always a team sport but teams tend to perform better than individuals. Creativity is stimulated by the group – assuming the environment and the team members are motivated and passionate about the creative process. This gets back then to fostering creativity by providing the right environment as well as the support to fail.
I attended the celebration of Steve Orloff on Saturday. I did not know him well but I was left humbled by his passion for his family and friends, his work, and life. The memories people shared were both touching and funny. The distance so many traveled to attend demonstrates the friend Steve was. I hope the event helped to begin the healing process for all who miss Steve.