Yesterday I listened to the Hidden Brain podcast about the edge effect, which is an increase in creativity resulting from spending meaningful time with people who are not like us.
I had a very emotional reaction to this podcast. Writing has become harder lately. I’ve been chastising myself for not being “motivated”, but the podcast helped me realize that the answer to my problem isn’t “writing harder” because the root problem isn’t about writing, it’s about having relationships and experiences.
Prior to March I was spending a lot of time in different kinds of schools working closely and building relationships with school leaders from many kinds of backgrounds and experiences. However, despite Zoom and the other tech tools, I am more isolated than I have ever been.
I’m sharing this because it seems like many of us may be having similar experiences – or a lack thereof. While we may have actually improved the richness of relationships with people in our immediate proximity, we may be losing the contact we’ve had with friends and colleagues who have very different backgrounds. We are also traveling less and not encountering new people.
This is a significant challenge. Right now, we need our creativity more than ever before. There is not a new normal because none of it is normal and we don’t know where this is headed. Every day organizational leaders are being challenged to fulfill the purpose while adapting people, structures, and resources to constantly shift external forces.
This is something I’ll be thinking deeply, and I encourage you to do the same. We need to figure something out. We all need to be at our best right now, but that requires us to be more deeply connected with a larger and more diverse community.
Do good and be well,
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