As I wrote briefly last week, I am in Argentina for the month of August. I have several interesting projects here, including some speeches and promotional activities related to the recent launch of my book, Las siete reglas del storytelling (Granica 2013).
As usual, I am finding the change of venue interesting. Argentina is of course a familiar place, with lots of family, friends and business contacts, but being here for a month causes me to see things other than those I see in Europe, and also to reflect in different ways. And, since life is a bit more relaxed for me in August, I have some valuable time to think, to work more calmly on my next book, and to consider some of the other topics I would like to write about.
So, it seems like a good time to sit back and reflect about some of the themes I am considering addressing on the blog in the coming weeks and months, including but not limited to:
–Something about creativity and innovation: I have come across several good articles lately, and there are two points in particular that interest me. First, more and more research and anecdotal evidence is pointing to the conclusion that creativity is a learned skill, and that one’s ability to innovate is a process that can be developed. This concept fits well with my view of the world, as I am increasingly convinced that most anything can be improved and even mastered through deliberate practice, combined with the right teaching and coaching, and enough attention to detail.
The second point about creativity is that it is not so much about some mysterious “gift” but rather about the ability to learn and to make connections. The most creative among us are not so much “geniuses” but people with a variety of life experiences, who reflect on their life lesson and learn to “connect the dots”, often in new or unexpected ways. Thus, there is hope for all of us; improving as creative people is about being aware, observing and learning from the events and encounters of our lives.
–The Pope, his travel to Brazil, and our first glimpses of his leadership: Whatever one’s views on religion, down here South America it is hard to avoid stories about Pope Francis, who of course is Argentine. And, it is hard not to admire this man and his leadership style. As I collect some information from the local newspapers and magazines–and of course from my Internet reading–I think more and more that he will we be an interesting character to study, and potentially even a transformational figure for the Church. In any case, he is certainly someone who uses his stories of identity and who seems to embody his stories completely.
As such, I am already impressed with his authenticity. Pope Francis seems to be off to a good start, and I am hopeful that he will have a truly positive impact on the world.
–The future of the MBA classroom: When the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD.org) invited me to speak at their 2013 MBA conference in Lausanne on March 18, about how to create a positive dynamic in an MBA class, I began to think more deeply than before about my precise views on the subject. This exercise in reflection led to increased clarity, and now I would like to put some of my thoughts on paper, as the act of writing often helps to further clarify and codify concepts.
In addition, I plan to comment on some of my activities and encounters in South America, and on some interesting reading of the last few weeks, in particular the latest Harvard Business Review on the subject of influence (leadership) and some Fast Company articles about dealing with email and social media in our daily work lives.
So, hasta luego!