Making space for creativity
By Yaz Brien 14th February 2022
From 14th-18th February our team will be taking time for creativity and reflection.
In all of the busyness of our day-to-day activities – whether work, activism or home life – it can be difficult to find time for the type of deep reflection or creative thinking that supports us to work well with emergence and be receptive to new insights and practices.
The intersecting crises that we are living and working with can often feel like crashing waves. And as we constantly adjust and respond, it can be hard to find moments or ways of standing firm and calmly taking in the horizon and our surroundings.
Practices of change are central to the Transition movement – paying attention not just to what we do, but the ways in which we do it. As the charity which supports the international movement, Transition Network seeks to be an organisation that is actively trying *not* to do business as usual.
While Transition Network encourages individual members of the team to take time away from computers to learn, reflect and digest, we recognise that it can be difficult to do this when emails and meetings keep crashing in like waves. So, this year, we decided to identify a week during which we give each other permission to step away from the day-to-day and try something different and more expansive. We’ve chosen this week – 14th to 18th February – for our first attempt at this experiment.
Some team members might catch up on reading the articles we regularly share on Slack, but rarely have time to more than scan read at best. Others may dive into the playlist of videos and podcasts they’ve been collecting. For some, this is the perfect time to play around and experiment with different online tools that might just make our work easier, but that take time and attention to explore and assess. Some of us plan to reflect together, others will be taking time on their own in nature – sitting under a tree and watching the clouds might be exactly what’s needed for us to get a new perspective on a challenging situation or for the seed of an idea to form, or germinate.
In many ways this might not look like an ideal time to take a week away from the daily tasks and activities of our roles. We’re in the process of defining our strategy and priorities for the coming year, writing concept notes and applications for core funding, completing an extensive process of evaluation, preparing for cherished team members to take new paths, and balancing the books before we can embark on recruitment. But just as children in the UK are encouraged to ‘Stop Look Listen’ before crossing a road, this could in fact be the perfect time to do the same.
We’re sharing this with you because we want to be transparent about why we might be slower to respond during this week. And also as an invitation to think about how you might incorporate reflection and creativity into your work, teams and groups too.