there's always another way
The Promise of Creativity is that there's always another way. Without creativity all you have is the obvious or the outdated; you're a machine following someone else's path stuck inside the limits of other people's imaginations. With creativity you have limitless options! And in any endeavour the team with the greatest range of options has the advantage.
Creativity is how you solve problems, see opportunities before anyone else, embrace change, and stay one step ahead. And to do that all you need is to have a strong relationship with creativity.
Whatever happens tomorrow, if you have a strong relationship with creativity you'll find a way to make it work
The right support at the right time in the right place
Before we get into the details of what it means to have a strong relationship with creativity it might be helpful to think about how we can fit in to your world. All our clients are different and no two pieces of work are exactly the same, but to make things a little easier we broadly describe how we work in three ways; Build, Blend, and Boost.
A strong relationship with creativity doesn't happen overnight; like any relationship you have to work on it. So we offer our services in bite sized chunks on a monthly or weekly basis. We come to you, fit into your daily schedule, and each bite sized session builds on the last. We even provide extra support, and bonus content between sessions so you can keep building your relationship with creativity and make it part of your culture.
Most businesses have a calendar of people development, networking, and team building activities so we've designed our services to slot right in. Half, full, or multi day workshops where we dive deep into an aspect of creativity or take a wide view, getting a jump start on the journey. Our clients find that the flexible, curious, playful attitude that comes with building a strong relationship with creativity helps make learning, mingling, and bonding easier and more fun.
Maybe there's a pitch you just can't lose or a new product launch that you have to get right, or perhaps you're beginning a project and you need your team to live a creative culture right from day one. These mission critical moments are too important to leave to chance which is why we work with you to build that culture fast and make sure you get the outcome you need.
BUILDING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CREATIVITY
There is no correlation between how much you know about creativity and how much creativity you express. Just think about it, who are the most creative people in the world? That's right, children. And children have, by and large, not attended many seminars on creativity techniques.
So what makes children so creative? It's not what they know about creativity, it's how they relate to the world. How they relate to creativity.
Children relate to creativity with curiosity, playfulness, a willingness to learn and to be wrong. But as we get older we begin to relate to creativity with fear, stress, and guilt. We start to develop powerful aversions to the state of not knowing, feel compelled to close down questions quickly or always appear in control.
These beliefs, behaviours, and attitudes creep in slowly; we don't even notice it happening. Before we know it the creative genius we once were seems like a distant memory.
But is that person really gone?
We know that given the right support we can all rediscover that creative genius within us. That's what Sabre Tooth Panda is all about; helping you rebuild that strong relationship with creativity.
The Sabre Tooth Panda Process
Whether it's one person, a team of fifty, or a company of a fifty thousand, building a strong relationship with creativity always follows three steps.
1. Experience: directly experiencing how you relate to creativity is the only way to begin and leads to immediate, automatic self correction
2. Reflect: by reflecting on our experiences we deepen the learning and find new avenues to explore
3. Share: collectively sharing our experiences helps to extend the learning and strengthen the broader creative culture
The joy of such a simple process is that you can start small and achieve some form of improvement in a single session. You're on a journey with no definite end but, at the same time, you're never lost. We call this instant change, gradually. Just by placing your attention on your emotional reactions when faced with a creative challenge you increase your awareness and begin to self correct. Simple. Not easy, but simple.
Repeat these steps again and again, like cleaning the dirt from an old mirror, and gradually you achieve clarity.
The Tools of the Trade
Everything we do works through a combination of play, coaching, and mindfulness.
- Play: we use play to create shared experiences so each player can experience his or her relationship with creativity in a powerful, safe, and engaging way
- Coaching: like play, coaching creates a unique opportunity to explore creativity and how you relate to it. It's like a guided tour of your own beliefs, habits, and assumptions
- Mindfulness: from simple breathing meditations to visualisations and mindful activities, moments of mindfulness are often when the penny drops and we achieve the clarity we've been looking for
In practice these approaches aren't always clearly separated. Coaching can support play, play can be mindful, and mindfulness can be playful! What matters is that we combine these powerful tools to help you build your relationship with creativity so that when creativity calls you have the confidence to answer.
a bit more about our tools
Theory is all well and good but what might this look like for you? Below you'll find some more detailed examples.
No Wrong Answers is a product that our clients love - a simple team based game that you can play as part of a larger day of learning and development, use as a networking or team building activity, or apply to project kick-off events.
Teams of between three and six players compete to come up with the most unexpected and innovative answers to a series of hypothetical challenges like:
- How could you make use of half a million cans of glow in the dark shaving foam that nobody wants to buy?
- What new global conspiracy theory could you invent to drive more listeners to your shock-jock radio show?
- Combine two old movie franchises to create a new cross-over blockbuster aimed at people with
Getting Comfy with Chaos draws on improvisational theatre and role play. Players take part in a range of dynamic games, followed by periods of reflecting and sharing of insights.
This can work as a full or half day event ever on site or away from the office at one of a range of inspiring venues.
- This works with small groups for intensive insights or large groups when you're looking to kick off a department wide conversation
- Insights from the games are captured to feed into ongoing projects or to enhance personal development plans
- Barriers are broken down, challenges that are too hard to approach directly can be tackled indirectly through play
The relationship between a coach and his or her client is unlike almost any other relationship.
In our personal lives each relationship is, in some way or other, interdependent. Our friends and family, our loved ones, all have a stake in what we choose to do and how we behave. While they want the best for us, they can't be entirely neutral and focus only on our needs.
In work, while our colleagues and employers may care about us, it is impossible to remove the element of material exchange from any discussion. No one can be entirely open and honest with their workmates - no matter how much they like them - because in the workplace there is always more at play.
That's why a coaching session can be so intensely refreshing and transformational. In coaching you are the focus. There is no need to perform for our impress your coach, no pressure to appear strong or know all the answers. Your coach exists entirely to enable you to explore your situation, make and remain true to your own plans.
When paired with the play experiences described above, coaching can help to capture and put into action profound insights that can transform creative performance today and for years to come.
This may seem like the odd one out. Play and coaching are both interactive while mindfulness is best known for turning inwards, examining and being aware of ones deeper self. But for Sabre Tooth Panda mindfulness is the fabric that connects everything. If play and coaching are islands, mindfulness is the ocean.
We train various mindfulness techniques from simple breathing exercises to visualisations, and mindful activities. Mindfulness forms a part of everything we do but it still benefits from time focused simply on training the mind to achieve a deeper awareness.
- Meditating on embodied emotions is a powerful way to learn to interpret our emotional guidance system, gifted to us by millions of years of evolution to help us find the way when our thinking minds are overwhelmed
- Recognising and labelling thoughts and feelings helps us to see that we are not our thoughts and feelings; when we stop identifying with these fleeting moments we can see greater potential for and learn to embrace change
- Training the mind to be present, aware of and ready to respond fluidly to new opportunities as they arise, is the path to achieving the beginner mind that so many talk about but so few really understand