Creativity & The Box

think-outside-the-boxHiring and firing for the company is one of my many job tasks.  Reviewing the onslaught of resumes, picking the ones for the first interview, and then from those the second.  Gradually whittling down choices till only the crème de la crème remain for The Boss to meet.  That however is just the back story, what follows is the real jist of this post…

As I sit through phone conversation after phone conversation, interview after interview, I have to wonder what happened to the person before me.  There are great credentials, wonderful presence, and professionalism, but 90% of them could not open a box, much less think out side of one.  The answers are textbook, unoriginal, and utterly boring.

For my buck, which ultimately is the company’s buck the world needs more out of the box thinkers.   Folks who can be given a objective, a set of limits to guide them and then turned loose to draw on their creative thinking and ingenuity to reach the goal, timely, with ideas that spark excitement.

But trust me, there aren’t many like that in the world.  Sad comment on childhood’s I should imagine.  Since when has it been okay to snatch a child’s imagination mid budding and wrap it in convention so tightly it cannot grow, breath, or become?  I wonder if that is why we are presently reaping remakes of songs, movies, and tv shows?  Why we keep rehashing the same scientific theories, and answers to questions, keep falling in the same political traps.  I guess it’s the – nothing new left in the world – thought line of which I utterly disagree.

Childhood fantasies, and imaginations should be cultivated, encouraged and given enough room and freedom to be allowed to grow.  Because the exercising of that muscle is what takes the child into adulthood and beyond with unrestrained ‘what ifs’.

What ifs, that urge forward movement, stimulating thoughts, and newness to everything – anything but what we have now.

It hurts deep within my soul when an interviewees cannot answer, cannot conceive of any other answer than the one given as ‘professional’ to a simple question, ‘what is it you want from a job? Any job? What are you looking for?’

A career.   Really?  You can have that flipping burgers.

To provide for my family.   Hmmm, would that make you sincerely happy, and thereby make your family happy?  Because ditch diggers can provide…

Good benefits.   I just shake my head when I get this one, and put the résumé to the side.  Because what you think is a benefit, is clearly not what I believe a benefit to be.  I can already tell by your answer.

To help people.  You’d be surprised how many times I get this answer, and ultimately it just wears me out to the point of exhaustion.   Sustaining the ‘help’ part of the job is not possible unless it in return feeds something within you…

“What is it you want from a job? Any job?  What are you looking for?”

The answer is so simple.  The one, or variation of, that I’m looking for and hire every time I hear it?

“I want to evolve, become beyond what I am now and I’m looking for a place that will let me do that. ”

With that answer I know you are on a path of growth, always seeking, ready to test and believe, and if myself and my company are lucky you’ll take us with you. Life isn’t always dictated by professionalism even though it has its time and place it’s doesn’t sustain.  Out of the box thinking, aka, creativity, however, I consider the meat and bones of work, life, love, and happiness and right now from where I sit behind stacks of prosaic resumes I can tell there’s a famine going on of epic proportions.