I’ve recently returned from a trade mission to India visiting Jaipur, Agra and Delhi. While in Jaipur I had a meeting with the head of a design institute. It was a delight to talk about how the institute was helping students harness and evolve their creativity and ways I might be able to assist them further. We also talked more generally about life in India and what it was like to live in the second most populous country in the world.

Her two word description was magnificent. Beautiful chaos.

It struck me that this was also a very apt description of creativity. Creativity is beautiful chaos. It is not a linear process. It twists and turns and branches in unexpected directions. Trying to ‘control’ it is futile. It has a life of its own. And we engage in it best when we simply appreciate and embrace its magnificent unpredictability.

I love that we now live in a world where creativity is among the top five workplace skills. Our VUCA (Volatile Unpredictable Complex Ambiguous) world demands constant cognitive flexibility and agility, a preparedness to try new approaches, a necessity to look from different perspectives, a readiness to experiment beyond our comfort zone to think and do differently.

Creative thinking requires us to use many different kinds of thought processes. It is not just about brainstorming and generating ideas. Creative outcomes are the result of a combination and integration of different kinds of thinking – generating ideas, exploring and evaluating them, and knowing when to switch directions to keep progress on track. From a cognitive perspective it is beautiful chaos. It is simultaneously daunting and rewarding and frustrating and satisfying and infuriating and joyful.

When navigating creativity and engaging in creative problem-solving, it is best to have a compass rather than a map. Know the general direction in which you need to go – but be open to many different ways of getting there and simply accept that the path will not be straight and well paved.

Unfortunately in our VUCA workplaces many individuals and teams don’t have a compass with which to navigate complex problems when creative solutions are required. Consequently they are genuinely lost when it comes to knowing how to get started and then maintain progress.

It helps to have a heuristic or a cognitive framework that can support thinking and problem-solving when we are looking for outcomes that are beyond business-as-usual.

I am launching a new four month mentoring program called Solution-Centred Teams for individuals and teams who want to learn to solve workplace problems in new ways. It provides people with the space to problem-solve, the tools and skills to think more clearly, deeply and creatively and the support to see them through the process so that they deliver a quality outcome.

If you are ready for some different thinking which delivers fresh outcomes and creative solutions contact me below for more information or to arrange a chatabout how we can create beautiful solutions from beautiful chaos.

Make a time to chat with Irena

Talk soon.

Until next time,


Dr. Irena Yashin-Shaw


E: irena@direnayashinshaw.com

M: +61 411 330 301

P: +61 7 3849 5003

Whenever you are ready here are three ways I can help your teams, leaders and organisation to be future-ready, innovative, creative and intrapreneurial.

  • Book an in-house workshop or program. Email me to discuss your needs.

Have you heard about the inaugural Australian Intrapreneurs Summit happening at the Brisbane Convention Centre on the 14th of March 2019? This historic event is bringing together innovators and change makers from diverse organisations and sectors to educate and inspire us. Register now to discover how this global movement will impact the future of your career, team and workplace.

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