Have will and be empathetic

Last week I and some friends decided to postpone the realization of an event because we thought there was an amount out of normal range of events over the next 45 days.

The events are not all about creativity, innovation, service design or design thinking, lean, entrepreneurship or art (most dear to me), but all of them demonstrate the willingness of new and older people to do things and do it well.

This environment puts me, however, some interesting points to think about:

How is that different generations cohabit and collaborate to produce these new, useful, memorable things and true levers for the construction of a better world?

Is it just the younger generation who are able to develop the creativity to produce so many actions of value?

I think different generations represent different lenses to see the problems and different ways to find solutions, that is, the way we think, perceive or percept our well-being differs from generation to generation but is always the result of our participation in creative activities.

The ideas come up and we’ll grasp them, whatever our age, and when we talk about organizations, the very conducive atmosphere of creativity that people eventually find depends largely on their attitudes and beliefs.

As we advance in age, it may happen that our idea of change is crystallized and gives rise to a dominant thinking that is convergent in the sense of “old school”.

There is room for reflection and construction of the story of our life, to which we add some creativity to bridge memory leaks or scenes more or less submerged.

In these ways of organizing events is sometimes necessary to demystify the idea that creativity is on younger generations and focus the cases which show that “older workers not only had great ideas for making procedures and processes more efficient, but their innovations also produced significantly higher returns for the company than those of workers in younger age groups…

Given these sorts of results, why is the notion that older people are less productive or innovative so entrenched? Part of it is because there are deep stereotypes and cultural narratives at play.”

Research details a number of ways in which the brain actually improves with age. And what’s even more interesting is that many of these advanced abilities correlate with key conceptual elements of innovation and creativity

This is particularly true for the human-centered design process — empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test — as outlined by the Institute of Design at Stanford, also known as “the d.school”…

First there is empathy, “the foundation of a human-centered design process.” Empathy is critical to design because of the need to understand the people for whom you are designing.

Older people have a greater capacity for empathy because empathy is learned and refined as we age….

“Because of their greater capacity to empathize, older people can have a better sense of the things that may charge up another person’s brain and get them excited.”

Older people are also highly capable when it comes to the “define” aspect of human-centered design — that is, the unpacking and synthesizing of empathy findings into compelling needs and insights.”

Despite these complimentary findings for the older ones, we know that there are periods in our lives when we feel more encouraged to accept challenges and to which we replies based on our dominant concern in these moments.

Can any of these periods explain the quest for the impossible?

Is it possible a period where creativity is fostered to entrepreneurship?

Is there a period where creativity is guided to complex things?

Anthony Storr writes: “Actually, according to some psychologists, the work of all artists typically passes through three phases, provided they live long enough. Third period works have certain characteristics. First, they are less concerned with communication than what has gone before. Second, they are often unconventional in form, and appear to be striving to achieve a new kind of unity between elements which at first sight are extremely disparate, Third, they are characterized by an absence of rhetoric or any need to convince. Fourth, they seem to be exploring remote areas of experience which are intrapersonal or suprapersonal rather than interpersonal. That is, the artist is looking into the depths of his own psyche and is not very much concerned as to whether anyone else will follow him or understand him.”

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One Response to Observing different generations in entrepreneurship

  1. Sven Hultin says:

    As in all these types of contexts, generational gap is only one of many sources of conflicting/dufferebt perspectives.

    It should/must be one (of many) variables to consider to source benefits from diversity.

    Knowing there is a generational gap is step one.

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