10 Lean In Tokyo Girls on Fire Circle members from Australia, Columbia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the US and the UK met in November 2017 to get in touch with their creative sides with Adam Grant’s TED Talk, “The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers” as the launching point of our discussion.
With Lean In members from financial services, government institutions, luxury, legal and even a current university student, many people didn’t feel they had much chance to be creative on a daily basis. However, it became clear that we don’t need to be in a traditional “creative” role to be original thinkers. Indeed, many of us bring original solutions to our businesses every day.
A Points of You Ice breaker got us all talking about creativity and thinking about what opportunities we have to be creative at work. We shared our ideas on how to break out of some status quo situations by using creative doubt and pitched our ideas to each other.
“What you call procrastinating, I call thinking”
Allowing your idea to marinate a little is not always a bad thing. Just make sure you are not hiding by designing at the whiteboard!
“You don’t need to be first, but you do need to be better”
There is a lot of hype about hustle and first on the market advantage but Grant mentions examples of successful ideas that weren’t necessarily first but were an improvement on existing solutions. This iterative improvement is something that seems to be in the business DNA in Japan. Get someone else to take the risk, push the envelope and then kaizen it to perfection!
“People who achieve the most are also the ones who fail the most”
It was interesting to discuss this as mostly foreign women working in Japan. Sometimes we feel we can take more risks than our Japanese colleagues due to our “outsider” status. However, this can also make it difficult to build the social capital around an idea to get it to take root in an organization.
Don’t accept the default
In Grant’s TED talk he highlighted the most original thinkers are those who use Chrome or Firefox? Why? Because they don’t accept the default – they ask questions and go to an extra effort to find and then install the best solution. Wonderful example of questioning the status quo! What “straight out of the box defaults” have you accepted?
Why shouldn’t people support your idea?
Acknowledging the potential downsides up front can clear people’s negative thoughts out of the way and leave them more open to your solution.
2017/18 Meeting Dates
Generally held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month 7pm to 9pm at Dale Carnegie Japan. Meetings are free unless otherwise stated.
2018 1/17, 2/21, 3/21, 4/18, 5/16, 6/20, 7/18
Would you like to join an English Speaking Lean In Circle in Japan?
Request to join the Lean In Japan Creating Change Chapter and we will set up a call to decide which circle is best for your needs.