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Conscious Money
Authors : Patricia Aburdene

‘Conscious Money’ Q & A with Patricia Aburdene

Q: What can people do to be more creative in their jobs?

Conscious MoneyA: Creativity on the job might require you to invest in your creative skill set. Here are three steps to practice:

  1. Reset your brain to recognize each problem as an opportunity to reach within for a resolution no one else can envision. Most problems involve conflict, so solving it often demands us to entertain two seemingly incompatible ideas — until they are integrated. The most successful creators embrace a motto like, “There is an elegant solution to this dilemma, even if I have no idea what it is right now!”
  2. Activate the power of “Incubation.” First, appreciate a problem in all its dimensions and complexities. Write about it; talk about it. Lay out all the issues. Then set it aside and let it be. Work on something else. Sleep on it. Thomas Edison said that once he’d done all he could, he’d just “go fishing.” Whether you go fishing or go shopping, the point is that goofing off is an important phase of incubation. Finally, return to the issue with fresh eyes and renewed energy.
  3. Refine your issue, conflict, or problem. Harvest your insights. Assemble the puzzle pieces into a working hypothesis. Share this solution-in-progress with colleagues. Distil their advice and integrate their input. When you are ready, put your proposed solution in front of the people who can accept it. Receive their response. Polish your proposal. Repeat these steps until you succeed.

While you might bemoan your boss’s failure to recognize creativity, practice it anyhow. Developing creative skills is a good investment because you’ll take these new skills with you to your next job or career.

Q: How can businesses encourage creativity in the workplace?

A: There are many ways — from creativity workshops to creative coaching and beyond — but these initiatives can appear meaningless unless a business really “gets” the formula: creativity + innovation = success & profit. You can tell that company is committed when it: 1) Hires creative people; 2) Funds creative people; and 3) Promotes a culture that values creativity.

Q: How can you use a mindful practice to enhance creativity?

A: Mindful practices such as meditation, yoga, martial arts, and journaling strengthen your connection to higher consciousness — the treasure trove of every potential insight and creative resolution. Each time you engage a mindful practice, you are priming the pump and readying yourself to tackle a problem and come up with a powerful creative solution.

Q: What is one resolution people can make to be more creative in 2013?

A: Creativity is notoriously inconvenient. The answers you seek almost always appear when your attention is elsewhere. So be ready. Vow to capture every insight, idea, or image that comes your way. Don’t evaluate them at this point. Just nail down the key words in your notebook or mobile device. Think of these notes as cryptic messages that you can later develop and integrate. This practice will powerfully boost your creative power.

You might get paid to be a manager. But in the Economy of Consciousness, you must think and work like an artist or scientist. •

Next: Creativity Applied in the World of Work »

Patricia Aburdene Patricia Aburdene is one of the world's leading social forecasters and author of the Megatrends 2010, which documented the megatrend of Conscious Capitalism and launched a business revolution. She collaborated with John Naisbitt on the publishing phenomenon Megatrends, which topped the charts in the United States, Germany, and Japan. She co-authored the number-one New York Times bestsellers, Megatrends 2000 and Re-Inventing the Corporation, and was the lead author of Megatrends for Women. Her books and speeches have transformed thousands of companies and millions of people. In 2011 and 2012, Aburdene was named one of America's Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business by Trust Across America. She serves as an Ambassador for the Conscious Capitalism Institute and is on the advisory board of Satori Capital, a social equity firm. Her most recent book is CONSCIOUS MONEY: Living, Creating, and Investing with Your Values for a Sustainable New Prosperity. Visit