Challenge the notion of what’s possible for your business
Wired for Wonder is one of Australia’s most imaginative business forums. It helps connect the dots in a totally new way and look at problems differently.
We become more creative when we’re exposed to processes that feed our brains with new ideas and situations. That’s why CommBank developed Wired for Wonder. It moves beyond the boundaries of conventional business events by assembling internationally renowned speakers at the forefront of technology, business, science and art.
Polarity was the theme of Wired for Wonder 2016. The speakers and workshop topics looked at contrasting states, systems and views. The intent was to discover things outside our usual world to help us make new connections. I’d like to share some examples from Wired for Wonder that did this.
We idealise creativity but worship productivity
Rahaf Harfoush is a digital anthropologist. She studies the relationship between humans and digital-era technology. Rahaf has examined the dichotomy of creativity and productivity and challenged us on the future of work.
Rahaf traced the origins of our beliefs around work and researched the most valuable skillset for a worker of the future. She uncovered that workers are now expected to be both creative and productive. That generates a fundamental tension. Productivity is about continuous output yet our brains need large unstructured blocks of time to be creative.
Rahaf reconciles this with the white water rafting concept of hustle and float. Our modern culture only “focuses on the hustle” – paddling hard to get where we want to go. Opportunities to lift our paddles and let the river do the work are few.
She advocates having conversations about the future of work that aren’t focused on technology but on the deep-rooted cultural beliefs and values around work. She urges us to make it a priority to “reclaim some of our float”.
CommBank has created an environment to foster creativity in our Innovation Labs. It is an environment where our clients and employees can let their minds “float”. It is a space for interacting with real-time data, interpreting trends, brainstorming solutions and collaborating with project teams. The Labs facilitate the development and nurturing of the skillset required to think beyond the day-to-day operational challenges of doing business and unleash our creativity.
The power of mindset
Dylan Alcott OAM dislikes the word cripple. To him it means broken or less capable. Dylan, a paraplegic, is anything but. He is one of a handful of elite athletes to win gold medals in two different sports across three different Paralympic Games.
He used to say that the Dylan that walks and the Dylan in the wheelchair is the same Dylan. But now no amount of money could persuade him to adopt advances in technology or medicine that gave him the power to walk. That’s because he believes: “Dylan in the wheelchair is a much better version of any other Dylan that could ever have lived.”
Dylan’s philosophy is, “for every one thing that I can’t do, there are tens of thousands of other things that I can do,” encouraging everyone to push themselves to live a fulfilled life.