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Out of Our Minds
Thursday, June 24, 2004 10:06 AM
Working out our Play Muscle
Anita Sharpe on Creativity

Kevin Carroll, whose job is to nurture creativity at Nike, told HOW magazine that he likes to watch recess all over the world and always finds that it inspires him.

He elaborates in the same interview: 'Wouldn't in be marvelous if we could actually capture that and take it with us into our adult lives -- into high school and college and beyond? We'd be better for it. I don't think we'd have as difficult a time recognizing what brings us joy, what tickles our brain. If we have no outlet, our play muscles atrophy. So we wind up being adults who just exist, who aren't living. Ask anybody, they'll say, 'Oh, I loved recess! Recess was the best!' I'll ask them, 'Well, what happened to it? Why isn't it like that now?' 'Oh, I don't have time for that. I got a job. I got a mortgage. I got a this. I got a that. . .' I say, 'But you have children, don't you have a responsibility to let them see you being joyful, working out your play muscle?' Every time I pose that to adults, they always stop in their tracks and go, 'Whoa.' '

I've been mulling this over the past couple of days and thinking that adult recess has a lot of potential. I'm not talking about the Internet-age, frat-boy type of enforced fun ('Hey, it's midnight -- let's take a break from work and play air hockey.') I'm talking about doing something spontaneous for 30 minutes or so every day that really works our play muscles; something that takes us out of ourselves and puts a smile on our faces. I bet our families and employers would be surprisingly well served.


Ron Huxley - 7/2/2004 8:05:56 AM
I think this is a great idea. I just took all of my supervisors out to lunch yesterday and then we went to one of the sups houses and played games all afternoon. I try to do this every quarter. We also do weekly activities to spur creativity and create a fun place to work. I don't even try to rationalize it to upper management as the secret to better productivity. It's just the right thing to do!
Turtle - 6/27/2004 11:50:27 AM
Finger painting followed by a nap with the blanket kept in the cubby with my name on it was where it was at :) I still have my painting smock from nursery school, as a reminder of what's important. But when you do what you love virtually, from home, in 14 hr shifts, clients in 6 zones, an afternoon nap is an innoculation against madness
sam - 6/25/2004 1:05:31 PM
Like what? 30 minutes a day at work...if you have kids, i am not sure how you don't play everyday for 30 minutes, unless you ignore your kids. Running around the building, riding a bike? Gossiping about the boss? i think Nike is stale, bureaucratic , boring company as well.


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