The Top 10 Reasons to Play
by Linda Naiman

Change is a constant in the world we live in and maintaining balance can be a challenge. To stay replenished, do a systems check. When was the last time you fed your soul good music, art and literature? When was the last time you immersed yourself in nature to revitalize body, mind and spirit, or took time out to do nothing at all?

Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way, states that "In order to create, we draw from our inner well. This inner well, an artistic reservoir, is ideally like a well stocked fish pond ... If we donšt give some attention to upkeep, our well is apt to become depleted, stagnant, or blocked ...As artists, we must learn to be self nourishing. We must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative resources as we draw on them - to re-stock the trout pond, so to speak."

Play is fundamental to creation and re-creation:

1. Play is the path to fun and profit.

Play opens up new channels of creativity and increases the level of satisfaction we experience at work. How employees feel about their company is directly related to their level of productivity and creativity. Research shows that highly motivated employees are up to 127% more productive than averagely motivated employees in high complexity jobs. (Fortune Magazine, January 1998)

2. "Fun is the new status symbol!"(ROB) *

3. "Non-stop work is for losers!" (ROB)*

Play is as important as work. The quality of our work suffers if we don't take the time to play. We live in a workaholic society in North America. Being addicted to busyness is a product of low self-worth.

4. Even God rested on the 7th day!

5. We need time to be idle.

Taking time to do nothing lets problems incubate and allows for creativity to flow. Children who are allowed to daydream develop a higher IQ.

6. Play helps us find our genius.

Our childhood passions are the key to our genius. In the midst of play we experience unlimited possibilities.

7. Play is crucial to attaining a work/life balance.

A work/life balance (not money) is the number one concern of employees at all levels, in Canada and the U.S. The ability to achieve this is the top determinant in whether they are happy on the job, and whether they stay or leave.

8. The bow kept forever taut will break. - Zen saying

Play helps us relax and let go. Play generates joy. Play replenishes and revitalizes our human spirit. It clears the mental cobwebs that keep us from thinking clearly.

9. Play is smart corporate strategy for solving problems.

Play frees us from worry and stress, relaxing the brain and making it easier to be more creative. Solutions that seemed so evasive earlier now appear effortlessly in the midst of play.

10. Play keeps our passions alive in the workplace.

Studies show, if you want to attract and keep talent, you need to have a fun, challenging and creative workplace environment. It's your talent that sets your business apart from the competition.

(ROB) * Report on Business Magazine

Linda Naiman BFA, is founder of Linda Naiman & Associates; a Vancouver BC consulting and training group at the forefront of transformational change in organizations. Linda works with organizations to awaken genius level thinking through the art and science of applying creativity, innovation, and visionary thinking to business strategy. She is currently writing "Arts at Work" with Arthur VanGundy on using the arts in business to teach leadership and management skills. It will be published by Pfeiffer/Jossey-Bass/Wiley early 2003.

Linda Naiman may be reached at .

Many more articles on Creativity & Innovation in The CEO Refresher Archives


Copyright 2002 by Linda Naiman & Associates Inc. All rights reserved.

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