When I start setting up the room with my prompts, it shakes up the room’s expectation a bit. They see play-doh, colorful SPARK cards, sharpies, fidget toys, color construction paper, origami bird, and more.
This is clearly not going to be their usual meeting. Or as some said, the tables looked creative or chaotic. The messiness makes some people uncomfortable. But I have a method to the madness.
I admit I am guilty. When things get busy, I find myself juggling emails, texts, and chat messages all at the same time. I try my best to determine what I need to do, want to do, and should do to make the most out of the limited time.
It’s halfway through 2018. I know at times we may feel like we're falling behind. But instead of letting that scarcity mindset eat away our thoughts, how can we use it as an opportunity to make the most out of what's left of 2018?
At times, you may not feel very comfortable to show your true selves because of the fear of being judged. However, this is the very reason why bringing our true version is so crucial. The courage you take to show up with all your joy, curiosity, and questions will create a very powerful ripple effect.
When I was growing up in Washington DC, I did not know how to draw it. However, my parents tell me that I started drawing mountains as soon as I moved to South Korea, and they’d be in every illustration I drew. What was different? Education? It was most likely the exposure and experience.
Thank you Chosun Ilbo for inviting us to be a part of the 9th Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul last week! I am honored to have shared our vision to build a creative global workforce at the most prestigious international conference in Korea. Thanks to this opportunity, I even got to connect with the U.S Embassy Seoul’s American Center Korea to speak with a group of college students as a guest speaker about my entrepreneurship journey.
No matter what you do or say, it is unlikely that everyone will side with you. Someone is going to adore that movie you thought was awful. Someone is likely to disagree on the new project idea you and your team thought was the most brilliant solution to this crisis. And sometimes someone may disagree with you because your opinions might be wrong.
When was the last time you started your team ideation session with those statements? As harmless as they sound, this can be the very cause of getting your team stuck due to the expectation you set. An expectation that you want your team to be creative right now at this very moment and to generate ideas to help you do something right now.
When I was young, I did not think much about what my role model looked like until Disney’s Mulan came out. I was glued to the movie. I loved that I shared so many similarities with her: tomboyish personality, daring to dream big, daydreaming, sneaky, and long black hair. I was especially moved by the scene when she left her family to join the army in place of her father disguised as a boy.
We may problem-solve all the time but how often do we think of the impact, implications, and ripple effects of what our decisions and products can create, and globally? GES reminded me of the importance to think and do big. When we limit what we think we can do, we limit what we can do.
I can tell when I lack sleep. I feel a bit disoriented, crave sugar, and start noticing random details around the room instead of focusing on what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, as a full time bootstrapping female entrepreneur, this scenario is far too familiar. When we choose to do something we are choosing not to do something else. When we say yes to everything we set ourselves up to not have the time to explore projects and opportunities that are more in alignment with our personal visions.
Have you ever felt like some days we’re positively buzzing with brilliant and wicked ideas, and other times our brains are jammed in molasses and no idea seems to find their way in, no matter how hard we tried? It happens to all of us. It’s like sand - the more we squeeze our hands to hold it, the less we’re left with. And we need to recognize that all the creativity that there is in the world is all inside us. We only need to open the horizons of our minds to welcome it.
When you think of resilient people, who comes to your mind? People whose perseverance led them to make it against all odds? Or those who went through all kinds of trials and tribulations and got awarded with sweet success? Are you thinking about those who are able to bounce back, failure after failure, mistake after mistake? Does it remind you of outliers (Malcolm Gladwell), grit paragons (Angela Lee Duckworth) or originals (Adam Grant)?
You may have heard Jim Rohn's quote at a certain point: "You are the average of the five people you spend most time with." But are you really taking this quote into full consideration? As we get older and spend more time working, for most adults, the five people we spend most time with often would be our colleagues and bosses at work. Have you thought about how that impacts your decision making and who you are as a person?
I remember how shocked I was when I learned how my supervisor had to manage hundreds of emails per day, fifteen years ago. How is it possible to get that many emails? I thought that was what it meant to be a manager. Today, considering all the social media and digital platforms we use to communicate getting hundreds of notifications a day is the new norm.
If I asked you this question, do you have an answer for everything you do? With the rise of purposeful living and workforce, I started wondering how one can truly understand what purpose is and how to make sense of it. For instance, while purpose is something that makes you feel enriched, happy and challenged, haven’t you noticed how the “what” and “how” has evolved over the years? What brought you the greatest joy 10 years ago is not the same as today, nor will it be tomorrow.
Take a moment to write down three moments you hit a milestone in the past three months. Is there any patterns? What happened? Sometimes it's when we accomplished a goal, won an award or did something we thought was impossible.
You don’t need to be a math wizard to understand this. You exercise and eat well because it will get you good health. You work hard and contribute to your team to succeed within your organization. Your output is directly related to your input. Yet, we seem to forget this when it comes to long term and intangible values like innovation, culture, and even love.
What we say influences how we feel, and that, in turn, impacts how we do our work. Even if you do feel a bit stuck, it's quite powerful how your momentum changes when you force yourself to think positively and smile and say to yourself that you'll have a great day!
If you want to know how heavy a box is, you measure the weight, not the height. But how can you make sure you measure correctly for an intangible value? Or worse - What if you realize you have been measuring the wrong way all this time to determine its value for the longest time?
Technology is not only evolving and advancing in itself, but it's changing the face of many other industries through innovation and creativity. Here are some invaluable takeaways from the four distinguished leaders from the technological arena that InnovatorsBox® invited in our final #BeyondTheBox of Spring 2017 series.
Let’s start by admitting that “Diversity and Inclusion” is a touchy complex subject in the workplace. It’s a topic we all want some solutions for but we feel unsure how to get there and make everyone happy, welcomed and included.
But what about the multitudes of people that work in the government, who run the processes, the systems, and the protocols? What are their roles and how have they evolved over time? How are they changing (or not) with the technological gush and flare?
Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology. - Monica Kang was interviewed with The Asian Entrepreneur about her experience as a founder.
Feeling stuck and uncreative in your work? Some may say that’s the lay of the land in many fields (i.e., if you’re not an “artist” of some kind your work can’t possibly be “creative”), but Monica Kang is trying to spread a different message.
New Year’s resolutions are no fun. Too many fall into the restrictive, “don’t eat this,” “can’t have that,” bucket. Here’s a resolution, recommended by Washington, D.C., innovator Monica Kang, that will kickstart your creativity and lead you to think differently about problem solving—in your personal and professional lives, and in your community. Consider it the 30-day workout for your spirit.
"How in the world are you to make time for creativity when you don’t have time to even clean your home? Sounds familiar? The secret was to recognize that creativity is more than ideation or arts. It’s a mindset. It’s a way of living and a way of thinking."
Our goal for #BeyondtheBox is to begin demystifying people’s perceptions about innovation in these five industries, learn from local innovators about how they effected change and innovation, empower participants to embrace creativity, and celebrate small milestones to bring greater change.