Thoughts about hr and management in the real world – extra information I couldn't fit in my books!.

What do you create?

It’s the new year but I don’t want to make the usual resolutions. I’ve got a different idea which I hope you might want to try too.

You see, I live in two worlds, and they are very different. One the one hand is my professional life – GM at Elephant, doing HR consulting, speaking at business conferences and facilitating training. Then there’s my other life and that’s writing. Ever since I was 14 and wrote my first novel, I’ve always felt a calling to write.

And here’s the thing – writing is art. I went a fantastic presentation by bestselling author Joanna Penn before Christmas, and she says she has a sign up on her wall saying ‘Have you created art today?’ It’s not ‘How many words have you written’. Musicians, painters, sculptors and writers see what they do as creating art. It’s a calling and while it can be frustrating, lonely, difficult and soul wrenching (which is why many artists are tortured) – there is nothing that compares when you have created something beautiful or meaningful.

Those that create art couldn’t do without it. If you told me I was never allowed to work in HR again, I would cope. If you told me that I could never write another word – I don’t know how I would live.

I feel a deep sense of satisfaction from what I create in my writing life – and the stuff that gets published is my legacy.

But what about everyone else?

What else do people create that is their legacy?

  • Family & community: many people bring other people together in lots of different ways (on line communities, conferences, parties, family or business events).
  • Products or services: some people take pride in creating new products or working in customer service or other roles where they can help others.
  • Wealth: others create wealth for others (through employment, or products or even gifts).

I think it’s about stepping back and thinking about what you create that is meaningful. What will make a difference to people and live on long after you’ve gone? Research has shown that people who give back (volunteering, helping their community) feel much better themselves as well as helping others. Positivity studies have shown that when you’re positive to others, you feel more positive yourself.

So I’m thinking for 2015 I want to work on making sure I create more of what’s important to me because not only will that help others, but it will help me too. And I want to make sure what I’m creating is positive, not negative.

In my professional life I want to continue to build the community of HR people who want to change things. I want to continue to create products and services through Elephant that help businesses, managers and HR people succeed and I want to continue to grow our team.

For me that’s far more satisfying that promising to go the gym and lose weight.

Anyone going to join me and change what you create?

4 comments on “What do you create?

  1. Jacinta Penn
    January 5, 2015

    I want to create better opportunities for learning about Instructional Design/Elearning. One step at a time. First my own courses, then perhaps partnering with universities or encouraging universities to adapt some of their academia centric courses to business oriented learning, or even partnering with overseas organisations like ATD to bring their certifications here. Anything to fill the huge gap we have here which has in the past led to ‘death by elearning’ design.

    • angelaatkins
      January 6, 2015

      Hi Jacinta – I agree. Instructional Design and training get thrown at people to do without them having a chance to learn what’s involved. Look forward to working with you on creating some opportunities!

  2. Ah, the eternal tension between doing what the world tells us to do and building what we think must be built!

    The act of creation can exist in every moment of the day, don’t you think?

    This morning, for example, I sat down for breakfast in my garden with my husband and focussed on creating a connection and savouring the moment – instead of just chewing and being lost in my thoughts about work (as I, sadly, often allow myself to do).

    This year for me is a year of creating magic moments by being present with what’s around me. Less time spent in the head, less distractions 🙂


    • angelaatkins
      January 14, 2015

      Hi Irene,
      Mindfulness in action! I love the creation of magic moments – that’s really what life is all about I think. The small moments that happen every day.
      As Scorpio said in the Simpson when Homer said that he was homesick, and that it wasn’t anything big – that it’s the little things that are important.
      Thank you for commenting!

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This entry was posted on January 4, 2015 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , .
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