Last weekend, I was engaged in an important creative activity. I refer to it as cleansing, flushing, or seeking clarity and it serves an important function in the creative process. It frees your mind and helps you get out of your own head, making room for new and different ideas to flow into your thinking. In this case, my creative cleansing process was to "cleanse" the closet in my office.
This process often reveals a treasure trove of some of my very best intentions, rediscovered, with a certain melancholy when reminiscing about all that could have been. In this case, my rediscovery was "The Observation Deck"--a tool I had purchased a decade or two ago and used frequently in my process of changing perspective to invigorate my creative thinking. The Observation Deck was written primarily for budding journalist, for me it was a creative aid to provide new ways of looking at old things, and as a way to improve on my ability to observe. By the way, "The Observation Deck" is still available through Amazon, I checked. The deck is as it suggests--a deck of cards. Each card offering an observation activity such as "zoom in...and out", "become the other", and "study a photograph". The real jewel is the book that accompanies the deck. It provides a brief lesson and insight on each observation card in the deck.
Upon my rediscovering, I immediately chose a card. It said "open a drawer". Weird! That's how I found The Observation Deck in the first place.
Observation is also one of my key "swing thoughts" and often the first step in developing strategies for culture development and change communication programs.
"The Power of Casual Observation: just watching people; how they conduct themselves and the words they choose provides a quick sense of what "is", or "is not" happening.