New Creative Interchange Column, First Entry

Author: dr. Charles Leroy Palmgren

At the launching of this new column I want to make two points.

1. As the volume of words and diversity of opinions pour out each minute at an accelerating rate into the Internet, it’s hard to imagine that one more column would have much value let alone impact. Nevertheless, as we humans continue changing the architecture of our brains and lives, there is value in understanding why and how we are doing it. What’s at the heart of personal, social, and organizational development and transformation?

Some of my colleagues and I want to outline a process that was identified 100 years ago. It is the process that is central to evolving our human minds, social institutions, and corporations. We’ll focus your attention on what is already operative, to a greater or lesser degree in us all. So why look at something that has been working for so long? Why would making it conscious add value? What’s different now? This process is a part of each of us whether we know it, like it, want it or not.

We would be amiss if we didn’t admit that while many marvelous things are taking place in our world today, there are also some painful, confusing, disastrous and lethal things as well. And, as we all know, that is nothing new in human history. One major difference is the accelerating exponential rate of global change and transformation and the driving force of technology. Civilization, as we have known it for thousands of years, is giving way to globalization. The human mind that served us well in the past is facing new challenges.

We must learn to navigate the uncharted territories of the Internet and its emerging social media networks to forge a new planetary existence. This change has social, cultural, political, economic, technological, individual, family, climate and planetary implications. The “old civilized mindset” is not equipped to bring about such a magnitude of change.

2. We are not selling anything. We just want to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and creativeness of the things you or any of us are doing. One of my favorite advertisements of all time was developed for BASF a few years back. The gist of it was “We don’t make most of the products we’re in, we make the products we’re in better.” By better they meant things like stronger, more flexible, brighter colored, longer lasting, etc.

That slogan sums up the intent of this column over the weeks and months ahead. I/we will be describing an innate process, called creative interchange by my mentor, Dr. Henry Nelson Wieman, that is present in us all. This process has developed our current best self and it is the same process that will make our current best self better. We’re not here to shoot anyone’s theory down, we want to expand it and make it and you more effective at using it.

Our intent is to help everyone discover and experience the creative interchange process within themselves and others. It is the process that can make you a better leader, manager, employee, parent, teacher, politician, physician, police officer or firefighter. You name it. The process can help you be better at it. It increases the performance of teams and organizations. So what’s the catch? In one sense there isn’t one, but what it does require is your commitment, discipline, patience and perseverance.

There you have it. If you’re interested join us in the weeks ahead, become active– comment, critique, challenge, correct and modify what you read here. All are welcome. The process will help you improve at authentic and appreciative communication AND creative commitment to be and do our best AND to what can transform us to be and do better.