2016: The Year You Find Your Play

play

I’ve always been fascinated by play.

As a child with an over-active imagination and the innate desire to create, play was the place where I experimented bringing my ideas to reality. I was never really great at drawing, but I loved crafts (still do!) I never really liked baby dolls, but I was into kitchen play until… well, today. I was a turd at sports, but learned quickly that the art of wit won more favour than how well I hit a ball ever could. I never won colouring contests, but I have a lot of faux-gilded certificates somewhere in my basement for creative writing.

I was really fortunate that the play I found at an early age never ever left me. And over time, my play has given me more than I could have ever imagined. It gives me the ability to be passionate about learning. It helps me to relate to my children. It connects me to my husband. It gives me the courage to dive deeply into my work. It has given me the ability to bridge gaps with co-workers, clients and comrades of every sort.

My name is Sheena Greer, and play has transformed my life.

What I call play, I also call creativity. You may also recognize it in other forms, too: self-care, work/life balance, disruption, innovation, inspiration

But this isn’t the first time you’ve heard me say this. Indeed, the very first blog I posted on this site was a brief definition of Colludo – and I’ve since unfolded this belief in many ways. Through writing. Through speaking. Through encouraging others to play. My belief in the power of play and creativity is so strong that I named my entire business after it.

For some, play, creativity, and the lot, are soft skills. A nice to have, but not as important as pretty much every other skill.

But this is a dangerous and erroneous belief. Play is not a soft skill. Play is a survival skill. And our work world, regardless of sector, will increasingly reward creativity and play. We’ve actually already seen it – the quick, nimble, playful abilities of a tech start up with its finger on the pulse of its industry has play woven into the core of its business.

The pulse, the heart, is where creativity and play live. They set up a tent years ago, when as a baby you began to discover your autonomy, and that your fist could fit into your mouth.

They say that humans evolved to tell stories. This is absolutely true. But even before we were telling stories, we were playing. Indeed, almost every animal on the planet has a routine and ritual of play.

Play is a game-changer. Indeed, it is the game. We need to embrace it.

  1. Play will change your approach to problems and give you more tools to solve them.
  2. Play will increase your effectiveness and improve your performance.
  3. Play will change your workplace culture and help to align your team.
  4. Play will open up your life – to fun, to new experiences, to enjoyment.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, play is not the opposite of work.

Play is integral to it. Play is paramount in how we connect ideas, people, and action. Play is the work of discovery, of growth, of change, and we started it the moment we were born and began interacting with the world around us.

And in 2016, I really want you to find your play again.

If you hadn’t signed up for Pamela Grow’s 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways, you didn’t receive my very special gift that dropped on Christmas Day. But here’s your chance to receive it directly in your inbox on Friday, January 8th. Sign up for my newsletter (which comes out no more than twice a month) and I will send you a copy of Ludo: How Play Can Transform Your Work, a gold confetti paper introduction to play (do you REALLY want to read another white paper?)

If play, creativity, and shaking things up with ideas you found in your very own head is exciting and you want in, stay tuned… I’ve got a few playful things up my sleeve, including webinars, training, coaching, and badass magical shit.

2016 is the year we find our play and use it to start creating real change in our sector.