“Your future is determined by how you dance in the present”.
It took me awhile to find the perfect dancing photo. But I did! This dancer is relaxed, swinging her hair, following the rhythm of the music without displaying perfect form and presentation. In my mind she is having a blast. She’s taking a risk, and she’s not concerned with perfection. She’s enjoying the moment. This, too, is how I identify myself as a dancer. Maybe I identify with her because I’m not skilled? Or because I don’t care about every move and every arm extension?
When it comes to innovation, I’m not creative or artistic in the crafty kind of way (I don’t even have a Pinterest account), but I am a DREAMER and I love to imagine and design “systems”. Metaphorically and visually, I connect types of dancers (personalities) to Tina Seelig’s narratives on creativity and innovation.
Have you ever considered the depth of imagination, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship (Seelig’s steps) required by a refugee? Sheer courage is displayed from the tenacity to survive an oppressive environment to the capacity to make the escape. Once displaced, survival requires imagination, creativity and innovation in the long-term refugee camp. There are no guarantees…from the ability to communicate in a known language, to employment and income, to a private shelter for your family, to a resettlement country of choice. NO GUARANTEES. Have you ever had to step out in that much faith?
I’m intrigued by a fairly new humanitarian initiative called bottom up innovation. “We call this type of innovation, driven by affected communities themselves, ‘bottom-up innovation’, and we identify it as a critical but overlooked component of a broader phenomenon called ‘humanitarian innovation’.” Refugee stakeholders are motivated to improve organizational efforts and responses to provide services. However, stakeholders are notorious for getting so caught up in program development that they fail to recognize the talents and gifts of the displaced refugee. “This oversight disregards the capabilities and adaptive resourcefulness that people and communities affected by conflict and disaster often demonstrate.” According to the report Refugee Innovation Humanitarian – innovation that starts with communities, there are key elements to a “positive enabling environment” for bottom-up innovation which include a) a permissive environment with the right to work and freedom of movement; b) access to connectivity including the internet and telecommunications; c) access to education and skills training; d) good infrastructure and transportation links; e) access to banking and credit facilities; f) transnational networks. Rather than focusing on providing a crisis response environment to refugees, we should consider providing a better enabling environment. How would this look? I’m not sure, but I have lots of thoughts spinning in my head (back to being that DREAMER). I embrace the idea and plan to integrate this concept into my refugee resilience artifact.
So, back to dancing. What’s your personal style (check out the descriptions below)? Are you the poised, perfectionist dancer, or do you cut lose on the dance floor? And how does your dancing style directly correlate to your ability to be a successful entrepreneur? “It is important to keep in mind that your attitudes are impotent unless you develop behaviors that bring those thoughts to fruition; and your actions are doomed to fail unless they are paired with the proper mind-set.”
I leave you with this thought…I hope you dance, I mean REALLY DANCE.
Drivers, in all areas of life, are people who need to win. Results are vital to them. For some drivers, results can be all that matters. As a rule, they make good dancers because they are so assertive. They are often driven to compete and work hard to improve their skill, often achieving great results in a short time. Surprisingly, they can ten lack expressiveness on the floor, even though their movement is usually strong and dynamic.
Expressive dancers are the most fun to watch on the dance floor . They a re outgoing and passionate about dancing. Like Drivers, they are assertive on the dance floor. They smile and have fun. Often they show immediate ability as dancers due to these qualities. Their joy of dance is infectious.
Analytics can be great students. They listen intently and pay attention to every detail in their lessons. But the very things that make them great students get in the way of great dancing. They have a tendency to focus so much on all the minute details that they don’t let go and just dance. Every move is calculated. Every step they take goes through numerous mental filters and in this process, the dance itself can be lost. They may have a challenge expressing themselves because they are so busy thinking about the details.
Amiables tend to be more people-oriented than task-oriented and care deeply about being appreciated. They may be quite artistic and can show incredible natural ability on the dance floor. They are cautious, taking time to build trust in their partners, but once that trust is there they can be terrific dancers. They are technical, but only to a point. They will often make great strides in dance, but at later stages getting the fine details right in order to excel can be a challenge because it interferes with the personal connection side of dance.
 Seelig, Tina Lynn. Insight Out: Get Ideas Out of Your Head and into the World. 2015.pg.195
 Seelig, Tina Lynn. Insight Out: Get Ideas Out of Your Head and into the World. 2015., pg185