Female Leader Conversations Ebook feature, Maverick Minds Director, Dr Cathryn Lloyd said,
“Creativity is the most renewable resource we have.
The more we cultivate it, the more it grows.”
- Dr Cathryn Lloyd is a facilitator, creativity coach and educator
- Founder/Director of Maverick Minds and holds a doctorate in Creative Industries from Queensland University of Technology
- Australia’s first certified creativity coach Creativity Coaching Association
- Corporate educator QUT Creative Industries; Griffith University Coaching Panel; Australian Institute of Training and Development
- Co-author/editor – The Story Cookbook: practical recipes for change published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing (due 2019)
After returning to Australia, having worked at a leading art and design university, Cathryn Founded Maverick Minds. Her experience of working at the intersection of creative, academic and business environments was the inspiration and catalyst for the development of her business. It is evident that creativity needs to be at the forefront of innovation and social change. Cathryn describes herself as a ‘bricoleur’ in the way she brings together different methodologies and processes to help people work well with one another. Everyone’s creative intelligence and professional disciplines are needed to engage with the ‘wicked’ issues facing our organisations and society. We need to see ourselves as creative life long learners. That’s where Cathryn brings in ‘Artful Inquiry’ processes and facilitation to move creativity into action and to create positive change.
How can it be used in problem solving?
Artful Inquiry expands our creative consciousness through different aesthetic and arts-based earning experiences. This way of working allows people to go beyond conventional thinking to provide new insights into existing issues. It’s an opportunity to reflect and ponder matters of importance. The ability to reflect individually and collectively ways is an essential professional and leadership skill. It’s about creating disruption, finding ways to shift our thinking to allow new ideas and actions emerge.
Doing the same thing and expecting different results is disheartening. New ways of working can be challenging for organisations wedded to a culture and leadership style of command and control. If we want to create positive change, and innovation to be of value, then we need to go there. Good questions, ideas, and creative solutions can come from anyone. Creativity is not the domain of just a few. Our future relies on us continually learning and enabling people to bring their full creative selves to the party.
How have you applied your creative concepts?
I’ve facilitated creative workshops with arts organisations and more traditional organisations. My time in London was a catalyst in my belief the arts/creative industries and business need to collaborate. My role had scope to explore new combinations. It was also a time for me to further develop and use my entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial skills. Working across the creative disciplines of the university to develop bespoke programs for corporate clients, required me to cultivate a great team of highly creative tutors/ facilitators. I learned a lot during this time and established a strong network, that continues to inform my work. These experiences have been fundamental in how I have established my business. Maverick Minds continues to evolve as I work with clients to support them in creating positive change at an individual and organisational level.
What is a cultural challenge you have had to overcome?
Returning to Australia was challenging. People were not very receptive to the idea of arts and creativity in business. It has taken time for people to appreciate there are benefits to exploring organisational life creatively, however if innovation and change are recognised as a good thing creative and critical thinking are part of the process. Health and wellbeing are also areas that benefit from providing opportunity for creative expression. It’s about having a holistic approach to business. Get creativity happening and business will flourish.
While innovation is on the agenda organisations often struggle with what it means for them. There is room for organisations and institutions to provide meaningful and less conventional ways to engage people creatively in their work and to explore innovation. Creativity is not a tap you turn on and off it has to be nurtured and valued across all domains. Creativity is at the heart of who we are. We all have a unique creative contribution to make. We just need to give it attention.
What do you think needs to change?
The discussion around gender parity/equality is an important conversation that needs positive action. Australia needs a shift in thinking for women and men. We all benefit in the long run. The idea that women don’t need fixing resonates for me (thanks Catherine Fox). I find that more convincing than the idea of simply leaning in. Although, there are times we need to do that.
It’s the system that needs fixing. We are stuck in a paradigm in the way we stereotype people and how our organisations are structured. Women and men need to be part of the process. That’s more challenging because it doesn’t put the onus on women. I’d like to leave you with a quote from Elizabeth Cady Stanton
“Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another”.
May the creative force be with you!