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Michael Graber

Michael Graber is the managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an insight, innovation, and growth firm, and the author of "Going Electric." Learn more at www.southerngrowthstudio.com.

Let’s Grow: Rethink creativity to innovate, inspire, and thrive at work

By Updated: January 19, 2019 4:00 AM CT | Published: January 19, 2019 12:52 AM CT

I met Monica Kang at the Day of Innovation Conference in Indianapolis, where we were both presenters. Her approach to the often ill-defined world of creativity was profound, awakening the better and forgotten parts of many of the people in her workshop.

Part one in a two-part interview with Monica Kang, founder and CEO of InnovatorsBox and author of “Rethink Creativity.”

I knew then that I’d have to interview her for this column. Since that time, she has published a book on her methods, “Rethink Creativity.”

Here is how she describes the book: “‘Rethink Creativity’ teaches you and your team how to start constructing a creative mindset by allocating time to change up your daily routine. It will help you rediscover the passion you felt your first day on the job! Not only will leaders and managers be able to benefit from proven strategies, thought-provoking question, and effective training techniques, but as you move through the book, you’ll start enjoying your work more, be a better leader and find new ways to be creative, curious and innovative every day.”

Q. How do you define yourself?

“I am a creative educator who is transforming today’s workforce through the power of creativity. I am driven by the belief that everyone is innately creative and that creativity can be used to catalyze personal and professional change. As the founder and CEO of InnovatorsBox, my deepest satisfaction comes from seeing individuals realize their full potential and talents through creativity.”

Monica has worked with clients worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies, higher education, government and nonprofits. Her work has been awarded across numerous platforms, including the White House, Ashoka Changemakers, Women Empowerment Expo, Timmy Award, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

Q. How did you get the courage to start your own venture?

“My journey of InnovatorsBox began while I was in my dream career, yet I felt utterly stuck. The lack of creativity in nuclear nonproliferation had made me risk-averse. I couldn’t remember the last time I created something on my own simply because I wanted to.”

She adds, “It wasn’t until I integrated creativity into my daily routine that things started to transform. My productivity skyrocketed. I got promoted. My insights and perspectives changed. I started thinking differently and began sharing fresh outlooks with top clients. And on a personal level, I was less stressed, more confident and eager to attack what life threw at me.”

Then lightning struck within her. “When I realized that 87 percent of all professionals do not feel very creative, and that I was not alone in feeling this way, I decided to create a space for everyone to rediscover their creativity. That's what led me to start InnovatorsBox.”

Q. Is everyone capable of creativity?

“We are all creative – in different ways. Creativity is not exclusively tied to the arts or product innovation. It’s a way of thinking, living, processing and seeing opportunities at all times. It’s a state of mind that helps you think differently, ask more questions and find connections in unexpected places. “When you strengthen your creative mindset, you become a better problem solver, collaborator, communicator and generator of ideas. You are more impactful, mindful and productive.”

Look for Part Two next week.

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Let's Grow Monica Kang

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