Dyslexia Superpower: Clearing the decks for creativity (36/52)

It’s clear that big picture thinking (visual thinking or creative thinking) is a prevalent skill in dyslexics (one of our superpowers) but how do you create the space for creativity?

This week, a couple of things have brought the need to clear space [clearing the decks!] for new projects and enable some creative thinking.

Firstly, Dr Michael Bloomfield’s article in Tuesday’s Guardian, ‘Forget about work and keep a dream diary: how to think creatively‘, suggested: i) Relax and meditate, ii) Make time for undemanding physical tasks, iii) Practise connecting ideas, iv) Keep a dream diary.

No doubt we all have our own way of clearing space for creative thinking. For me, knowing I’m on top of my to-do-list helps me relax (i), striding alone on a familiar walk (ii) and drawing big pictures (iii). However, I’ve never tried keeping a dream diary (iv). In fact, I don’t seem to be able to remember my dreams – in direct contrast to other members of my family.

I wonder, is this a characteristic of the dyslexic brain?

Secondly, I have been asked to get involved in a new charity [more on this in a future blog] – one very close to my heart. I have been looking for an opportunity to change perceptions of Dyslexia for a while and this has meant, I hope gently, exiting from two important charities – Foundation (after 6 years) and the Small Business Charter (after nearly 4 years).  My role in Foundation and the Small Business Charter has been strategic but that doesn’t mean not paying attention to the detail and caring passionately about their purpose – both are very different:

FoundationTransforming lives: Inspiring Individuals
Providing support for the homeless and vulnerable. With experienced and dedicated teams across Leeds, Yorkshire and the North of England, Foundation is here to provide help and support vulnerable people in our community. Our services extend to individuals and families who are affected by the following issues: i) Homeless or at risk of homelessness, ii) Leaving prison or on probation, iii) Leaving care and iv) Domestic abuse. We work with hundreds of people every year, helping them to build a better, healthier and more positive life – we’re here so that you don’t have to face your challenges alone.

My role: To help recruit an new Chief Executive and help navigate the choppy water of austerity.

Small Business Charter – The Small Business Charter award is a mark of excellence for business schools, which recognises their expertise in: i) Supporting small businesses, ii) Student entrepreneurship and iii) Engagement in the local economy. For business it means that Business Schools, which hold the Small Business Charter award are the go-to source of information for businesses who want to benefit from expert advice, training and courses. They can provide business support, sometimes even a space for local businesses as well as access to consultancy and mentoring.

My role: To bring insights on bridging the world’s of academia and business. In my view, a marriage made in heaven!

These roles have provided me with interesting challenges but above all a chance to work with great people on delivering a common goal for society. Not a bad way to spend your day!

In both cases, the last board meetings are this month. So, October should see some space emerge to think creatively about the new charity and engage with the founding team.

Nigel LockettThe Dyslexic Professor
University dyslexia support