Behind the Design: Making a Farmhouse Table from Reclaimed Barn Wood

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Behind the Design: Making a Farmhouse Table from Reclaimed Barn Wood

Most everyone is born creative. As children, we enjoy imaginary play, ask outlandish questions, draw blobs and refer to them as dinosaurs. But as time passes, as a consequence of socialization and formal education, most of us learn to stifle those impulses. We learn how to be warier of judgment, more cautious, more analytical. The world seems to divide into “creatives” and “noncreatives,” and so many people consciously or unconsciously resign themselves for the latter category. And yet we realize that creativity is crucial to success in different discipline or industry. According to a current IBM survey of chief executives worldwide, it’s probably the most sought-after trait in leaders today. No one can deny that creativity has enabled the increase and continued success of various companies, from start-ups like Facebook and Google to stalwarts like Procter & Gamble and General Electric. Students often arrived at Stanford University’s “d.school” (that has been founded by considered one of us—David Kelley—and is formally referred to as Hasso Plattner Institute of Design) to formulate their creativity. Clients help IDEO, our design and innovation consultancy, for a similar reason. But in the process, we’ve found that our job isn’t to train them creativity. It’s to enable them to rediscover their creative confidence—the natural capability to produce new ideas and also the courage to use them out. We do this by providing them ways to see through four fears that hold many people back: nervous about the messy unknown, anxiety about being judged, concern with the first task, and fear of losing control. Easier said than actually doing it, you could possibly argue. But we understand it’s feasible for website visitors to overcome even their most deep-seated fears. Consider the work of Albert Bandura, a world-renowned psychologist and Stanford professor. In one series of early experiments, he helped people conquer lifelong snake phobias by guiding them by way of a number of increasingly demanding interactions. They would start with watching a snake through a two-way mirror. Once more comfortable with that, they’d progress to observing it through an open door, then to watching someone else touch the snake, then to touching it themselves by having a heavy leather glove, and, finally, in a few hours, to touching it using own bare hands. Bandura calls this means of experiencing one small success after another “guided mastery.” The people who went through it weren’t just cured of an crippling fear that they had assumed was untreatable. They also had less anxiety plus more success in other areas of these lives, taking on new and potentially frightening activities like horseback riding and public speaking. They tried harder, persevered longer, and had more resilience facing failure. They had gained a fresh confidence of their ability to attain what they attempt to do.

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