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What's the one essential skill in the new economy? Survey says: creativity

04/15/2011

Everyday Creativity “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them,” said Einstein. 

In these turbulent times, there are plenty of problems to go around. Families, businesses, governments—you name it and issues abound, and it seems like for decades we’ve been stuck.

But it may be that these seemingly insurmountable issues facing businesses, society, and government can be solved by tapping into your everyday genius;  Reports are suggesting that “creativity” may well be the new form of pragmatism.

That’s what Mark Batey proposes in Is Creativity the Number 1 Skill for the 21st Century. Batey, a creativity researcher and editor of the International Journal of Creativity and Problem Solving speaks to “creativity” as being an essential facet of personal skill sets in the future.

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University

Setting your own schedule makes it easier to get your work done

04/14/2011

Flexible_Workplace_Variability Have you had any trouble with work-life balance recently?  You wouldn’t be alone.  The inability to integrate work in your life, is a common complaint among employees.

So imagine, if you will, a job where you can decide when and where you work. The only requirement is that you complete all of your assigned duties.  If you had it, you would be working in a ROWE or results-oriented work environment.

Employees at the Best Buy Richfield, MN offices didn’t have to imagine this scenario. It was their real life work experience, beginning began back in 2005 thanks to two Best Buy employees Jody Thompson and Cali Ressler. Studying this experiment, sociology professors Erin Kelly and Phyllis Moen found that it worked better than expected.

Maybe more of us should get to ROWE.

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University

It turns out torture is in the eye of the observers -- so we need better observers

04/13/2011

Torture (Abu Ghraib) It seems like we should know what is and isn’t torture.  But do we?

Most of the debate has centered on specific techniques – sleep deprivation?  Stress positions?  Water boarding?  The endless ways we can do one another harm seem to have created an endless shade of gray, because we’ll never have a checklist big enough to cover every scenario … or exactly how they can be applied.

But what if that’s the wrong way to approach the question?  Is there a better way to determine what is and isn’t torture? 

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University

How many people will hurt you for $33? The answer is a lesson in evil

04/12/2011

Military_of_Montenegro_training2 “Money is the root of all evil”

Well not exactly. The actual quote is “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil…” -- Timothy 6:10

The world is still reeling from the disastrous collapse of worldwide financial markets all fueled by that toxic love for money. A lot has been written over the centuries about the problems of desire, greed, and evil;  and you’d think that with all the knowledge of history to draw upon, we’d know that it’s not a good idea to put others in harm’s way for profit. 

Sadly, a recent study has shown that we’re just as eager to make the same old mistakes one more time if there’s a buck in it. 

At the April 2011 annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society co-author Oriel FeldmanHall presented a study that showed that even with our best spoken intentions, sometimes we will do the very opposite, especially when it comes down to money.

Participants were initially asked if they would give another person an electric shock in order receive a cash payout. When presented with that option as a purely hypothetical situation, most people said no. 

Then they were given a chance to do it for real.

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University

Being perfectly human means accepting human imperfections

04/11/2011

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself,” states Anna Quindlen, best selling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. 

It’s ok to make mistakes. Stop striving for perfection.

Easier said than done, I know.  We have a strange relationship with the need to be perfect.  In society, children are told its ok to make mistakes. But not adults.  As soon as we join the “real world,” mistakes stop being okay.

Well, new literature suggests that mistakes ARE ok – even for adults.  In fact, they can help facilitate growth and it might just well be the foundation of psychological health.

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University

Your inner child still lives - Your outer child still acts out.

04/07/2011

Baby_Blue_Adult_Pacifer While many think childhood ends at eighteen, new research shows it is still very alive at any age—and is a contributing factor in your everyday life.

Author Leon Seltzer explores the evolution of self and personality in Self-Sabotage and Your "Outer Child" speaking to an “outer-child” in adult personalities that is characterized by impulsivity, carelessness and limitlessness. The Outer Child, Seltzer points out, acts impulsively out of a need for instant gratification from tension, anxiety and other negative feelings. Its motto: at all costs – avoid pain, pursue pleasure.

Sounds good – but there’s an inherent problem in instant gratification.

Turns out, it makes us feel worse about ourselves. Sure, we feel better in the moment, our tension relieved (or at least ameliorated). But eventually we feel worse about ourselves because we’ve sacrificed our values, wishes, or ethics to the moment. It’s self indulgence at its most unhealthy level, and for it we sacrifice our deepest need, self-nurturance.

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University

Social services beware: Addressing poverty alone can't undo the effects of poverty

04/07/2011

627px-HN99~Worker_4xKidsWork You wake up in the morning after spending the night sleeping in your car. Your two children are awake in the back seat and both are looking pretty hungry, although they’ve learned that food may not around today. How do you feel at this moment?

You’d probably the same way that many people who are living at or below poverty level are feeling everyday; stressed, anxious, depressed and possibly even suicidal.

A report in the April issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry by Dr. Jitender Sareen and others presents data from a 3 year study citing the connection between poverty and mental disorders. This isn’t news, there has been a considerable amount of research on this issue, but it is further proof that there is a clear relationship between having basic needs go unfulfilled and anxiety, substance abuse, and psychological pain.

According to this report the participants with a household income of less than $20,000 annually had a greater risk for experiencing mood disorders, depression and anxiety. The risk was much lower for those with incomes higher than $70,000.

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University

The federal government has a great plan to address mental health needs - but do they have the right model?

04/06/2011

SAMHSA banner Should substance abuse recovery and mental health care have as much government attention as physical diseases like arthritis and appendicitis?

Last month the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published its strategic initiatives paper for its roles and actions for 2011-2014. The paper includes the focus, goals, and action plan for carrying out its mission—of reducing the impact of substance abuse and mental illness in American society.

From months of public discussion and stakeholder contributions, eight strategic initiatives have resulted—on how to best utilize SAMHSA’s resources and improve the behavioral healthcare system in America. It’s focus? The Mental Health Parity, Addiction Equity Act and the Affordable Care Act—to put mental healthcare and substance abuse recovery on equal footing with all other physical aliments.

The initiatives include the following:

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Alumni Messenger

Position Available as Chair of Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution at Ohio State University

04/05/2011
Ohio State University, Mershon Center for International Security Studies Postion Available: Chair in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution Applicants should submit a letter of interest, current curriculum vitae, and the names of three references to mershon.peace@osu.edu. Questions should be directed to Courtney Sanders, Peace Chair Search, Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 1501...

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Alumni Messenger

Saybrook Faculty Member Ruth Richards Speaks on New Views of Empathy in Berkeley, May 17, 2011

04/05/2011
Age of Empathy: New Views of Health, Human Nature, and Relational Creativity with Saybrook Faculty Member, Ruth Richards, M.D., Ph.D. The Ahimsa TTT Series - Tea and Talk on Tuesdays May 17, 2011, 7:30 PM Berkeley Buddhist Monastery 2304 McKinley Avenue Berkeley, CA 94703 Near Berkeley Bart and Berkeley High School This talk highlights empathy as an essential yet often unsung human quality...

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