What would our eLearning designs become if we worked in one of Google’s 8 Crazy Offices?

I am currently enjoying the Creativity: Music to My Ears MOOC through NovoEd via the instructor, Tina Seeling from Stanford University. I came across something today that perhaps you may identify with. Does your habitat foster creativity?

Tina shared that the problem is many of us are working in environments that do not allow us to express our creativity. But there are innovative companies that know how to provide a space for creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, new ideas, etc. are welcomed! So what would our eLearning designs become if we worked in one of Google’s 8 Craziest Offices?

GoogleTelAvivCarey Dunne describes these creative spaces and it makes us all wonder what we could create in such a space let alone with a team of the creative minds of Google? As one Google spokesperson told the New York Times, designers of Google offices have but one goal: “to create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world!”

I truly identify with what Tina is saying in that while I may feel like a “creative” I wonder why I don’t readily express it? Perhaps you are a fellow innovator too yet feel the same? Or perhaps we are working with clients who are in environments that do not foster this innovation? It is important to note that “habitat” is probably more than you think. Here we are talking about the people that we work with, rules, rewards, incentives, and even the physical space.

Do you remember your elementary school classroom? Many colors, much space, much to explore and learn from. Then we soon go from a habitat that fostered creativity to a high school or college classroom of desks and then eventually to a cubical farm. Even how we interact in these areas is controlled from everything to what you say, how you say it, the level at which you say it, and even where you can say it (e.g., the desks are bolted to the floor). Tina recalled that she used to have to write, “Silence is golden. Silence is golden.” I had to write what we called, “Sentences” from time to time in elementary. Thankfully I don’t remember what they were yet I assume that form of conditioning had an impact on my creativity.

Does your current work environment get you down? Is it stifling your creativity? What are you doing to combat that? I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments.

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About DaveHallmon

With experience in web, graphic, and instructional design, Dave maintains a balance between what is efficient and effective in every message. He always focuses on the why and how rather than "just doing it" to get the job done. By day he works at a leading university designing online courses that support 9,000 students in 64 countries. He works directly with faculty to brainstorm, design, and develop their online instruction utilizing the Adobe suite. He also teaches for the university as an adjunct faculty member in the area of web design. By night he is a devoted husband, father, freelancer, and adventurer of the outdoors. His other interests include LifeHacker, Science Fiction and Hayao Miyazaki movies, Settlers of Catan, and coffee with friends. He currently lives in St. Louis and has an M.S. in Instructional Design and aspires to pursue a professional degree in content marketing and strategy. Visit the links below for more information about his interests and design work.
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