Creative Edge Focusing E-Newsletter



Finding Each Person's "Touchstone Mission": Creating a Culture of Creativity                                                           

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director                                Week Three 

Motivation is a bottom-up, not top-down thing. Each unique individual must be in touch with their own Creative Edge, their own "felt experience" of aliveness and creativity.
Below you find an explanation of why taking the time to "sit with," pay attention to the "intuitive feel," the "something more than words" leads to maximum motivation as well as maximum creativity and innovation:

"Core Creativity Cultura De Creatividad

  • Every individual is born with a unique blueprint. Personal growth is the unfolding of this blueprint
  • Every problem holds within itself the exact next steps needed for solution
  • The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way
  • The Creative Edge is a right-brain phenomenon and is physically experienced as the murky, intuitive "feel" of the whole issue

Intuitive Focusing

  • Creating at the Edge involves a back-and-forth nonlinear process between left-brain "symbolizations" and right brain "felt experiencing"
  • The  Intuitive Focusing skill teaches specific steps which make problem-solving at The Creative Edge  and  "Ah, hah!" insights a predictable process
  • Central to Intuitive Focusing is learning to silently "sit with" the murky, intuitive, preverbal "felt sense" underlying an issue before attempting to find words, gestures, or images as "symbolizations

Focused Listening

  • The Focused Listening skill is a powerful tool for helping another person to create symbolizations out of The Creative Edge and especially in finding the "intuitive feel" for each person in interpersonal situations, turning conflict into creativity
  • Focused Listening also allows for empathic understanding of the Other and the possibility for conflict resolution which comes from empathic understanding.

Creative Edge Organizations

  • The Creative Edge Organization Method ensures maximum creativity and motivation at every level by encouraging Intuitive Focusing by individuals and Coordinated Collaboration in groups and teams
  • Maximum motivation arises when people are encouraged to create their lives and solutions to problems from their own Creative Edge.
  • Individuals are motivated when they are engaged at their Creative Edge. When organizational structures lose touch with The Creative Edge of individuals, apathy is created.
  • True change, at any level, from personal to global, can only happen by engaging The Creative Edge of individual human beings. There is no lasting way to impose change from the outside. Lasting change is empowered from the individual entering into collaborative action with other individuals.

Paradigm Shifts

  • Paradigms are fixed perceptual schemata, or Gestalts,  which determine beliefs, emotional reactions, and behaviors
  • Paradigm shifts are the source of true creativity, innovation,  and change
  • Intuitive Focusing results in shifts at the level of paradigms. The kaleidoscope turns, a new Gestalt is created,  and new thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are able to arise
  • Paradigm shifts at The Creative Edge release blocked energy as well as creating new solutions"

Read on at this link  or en espanol  for the full model of how the use of Listening/Focusing turns within organizations insures motivation rather than apathy and creativity rather than stultification.


So, let's modify the "One Small Thing" Focusing Exercise a little and use the Intuitive Focusing skill to find the unique "Touchstone Mission" which engages and motivates each of us in our work and living. In groups, teams, or organizations, it is also possible to go further by sharing and nurturing these "Touchstone Missions" in each individual person, while meeting the over-all goals of an organization.

Finding A Talisman Object Symbolizing Your Work

Each individual will use Focusing to find words and images for their unique mission, in their individual work and/or within an organization, the unique contribution which would matter enough TO THEM as an individual to keep them motivated. Then, the individual will use Intuitive Focusing to come up with a symbol and an actual object which could stand as a personal Talisman for this Touchstone Mission, a reminder to return to this source for energy and inspiration. The symbolic object could be kept on their desk or worn as a lapel button or jewelry, as a reminder to the individual to stay in touch with their Creative Edge and also a way of easily communicating to others this core motivating factor.

For example, for me, the symbol of my Touchstone Mission is a prism: conveying the idea to as many people as possible that finding the "new" comes from using Intuitive Focusing to allow ideas and solutions to arise from the "pause," from intuitive, right-brain knowing. So, I could wear a prism as a reminder to myself and to others about what matters to me, what motivates me or keep one on my desk. A kaleidoscope serves as a similar talisman for me: a reminder that, through Intuitive Focusing, the entire Gestalt changes, and new ideas and action possibilities arise.
For another person, the motivating factor might be interconnections throughout the globe, and they might wear a globe as their symbol.
For an engineer, it might be perfectly elegant designs, and a symbol of this.
For a human resources person, it might be something about the perfect match between person and job, or low turn-over....whatever it is, a simple symbol of that motivating factor.
Sharing Your Talisman and Touchstone Mission With Others
If deciding to share this exercise with others in a group or team or organization, individuals could share about their symbol and talisman after the Focusing exercise, or a game could be devised throughout an organization, with people visiting colleagues, discovering the talisman object, and learning th Touchstone Mission of the others. A prize at the end for whoever learns the most talismans and missions! Or some such version as an icebreaker at an organizational gathering.
Focusing Instructions: "What is my unique Touchstone Mission, the motivation that can keep my work fresh and alive? What could be a symbol representing this to myself and to others?" 20 minutes
As a group or individually, sit down and get comfortable, preparing to spend up to  twenty minutes letting right- and left- brain problem solving interact. Add another twenty minutes for group sharing. Keep a blank pad of paper in front of each person for gathering ideas.

In a group, have one person read the following instructions aloud to everyone else. Everyone except the reader, close your eyes, focusing inward, on The Creative Edge of the question "What is my Touchstone Mission --- what is the idea or action or factor which would keep my work alive for me every day?" You want to access right-brain, intuitive thinking, your unique, personal "gut sensing" of your own Creative Edge.

Upon hearing the instructions, pay attention, inside, looking for the "intuitive feel" of answers --- not what is immediately, intellectually known, but the right-brain, intuitive, murky, vague feel of what you know that is "more than words" --- leave at least a minute of silence between each instruction:

Close your eyes and get comfortable --- let your "focus" turn inward, your attention toward the "intuitive feel" that is more than words ---
(one minute or more)

Just notice your breathing going in --- and out --- don't try to change it. Just notice your breathing as a way of coming inside, more in tune with your intuitive-knowing ---

(one minute or more)

Now ask yourself, "What is the motivating factor in my work? What is the Touchstone Mission so important to me that working toward it would give me fresh energy in approaching my work every day?" and sit quietly, paying attention to the "intuitive feel" that comes in answer in the center of your body ---

(one minute or more)
Take a moment longer to "sit with" that whole thing---perhaps there are several motivating factors to sift through --- take the time to find the one or more which exactly capture your Creative Edge, your aliveness in relation to your work life---
(one minute or more)
Now find some words or an image that can "stand for" that motivation, that begin to capture "that whole thing about motivation, my Touchstone Mission," that might lead to a symbolic representation, a talisman object---
(one minute or more)
Take any words or images that come and check them against the "intuitive feel of it all," going back and forth between symbolizations and the "intuitive feel" until the symbols are "just right," the body says "Yes. That is exactly it."
(one minute or more)
Now ask yourself, "What aspect of this motivating factor, this Touchstone Mission, would I feel comfortable sharing with others as a symbol they would know me by...something that conveys what matters to me as a motivating factor at work in a way that I would be comfortable with..."
(one minute or more)
Again, go back and forth between any images or symbols that arise and your "intuitive feel" about what would be an acceptable symbol.....
(one minute or more)
Now, if you haven't got one yet, continue looking for an object or other symbol, something you could find and wear on your lapel or set on your desk, which would exactly capture the "feel of it all," that could serve as a symbol to remind yourself, and perhaps communicate to others, your "Touchstone Mission," the underlying Creative Edge, the motivation keeping your work alive.
(one minute or more)
And, when you are finished, open your eyes and make notes or a drawing of the kind of symbol you are looking for. Then, when you have a chance, go out and find it in a form which you could wear as a lapel button or pin or place on your desk.

Round-Robin Sharing For Group Brainstorming

In a group, after the initial Focusing Instructions, let people quietly take notes or Mind Map to capture their fresh "intuition," then use a Creative Edge Round Robin sharing structure for an initial go-round. Someone keep time, limit turns to 3 -5 minutes per person. Each person gets an uninterrupted turn to say what came up during the Intuitive Focusing, paying attention to the "intuitive feel" while speaking, creating fresh, innovative words and images and describing their Touchstone Mission, and they symbol they have chosen to represent it.

Organization-Wide Game: Who Has Learned The Most "Touchstone Missions" and symbols of coworkers?
Devise a game, with prizes, where people search out their colleagues talisman symbols and learn about their Touchstone Mission. For instance,  for two weeks, have everyone wear their symbolic representation on their lapel or place it on their desk. Using the Face Book idea, give a prize to the person who can list the most symbols of coworkers and what they mean. 

Being At The Creative Edge Also = Innovative Thinking

For a complete explanation of the theory behind access to The Creative Edge and innovative decision making, you can download Dr. McGuire's comprehensive article, "Collaborative Edge Decision Making Method, " . As a bonus, the Appendix of this article includes Handouts you can use at actual meetings, one for each role in Shared Leadership.

Please email Dr. McGuire with your questions or answers about the groups you belong to, the meetings you attend.

Two Yahoo E-Groups, Creative Edge Practice and Creative Edge Collaboration, for Ongoing Support and Learning
Self-Help Package, CDs, DVD, manual English and espanol
Experiential Focusing Therapy manual
Certification Programs: Consultant/Helping Professional : Now with option of Structured Level 1-4 Listening/Focusing Training With Ruth Hirsch followed by 10 supervision sessions with Dr. McGuire. Contact Dr. McGuire for information on this NEW option
About Creative Edge Focusing (TM) 
Mission: bring Core Skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, and The Creative Edge Pyramid of applications from individual to interpersonal to organizational, to all audiences throughout the world.
Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director
Location: Beaver Lake in Rogers, AR
These materials are offered purely as self-help skills. In providing them, Dr. McGuire is not engaged in rendering psychological, financial, legal, or other professional services. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought.
Creative Edge Focusing (TM)
Dr. Kathy McGuire