You’re a creative but you struggle with expressing that creative spirit in your corporate life. I was exactly where you are and I discovered a secret within a book that changed my entire approach to creating and contributing. A few years ago I had the opportunity to share this at a STORY conference in Nashville. I won’t go into details because the STORY owners have allowed me to republish the video of that session.
Orbiting is responsible creativity: vigorously exploring and operating beyond the Hairball of the corporate mind set, beyond “accepted models, patterns, or standards” — all the while remaining connected to the spirit of the corporate mission.
To find Orbit around a corporate Hairball is to find a place of balance where you benefit from the physical, intellectual and philosophical resources of the organization without becoming entombed in the bureaucracy of the institution.
If you are interested (and it’s not for everyone), you can achieve Orbit by finding the personal courage to be genuine and to take the best course of action to get the job done rather than following the pallid path of corporate appropriateness.
To be of optimum value to the corporate endeavor, you must invest enough individuality to counteract the pull of Corporate Gravity, but now so much that you escape that pull altogether. Just enough to stay out of the Hairball.
Through the measured assertion of your own uniqueness, it is possible to establish a dynamic relationship with the Hairball — to Orbit around the institutional mass. If you do this, you will make an asset of the gravity in that it becomes a force that keeps you from flying out into the overwhelming nothingness of deep space.
But if you allow that same gravity to suck you into the bureaucratic Hairball, you will find yourself in a different kind of nothingness. The nothingness of a normalcy made stagnant by a compulsion to cling to past successes.
The nothingness of the Hairball.(Excerpt from Gordon MacKenzie’s book “Orbiting the Giant Hairball”)