Collaborative Professionals know firsthand the creativity required to conclude a Collaborative Divorce successfully far exceeds the creativity required to settle or “win” a case in litigation.
In litigation, the “winner” is the side that presents the best legal rationale for awarding their side what they want. And though the law is not always black and white, the best it can get is gray.
Collaborative Divorce lets both sides creatively approach problems and consider a wider array of options, resulting in far better outcomes.
Despite its importance, creativity is not explicitly taught in most academic programs. On the contrary, the creative mindset and approach are largely educated out of students during their schooling, where pursuing high grades is paramount. Collaborative Professionals wanting to increase their creative powers must therefore “relearn” how to think creatively.
For this reason, FACP hosted the virtual workshop “Creativity & Collaboration” in January 2023. The presenter was Jim Friedman, Ph.D., Professor of creativity and marketing at Miami University in Ohio. Dr. Friedman is the Chief Steward of the United Nations-observed World Creativity & Innovation Week/Day (WCIW/D) which FACP and IACP members participated in last year.
In this lively and entertaining workshop, Dr. Friedman (he prefers Jim) went over key elements of creativity and the role it plays in garnering the most successful outcomes possible.
This hour-long workshop was edited for use by Collaborative Practice Groups anytime during April–the month of World Creativity & Innovation Week/Day, which is April 15-21. 2023. Short, medium, and long edited segments available are:
WCIW Creativity & Collaboration: Short – No Music (16:27 Minutes)
WCIW Creativity & Collaboration: Short – With music (16:27 Minutes)
WCIW Creativity & Collaboration: Medium – No Music (36:16 Minutes)
WCIW Creativity & Collaboration: Medium – With Music (36:16 Minutes)
WCIW Creativity & Collaboration: Long – No Music (54:22 Minutes)
Practice Groups can choose the length of time that works best for them and allows time for discussion about applying Dr. Friedman’s observations about the creative process in Collaborative cases. Information to share about Dr. Friedman and WCIW are provided at the end of this article.
Three Ways Creativity and Collaboration Can Change the World
The purpose for World Creativity & Innovation Week is to remind and encourage people to use their creativity to make the world a better place and to make their place in the world better, too.
So how can creativity, collaboration, and YOU as a Collaborative Professional have a positive impact on the world?
#1 Collaborative Divorce Positively Impacts our Culture by Impacting our Children
“Cultural change starts with a new set of messages.” — Fred Kofman
As prevalent as divorce is, it’s not just a problem of individual families, but is also a societal issue with far-reaching implications. With 50% of marriages ending in divorce, divorce is the first major conflict most children witness.
What if their parents, instead of being guided by lawyers determined to “win” their cases against the other, were being guided by Collaborative Professionals who worked together to come up with creative and peaceful solutions for restructuring their family? How much better would life for these kids be? How much less trauma would children and their parents experience?
Imagine if children learned even a highly emotional conflict like divorce could be handled peacefully, with everyone’s interests in mind?
There’s conflict in every aspect of life. Government. Business. You name it. Conflict is part of the human experience. And children grow up – another part of the human experience. The Collaborative Divorce Process sets the stage for kids to grow into adults who understand that conflicts can be solved peacefully using creativity and collaboration.
#2: Solving Big Problems, whether Planetary or Family, requires Creative Thinking
“Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results.” – Unknown
We all know this. So learning to think and do things differently is of paramount importance.
How do we handle the newly formed plastic continent in the North Pacific? (aka The Great Pacific Garbage Patch?) How about a revolutionary flotation device with a large screen that collects plastic in the ocean without causing harm to marine life. That’s creative!
Bringing it closer to home, how does a divorcing couple handle dividing assets, time sharing, and parental responsibilities? Depending on the situation, it could be complicated so thinking outside of the box while considering the interests of all involved will require creative thinking.
#3: Collaboration: Because Two Heads Working Together ARE Better than One
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
Over the past two and a half decades, over 10,000 scientists from over 100 countries have collaborated in creating the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest and highest-energy particle collider. The LHC project has resulted in the development of advanced instruments and new technologies and a great transfer of scientific knowledge.
Bringing it back to Collaborative Divorce, there are countless examples of couples who became better collaborators, better communicators, and, yes, even better people because of working with their team of Collaborative Professionals.
World Creativity & Innovation Week
World Creativity & Innovation Week: The Beginnings
World Creativity & Innovation Week was founded in Toronto, Canada in 2001–the same year, coincidentally, the American Institute of Collaborative Professionals (AICP) changed its name to the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP).
WCIW’s founder, Canadian resident Marci Segal, began studying creativity in 1977 at the International Center for Studies in Creativity, SUNY Buffalo. When the headline, “Canada in Creativity Crisis” appeared in the National Post, she thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if people knew how to use their natural ability to generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes, to make the world a better place and to make their place in the world better too?” And so she set off on a journey to make a bigger place for creativity in the world. Celebrations quickly spread to countries all over the world.
Recognizing that creativity and innovation are critical elements in the achievement of the United Nations 17 sustainable goals, the UN began observing World Creativity & Innovation Day on April 21, 2017.
World Creativity & Innovation Week: Today
In 2019, WCIW founder retired and passed the reins of Chief Steward of WCIW to Professor Jim Friedman, who had been participating in the event for many years with his students.
Jim is a serial creative entrepreneur. In addition to his broadcasting ventures, he has created national marketing campaigns; been granted multiple patents; written books; written, recorded and performed music.
Since 2008, he has taught Creativity and Marketing at Miami University and is a frequent speaker on topics of creativity and personal branding. Friedman’s consulting and coaching work centers on connecting creative and innovative thinking to entrepreneurship for companies and individuals across the country.
He has won 65 Emmy Awards, has been inducted into three Halls of Fame, and is recognized for his creativity and effectiveness in the classroom.
Under Jim’s leadership, with the support of Miami University in Ohio and his own students of creativity and marketing there, so far, WCIW celebrations from 141 have already been registered.
If you or your practice group would like to participate in WCIW, register your event here.
Note: For additional information and ideas about this event, feel free to reach out to World Creativity & Innovation Week Advisory Board Member Holly Haggerty at Holly@HaggertyDigital.com.