Last week I was shopping at a local arts and crafts store. My daughter was busy picking various ribbon for several hair bows she designed and planned to make. My advice was clearly not helping her so I walked off in search of some inspiration.
There were the beginner books on drawing … sorry, already have several of those at home. None help. There were the plastic models, maybe I could build a model of the Titanic or some World War II era plane. Nope, same as drawing, not enough patience.
I turned another corner in the store and there it was, Crayola Crayons. I found my inspiration indeed. Crayons were such a part of my childhood – drawing all the time, consuming coloring books or drawing monsters.
I bought the crayons.
Not the traditional set of 64; nope I went for the deluxe set with over 100 crayons all in a special spinning case.
My office conference table has found its centerpiece. Now if folks forget a pen for a meeting, they are set. If one needs to highlight something, well I have a set of the original highlighters. Just pick a color.
So with bundles of ribbon and a very large set of crayons in hand, we proceeded to the checkout, my decision made. It was a bit awkward when the check out person mentioned the crayon set and wished my daughter well with them. I could have corrected her, but what would I say?
I also picked up several scratch pads to go along with the crayons. We are talking “peas and carrots” folks. One goes with the other.
Once back at work I had second thoughts – really, a grown man with crayons in his office. No worries. Once people saw the crayons the mixture of delight, nostalgia and silliness began. People just like to hold crayons let alone use them. My cool new conference table centerpiece is here to stay.
All this reminded me of the book All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum. This book is a collection of essays and was a bestseller over 20 years ago. He writes of the delight, nostalgia and silliness of crayons and the power they hold over people.
What does this all have to do with workplace effectiveness? Go out and buy yourself a set of crayons and discover for yourself.
WeMoveTogether in color, lots of color.