Steven Kowalski Podcast Transcript

Headshot of Author Steven Kowalski

Steven Kowalski Podcast Transcript

Steven Kowalski joins host Brian Thomas on The Digital Executive Podcast.

Welcome to Coruzant Technologies, home of the Digital Executive Podcast.

[00:00:12] Brian Thomas: Welcome to The Digital Executive. Today’s guest is Stephen Kowalski. Dr. Stephen Kowalski is a leading voice in the global movement for conscious creativity and a longtime practitioner of Stanford University’s creativity in business approach. Every day his groundbreaking work helps people from all walks of life reclaim their creative potential.

And focus it for real world innovation. Steven’s mission is to support individuals, teams, and organizations in activating unique gifts that create possibility and shape our collective future. Steven’s approach combines cutting edge theory on creativity, change, learning, and business transformation into novel services for creating new value amidst the challenges of today’s volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity whitewater world.

He is a speaker, author, consultant, and educator, offering clients a comprehensive suite of services and products through his firm, Creative License Consulting.

Well, good afternoon, Stephen. Welcome to the show.

[00:01:17] Steven Kowalski: Hey Brian.

Yeah, I appreciate you making the time. I know sometimes traversing the globe as I do this just about daily across 40 countries and growing just happy to meet someone new every single day, Stephen, and thank you again for jumping on.

[00:01:24] Steven Kowalski: Great to be here.

[00:01:25] Brian Thomas: Thanks again. Stephen let’s just jump right into your story. You’ve got quite the career in organizational development and learning you’re a consultant advisor, author, and you currently work within Genentech’s product development organization. Could you share with our audience the secret to your career growth and what inspires you?

[00:01:45] Steven Kowalski: Funny, Brian, I don’t necessarily even think of my career as a career because it just sort of unfolded. And so, one of the things that’s guided me along the way is. having learning as my highest goal with my work. And so, I think that makes a difference looking for opportunities, finding opportunities to learn, maybe stretch into places that I haven’t worked in before.

And I love the hero’s journey Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey that he articulated. And I kind of use that as a little bit of a guide, like stepping across the threshold into the unknown, seeing what comes forward. Meeting allies and partners along the way. That’s been a kind of guide for me.

And with that comes greater trust in my creativity that I’ll have that there when I need it to either step into something that’s more challenging or out in a new direction. I think the part about inspiring, I love to watch people wake up to the power of their creativity, especially working in teams, cope, people kind of co creating, learning how to work more effectively together when they’re pioneering or creating together.

[00:02:49] Brian Thomas: Thank you. And I really appreciate the work that you do. Obviously learning is key to our growth key to our longevity, really. But yes, helping others is awesome. So, thank you again and Stephen, let’s talk about your book a little bit in your book creative together. You share a three-part journey to reclaim your creativity and co create with others without the spoiler alert.

Of course. Could you share a takeaway? For our audience today that will pique their interest.

[00:03:16] Steven Kowalski: Oh, great question, Brian. That’s so many of us are walking around with an old story of what creativity is and who we are as creators. In the book, I call it CDD creativity disruption disorder. We don’t even realize the power of our creativity and we’re disadvantaging ourself.

So one of the keys in the book is just understanding where creativity actually gets activated and how it gets activated. Most people think it’s kind of activated when we think of new possibilities. Actually, it’s activated at the intersection of purpose, possibility, and constraint. And it’s dancing in between those three things that really brings our creativity forward.

We’re more comfortable, I should say with purpose and possibility. It’s actually the constraint piece where I think we, we can get better at working together around obstacles and constraints and bringing our creativity forward into it, into addressing those. So that’s one.

Maybe real quickly, another one is adopting an experimental mindset to most everything we’re doing rather than approving mindset and there’s lots of great work out there now around growth mindset. And I think that’s so important, but taking this experimental mindset kind of freeze people up, freezes me up to try new things to not see failure or getting a no as the end of something, but just input and feedback along the way.

[00:04:38] Brian Thomas: Thank you. I appreciate breaking down a couple of nuggets that we can, take from what you just shared with us. So, we can dive into your book here. I appreciate that again. Steven, we are a technology platform publication podcast. We ask this of every guest, regardless of your background, if you’re leveraging any that new or emerging technologies within your business, and if not, maybe you found a cool tool or app you might share with us.

[00:05:05] Steven Kowalski: I think what’s piquing my interest is in life sciences, especially is the whole arena of personalized medicine and how digital technologies like imaging scans how that’s playing out and helping with detection and diagnosis, early detection, diagnosis, and monitoring of disease.

I think it’s an amazing arena where digital technologies are intersecting with. Biology and the normal work of drug development and finding targets and helping to alleviate disease. So, I love these digital technologies that are showing up and turning into products that are out there in the world in my own work, more in the learning and organization development space.

It’s more a methodology than a technology, but there’s a way of thinking about data and data standards, and it’s called FAIR, F A I R. Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. And we’re using that in data and thinking about that in data, but I don’t see a lot of people applying that in other arenas, like for example, learning and development.

What a cool methodology for making learning assets more findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable. So, I’m tickled by this fair methodology. And I’m also really interested in personalized healthcare and the digital technologies emerging there.

[00:06:24] Brian Thomas: Thank you. I appreciate that I’ve not heard that acronym and I should have, I have enough exposure to process improvement, but thank you.

I think that would be awesome to leverage that in other verticals as well. So Steven, last question of the day, can you share something from your career experience that would be helpful for those listening today looking to grow their career in either coaching or Organizational Development?

[00:06:48] Steven Kowalski: Some of the focus in my work and with my colleagues now is in this whole arena of leveraging the self as instrument there’s a wonderful article people could look up Doing Good By Being Who You Are, I think, is the name of the article. I think this focus on self-awareness. Paying more attention to intention and attention and thinking of my presence as a key tool or a key change maker just being there listening with intention and attention understanding my own state of being and how I’m bringing that forward, whether I’m in.

Fight, flight or freeze or if I’m relaxed understanding the stories that I’m telling about myself and in relationship to others using myself as the primary tool or instrument in the work that I do in changing and transforming people, teams, and systems.

[00:07:41] Brian Thomas: Thank you. Again, some great gems that we can extract from the things that you shared today on this podcast.

So, Steve, and I really do appreciate that. And lastly, it was a pleasure having you on today, and I look forward to speaking with you real soon.

[00:07:54] Steven Kowalski: Thanks, Brian. Thanks, everyone. Great to be here.

[00:07:57] Brian Thomas: Bye for now.

Steven Kowalski Podcast Transcript. Listen to the audio on the guest’s podcast page.


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