When fact is deliciously stranger than fiction

Along B. Gonzales Street near Katipunan Avenue, a cafe is daring to be different. Cafe Xocolat boldly offers an alternative to your routine caffeine fix – a bold cup of hot chocolate. It doesn’t harm that they also offer good great meals and dessert at (almost) student prices. Craving for churros con chocolate? Sure, you can find it there! (Dear readers, I failed to take photos when I was there and it might be some time before I can go back and take my snapshots. I will appreciate if you can post your photos in the comments section in the meantime.)

On the wall at the cafe while waiting for my meal, I read a sign:

Great ideas start with completely unrealistic thoughts.

It just so happened that I just read Harvard Business Professor Teresa Amabile’s article entitled “Creativity and the Role of the Leader”. In the article, Prof. Amabile enjoins organizational leaders to “motivate with intellectual challenge” but also to “accept the inevitability and the utility of failure.” The end goal is to encourage the free flow of ideas – continuously and sustainably. Professor Amabile’s insights almost sound like common sense and promoting good ideas across the ranks in the organization should be as easy as banana toffee pie in Xocolat. Except that the great ideas may appear like absolute nonsense at first glance! Especially to leaders so accustomed to the corner office.

So what does a good and enlightened leader (and Xocoholic) do when fact appears stranger than fiction? Step back and enjoy a good cup of hot chocolate and then ask herself what the eminent Professor Amabile will do in the same situation – which, among other things, is to acknowledge that great ideas can come from across organizational rank, social and educational background, ethnicity, and gender.

Happy ideation!

The Cafe Xocolat Menu

Creativity and the Role of the Leader at Harvard Business Review

creativity

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