A question I’m often asked is about how creativity and divergent thinking can work in a highly-regulated environment. “If something is a ‘law’, there’s certainly nothing we can do about it, nothing we can do differently, right?” What I always tell people, is that if something is really a ‘law’ – made by a federal, state or regulatory body, we absolutely need to follow it…however, many things we ‘assume’ are ‘laws’, aren’t really: they’re internal policies or procedures that got put in place sometime in the past, for some reason, and now, having followed them for years and years, we ‘assume’ they’re ‘laws’. First thing to do then, is separate what the real regulatory requirements are – the laws – from our own ‘internal’ assumptions and habits. Once we do that, we can use our divergent thinking and creativity to find better ways to work, while staying within ‘the law’!

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