Professionalism is an “in” word these days. It stands for more than political correctness. When googling it, one can find “professionalism is the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well”. Alistair Cooke (1908-2004), who was a well-known British-American journalist, television personality and broadcaster, is quoted as having said ”a professional is someone who can deliver his/her best work when he doesn’t feel like it”. The latter, of course, is hard, but, I guess it is what separates the wheat from the chaff.
Creativity on the other hand can be defined as “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations.” Creativity is the basis of every innovation and as such is indispensable for sustaining the success of any business in an ever changing environment. This holds particularly true for our Department’s situation in the middle of the ongoing health care reform in our Province.
Creativity is easily mistaken to mean disorganized spontaneity with little or no accountability, and to be incompatible with professionalism which stands for predictability and trust. However, creativity and professionalism, as defined above, do not only go well hand in hand, but, are, in fact, mutually complementing each other. A creative professional finds new solutions to challenges, brings them respectfully forward and acts in a way that always has the greater good in mind. This does not mean having to enter a popularity contest or having to abandon (constructive) criticism, but to be mindful of one’s own (unconscious) biases and always respect a dissenting counterpart.
The best solutions are not owned by a single individual/party, but created through respectful argumentation between engaged – albeit initially dissenting – professionals. Engagement is key here, our Department needs yours!