From Gum on the Sidewalk to Spontaneous Creativity

A wad of discarded chewing gum may look like trash to us but not to artist Ben Wilson.  For the last few years, Wilson has transformed these sticky nuisances into works of art all across the streets of London.

In 2009 when London police first noticed Wilson sprawled out on the sidewalk painting what looked like the sidewalk, they arrested him for defacing public property.  But as reported in Mental Floss magazine, the judge tossed out the case after learning Wilson was painting on gum.

Wilson uses fast-drying acrylics with fine brushes to create masterpieces not much bigger than a postage stamp.  And many art critics recognize him as a visionary for his spontaneous creativity.

This same type of spontaneous creativity can be found with your dental team.  One dentist I work with empowered his team to find ways to make lasting impressions on new patients.  The front office coordinator replaced their thanks-for-coming-to-see-us form letter with a personalized card, and each team member who was introduced to the patient wrote a small note.

The hygienists and assistants warmed towels for patients and the team presented the towels in a manner you would expect from a spa or fine restaurant.  Finally, the dentist and team looked up at the drab ceiling that patients stare at during their appointment and another idea was born.  The team decided to hang colorful posters depicting relaxing scenes.

All of these small touches really enhanced the patient experience, and the ideas came from welcoming spontaneous creativity.

It’s often easy to close our minds to new ideas and ignore them like they are wads of discarded gum.  Unfortunately, this approach causes us to miss some real gems.  But by fostering creativity, we invite innovation that just might prove to be a masterpiece.

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