Kick-Start Your Creativity “May the Force Be With You…Always” What is the Force? Creativity Adams: “The combination of seemingly disparate parts into a functioning, useful whole.” Picasso: “Every act of creation is an act of destruction” and “art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.” Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Three Creativity Perspectives The creative person The creative product The creative process The Creative Person Six traits of creative people *: 1. Self-confidence 2. Unconventionality 3. Alertness 4. Ready access to unconscious processes (incubation) 5. Ambition 6. Commitment to work – *Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham and Gandhi. (1996). Howard Gardner. New York: Basic Books. Three Creativity Elements 1. Expertise: In-depth knowledge about a field 2. Creative skills: Problem-solving skills, creative process skills 3. Intrinsic task motivation – Intrinsic rewards: Love of the work, the process involved, not extrinsic reward such as money, awards * * Teresa Amabile, Creativity in Context, Westview Press, 1996 Four Roles Of The Creative Process (von Oech) * 1. The Explorer – Gathers information, explores for knowledge in new places. 2. The Artist – Experiments with new approaches, combinations. – Follows intuition, breaks rules, brainstorms, takes risks. * A Kick in the Seat of the Pants, Roger von Oech, Perennial Library, New York, 1986. Four Roles Of The Creative Process (von Oech) 3. The Judge – Evaluates ideas and solutions, critically weighs evidence. 4. The Warrior – Takes the offensive, fights for implementation, sells the ideas, has courage. The Explorer Know what the objective is. Look in other fields. – Camouflage came from cubist art (Picasso & Braque). – Unbreakable code in WWII came from the Navajo language. Look for lots of ideas. Look behind the first right answer. – “How do you stop a fish from smelling?” The Explorer Don’t overlook things right in front of you. Look or ideas in places you’ve been avoiding. – The drunkard’s search The Adjacent Possible – The city and the web are engines of innovation, created for creation, diffusion, adoption of ideas. * Create or find Liquid Networks. * – Sharing of ideas (open, collaborative) - double-entry bookkeeping * Use forcing mechanisms. * Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson Forcing Mechanisms Matrix Trigger concepts – Creative Whack Pack and Oblique Strategies apps – Random words from a book Starbursting (Who what, where, when, why, how) – See “Creativity Techniques” on my website. Brainstorming – See “Better Brainstorming” on my website. Write everything down The Artist Adapt Imagine (“What if?”) Reverse (backward, upside down) Connect Compare (metaphors, literature, music, art, sports, warfare, gardening) Exaptation * – Gutenberg, Apple * Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson Parody Incubate – The Slow Hunch (Darwin, Tim Berners-Lee) * The 10/10 Rule – Ten years to develop a platform, ten years to build an audience -- used to be. Google, Facebook cut it in half because of the web. Serendipity * – In dreamwork. Error * – Make mistakes. * Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson The Judge Does it meet the objective? Positives? Negatives? Probability for success? Downside? Upside? The Judge Timing? Deadlines? Biases? (assumptions) Blind Spots? The Warrior Be bold. Develop a strategy. What are the consequences of failure? Get started immediately? Sell it. Persistence Learn from victories and defeats. Creativity Blocks Accepting conventional wisdom Not taking time to investigate or elaborate Seeking only to satisfy the perceived needs of bosses Having tunnel vision, compartmentalizing problems Looking for quick, yes-no answers Fear of failure Creativity Blocks Expecting others to be creative Being unwilling to question others Being unwilling to accept others’ input Being unwilling to collaborate – Darwin: “...those who learned to collaborate and improvise...prevailed.” – The wisdom of crowds Creativity Enhancers Assume every experience can stimulate personal growth. – Look for positives, growth, opportunities: Chinese character, “crisis.” Clearly visualize a positive outcome. Don’t react too quickly. Give yourself time (incubation), have patience. Methods For Killing Creativity Evaluation – Fear of evaluation kills the love of creative activity. Surveillance – Looking over creative people’s shoulder or policing them de-motivates them. Methods For Killing Creativity Reward – Extrinsic rewards lower motivation. – Reward creative people with autonomy, the opportunity to learn. Competition – Win-lose competition kills creativity. – In a competitive environment, people think about how not to lose instead of how to win. Methods For Killing Creativity Restricted Choice – Making choices for creative people or severely limiting their options lowers creative output. Extrinsic Orientation – External rewards such as prizes and money hurt creativity. – Creative people love the intrinsic rewards of doing the job. Pixar’s Catmull’s Rules For Collective Creativity 1. Empower your creatives. - Give your creative people control over every stage of idea development. - Development’s job is to find people who can work together. 2. Create a peer culture. – Encourage people to help each other do their best work. 3. Free up communication. – The most efficient way to resolve the numerous problems that arise in any complex project is to trust people to address difficulties directly, without having to get permission. So, give everyone the freedom to communicate with anyone. 4. Craft a learning environment. – Reinforce the mind-set that you’re all learning – and it’s fun to learn together. 5. Get more out of post mortems. – Most people dislike post-mortems. They’d rather talk about what went right than what went wrong. Structure your post- mortems to stimulate discussion.
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