on creativity

Document Sample
on creativity Powered By Docstoc
					       A M E R I C A N                                C R E A T I V I T Y                              A S S O C I A T I O N

               F O CUS                                                               on creativity
! A Bimonthly Newsletter!                                                                                                             Issue: July-August 2007

President’s Column:        Birth and Growth of a       Storytelling: A Creative   Creative and Strategic      Debriefing the Object        Book Review: Thinking
Dream Hard                 Corporate Creativity        Tool So Old, It’s New      Thinking: The Coming        Lesson: Cultural factors    Hats & Coloured
ACA President Bud          Network                     Again                      Competencies                in “live” information       Turbans
Wurtz’s challenges         Dave Tanner describes       Gerry Lantz discusses      Ann Herrmann Nehdi          Margaret King puts on       Dr. Kirpal Singh’s latest
ACA members to make        how a corporate creative    how this innate ability    examines the connection     her cultural studies lens   book guarantees
a commitment as            thinking network was        got lost and is making a   between thinking styles     and reflects on a session    engagement, challenge
creativity-fueled          started at Dupont.          comeback in many           and the different phases    she participated in at      & provocation.
innovation becomes the     Page 2                      organizations.             of innovative and           the 2007 conference         Page 5
driving force in the                                   Communicators are          strategic thinking          with interesting and
global economy                                         re-discovering the         processes to more           thought provoking
Page 2                                                 power of stories.          effectively build skills.   results.
                                                       Page 6                     Page 8                      Page 12

                                                       • What happens when people confront a

ACA 2008                                               challenge not seen before or one that is
                                                       beyond their current means to provide

Singapore                                              • What valuable lessons have been
                                                       learned from successes and failures to
ACA’s exciting International Conference,               teach us “best practice” and guide us
Creativity Across Cultures is being held               beyond to “next practice”?
February 25-29th in beautiful Singapore.

  Imagine being challenged and in-                       We welcome anyone from any field who
spired, whatever your field, when you                   has a stake in the creative process:
immerse yourself in the newest meth-                   business and technology, education and
ods, models, and measures of applied                   training, consultants and coaches,
creativity. The 2008 ACA Conference                    personal and professional growth,
will ask big questions and seek big an-                communications and the arts, health and
swers in the real world:                               science, military and government—                Kirpal Singh, ACA’s 2008
                                                       anyone who could be benefit from                  Conference Chairperson
• What role does “collaboration” play                  exploring creativity across cultures.   Dr. Kirpal Singh is the Founding Director of
within and between cultures to reach                                                                          the Centre for Cross-Cultural Studies at the
surprising new ideas that benefit                       For additional conference                              Singapore Management University where he
everyone?                                              registration and hotel information                     teaches a course in creative thinking. He is an
                                                                                                              acclaimed poet and fictionist. His latest book.
                                                       Visit our website at:
• When does the search for solutions                                                                          Thinking Hats & Coloured Turbans deals with
cause people to reach across boundaries                                                                       the ways in which cultural contexts appear
                                                       http://www.amcreativityassoc.org/2008                  dominant in any exploration of Creativity/
and disciplines for creative approaches
and answers?                                           Conf-overview.html                                     Innovation.

FOCUS July-August 2007 Issue"                                                                                                                                    1
                A   M   E   R   I   C   A   N   C   R   E   A   T     I   V   I   T   Y   A   S   S   O   C   I   A   T     I   O   N

     Creative and Strategic Thinking:The Coming Competencies
                                              Abstract                    How are you tapping into the brainpower of your organiza-
                               Creativity and strategy are no             tion? Charles Handy of the London School of Business asked
                               longer optional in today’s rapidly         CEOs how much of the brainpower in their organization was
                               changing business environment,             actually used. The answer was 20%. That 20% is probably
                               but now considered essential to            represented in an “old economy” approach: thinking and skills
                               maintaining a competitive edge.            related to the specific work required. Herrmann International
                               Many organizations are seeking             conducted a study of over 5,000 employees across a broad
                               ways to unleash new perspectives           range of divisions and functions within a large French chemi-
                               and fresh thinking about their             cal company. The data revealed that although “imaginative”
                               products, markets, challenges, and         ranked number 5 out of 25 characteristics as a key descriptor
                               competitors. Understanding the             for how they think as individuals, as a work element, it was
                               thinking styles involved as each           ranked only 15th out of 16! Clearly imagination wasn’t the prob-
                               relates to the distinctive phases of       lem per se; rather imagination on the job. Most likely, most in-
                               the innovative and strategic think-        novative pursuits were happening outside of work. The results
                               ing processes allows individuals           of this study elucidated that the climate of this company did
                               and organizations to more effec-           not support innovative thinking.
tively build skills to leverage and apply the brainpower avail-
able to them.                                                             Where do you get started? A clear understanding of the source
                                                                          and nature of innovative and strategic thinking is required.
                            Background                                    Both are widely misunderstood. Myths abound about the
Every decade seems to inaugurate a new era of management                  “magic” of the innovative process, available only to a select
focus. The 60s centered on systems and decentralization. In the           elite. Our 25 years of global research on the brain and thinking
70s we saw strategic business units emerge with the role of man-          has demonstrated that every person in your organization has
ager becoming primary. The Total Quality Management                       access to thinking that can be applied to strategy and innova-
movement came into practice during the 80s and continues its              tion. Yet much of this thinking often lies dormant in our or-
lasting impact on business structures around the globe--                  ganizations, just waiting to be unleashed as the greatest busi-
measurements of customer satisfaction and quality control                 ness asset imaginable.
systems are now an integral part of most businesses. Radical
                                                                          The key to tapping into the thinking power of those you work
change and re-engineering seem to have permeated every
                                                                          with is to first understand how they prefer to think. How do they
aspect of day-to-day business of the 90s. The focus on
re-engineering business systems focused on downsizing and                 go about their day-to-day decision-making process? What do
                                                                          they pay most (and least) attention to?
continuous improvement using ISO standards and Six Sigma.
                                                                          Let’s start with you. In order to determine what you pay most
This new era starting in 2000, referred to by some as the “e” or
                                                                          attention to, it can
Digital Age, is aptly described by Gary Hamel as the “Age of
                                                                          be helpful to look
Revolution.” Lightening-fast change, boundaryless access to
                                                                          at the Whole Brain
information and technology, and ever-changing business mod-
                                                                          Model shown. This
els are revolutionizing how we approach everything we do. To
                                                                          model, used by
remain competitive, we must “think forward,” leveraging the
power of imagination to its fullest, in order to out-innovate the
                                                                          ranging from Air
                                                                          France to IBM in
                                                                          their human devel-
Strategic thinking, previously considered a planning process,
                                                                          opment programs,
is now a critical part of day-to-day decision making. Innova-
                                                                          provides a lens
tion, often relegated to R&D teams, has become the essential
                                                                          through which we
driver of the continuous re-invention of our businesses. Ned
                                                                          can understand our
Herrmann, author of The Creative Brain, put it this way: “In the
                                                                          thinking. The four
corporation of the future, new leaders will not be masters, but
                                                                          quadrants describe
maestros. The leadership task will be to anticipate the signs of
                                                                          different thinking
coming change, to inspire creativity, and to get the best ideas
                                                                          modes we all have
from everybody.” Don’t assume, however, that innovation and
                                                                          access to, but we
strategy are reserved for a select few at the top of organiza-
                                                                          typically prefer
tions. To thrive, or even survive, in today’s environment, or-
                                                                          certain of these modes over others. As you look over the
ganizations must tap into the resources currently hidden
                                                                          model, reflect on those descriptors that best characterize how
within their own companies. Hidden where? Inside employ-
                                                                          you prefer to think.
ees’ heads.
                                                                                                                                 continued page 9

8!                                                                                                                        FOCUS July-August 2007 Issue
                  A    M   E    R   I   C   A   N   C   R   E   A   T   I   V   I   T    Y       A    S     S   O   C     I   A   T   I    O     N

Creative & Strategic Thinking continued                                     In light of the above, it is easy to understand why many of us
                                                                            learn and use problem-solving tools that naturally fit our pre-
Our extensive research has shown that innovation and the                    ferred thinking style. In team settings, groups should take ad-
strategic process use all the thinking characteristics, but ap-             vantage of different styles, tools, and skills by applying as
plied at different stages, and in very different ways.                      many different approaches as possible to their given problem.
                                                                            This is the perfect remedy for getting “stuck” or stumped. For
                  Innovative and Creative Thinking:                         example, Brainstorming, a widely used idea-generation tech-
           What is it and how is it developed and applied?                  nique (which falls into the Upper Right D category of the
There continues to be plenty of mystery around the creative                 whole-brain model), certainly won’t appeal to everyone. This
process. But in fact, once creative thinking is understood as a             is why you often find people incorrectly using the technique,
                                                                            or wondering why it doesn’t produce the desired outcomes.
series of thinking steps that can be learned and applied, crea-
tivity suddenly becomes available to us all. Some years ago                 Group members may feel frustrated with a process that
our company was running Creative Problem Solving programs                   doesn’t work for them.
for a large global consumer-product compa-
                                                                                                     The solution is to explore other tools and
ny’s ‘brand teams’ and their advertising-
                                                                                                     strategies from all four quadrants of the
agency counterparts. The ad-agency team
                                                                                                     Whole Brain Model. This allows all group
was uncomfortable because they felt that the
                                                                                                     members to see value in their contribution
program was threatening the mystique of the
                                                                                                     and significantly increases the quality of the
creative process. Creative, innovative think-
                                                                                                     output. Members also discover that when
ing was a domain they were “expert” in, and
                                                                                                     motivated, they can acquire skills and tools in
were getting paid a lot to practice. If every-
                                                                                                     areas outside their preferences through prac-
one were taught to generate better ideas,
                                                                                                     tice and skill building.
what role would the agency be left to play in
the future?                                                                                                       Out-of-the-Box Thinking
                                                                                           Perhaps it is because we get “stuck” that we
In spite of their concerns, once the advertis-                                             sometimes call innovation “out-of-the-box
ing team was convinced they should attend                                                  thinking.” Clearly we appear to have an intui-
the program , it became evident that all par-                                              tive sense that each of us needs to “break out”
ticipants had a contribution to make to the                                                of our natural thinking processes, to “get out
innovation process. Examples of issues the                                                 of our own box.” Understanding how your
group would work on included analysis of                                                   brain filters and looks at the world, as articu-
the problem/opportunity in the market, how                                                 lated by your thinking preferences profile,
to collect and exploit customer input, break-                                              provides a clear definition of the mental
through ideas for new products, ways to overcome technical                  “boxes” or boundaries we may have unconsciously created for
challenges, team facilitation issues, zero-defect execution, and            ourselves.
ways to use innovation in their day-to-day business lives. This
agenda demonstrated that a wide range of different processes                In fact, thinking operates by a set of mental “defaults.” The
across the whole-brain model were required to successfully                  brain is so efficient that as you develop thinking patterns that
resolve the problems at hand.                                               you repeat day after day, many may become your “defaults.”
                                                                            A default is the option where we automatically go when faced
The outcome of the session was a greatly enhanced team proc-                with a decision or challenge. Once you know what these men-
ess, alignment of team objectives that provided significant sav-             tal defaults are, it is much easier to predict and define what
ings of money and time wasted on “misfires”; new product                     your boundaries will be and thus the areas that will be a chal-
and advertising campaign ideas, and a genuine respect for the               lenge for you to see differently. Our mental defaults impact all
diverse perspectives the team members brought to the table.                 we do. Some defaults save our lives as we problem-solve
                                                                            emergencies such as an oncoming automobile accident that
As it was for this team, an appreciation of thinking styles is the          can be avoided by a quick steering response. Even as learners,
foundation for any group to become innovative in their ap-                  we develop habits around our comfort zones within thought
proach. First, individuals need to recognize the unique ability             defaults.
that resides within each of them and their preferred thinking
styles. Due to their uniqueness and style, each individual will             The following exercise is an example of a mental default. Read
approach problems quite differently. Honoring different think-              over the following list of 10 words for 20 seconds. Then turn
ing approaches will allow every member of a team to share                   away and on a separate piece of paper, without looking at the
their thinking and ideas openly. Once that openness occurs,                 list, write down all the words you can remember.
the team’s innovative capacity begins to emerge, taking advan-
tage of the different thinking styles, rather than experiencing                 bed          dream         snore          sheet            pillow
them as conflicting forces.                                                      snooze        nap         blanket       night light       bedspread

                                                                                                                                               continued page 10

FOCUS July-August 2007 Issue"                                                                                                                                      9
                 A   M    E   R   I   C   A   N   C   R   E   A   T   I   V   I   T   Y      A   S   S   O   C   I   A   T     I   O    N

Creative & Strategic Thinking continued                                   This couldn’t be truer than it is for strategic planning depart-
Now look at the original list again. How many words did you               ments. Strategic thinking and innovation, although different,
recall? Did you write the word “sleep”? Many people do.                   share many features. “Strategic” as a term, however, carries
                                                                          substantial “baggage.”
When the brain sees words relating to a topic, it often “fills in
the blanks” and goes to the associated default (in this case the                          Strategic Thinking vs. Strategic Planning
concept of sleep), even when the brain hasn’t actually seen that
word at all.                                                              Whenever the word “strategic” is uttered, most people think of
                                                                          planning rather than thinking. These two are very different
                                                                          animals indeed. Over the years, large organizations have rele-
Mental defaults activate every time you face a problem to
solve. Your first approach to a problem situation usually uses             gated strategic matters to the planning department and inad-
your mental default to try to come up with an immediate re-               vertently created a bureaucracy. Jack Welch, former CEO of
                                                                          GE, described it this way: “The strategic plan books got
sult. Often this is the way the problem might have been solved
previously. A whole-brain approach to innovative thinking                 thicker, the printing got more sophisticated, the corners got
provides the means to shift you beyond that default to dis-               harder, and the drawings got better.” Yet the best strategy did
cover new ideas and potential solutions. This shift occurs be-            not emerge from tireless efforts mired in the study of the past
cause you engage different—and more productive--thinking                  projected forward. The strategic planning process has indeed
strategies and techniques.                                                become a bureaucracy for many companies, structured more
                                                                          around form than substance. Corporate strategic planning is
                                                                          actually often the antithesis of the speed and future focus
We often look at a problem
for so long that we don’t                                                 needed in a paralysis-by-analysis.
even realize we are still us-
ing our mental default. An                                                Strategic thinking must precede strategic planning.
international lighting com-                                               Most organizations know far more about planning than strate-
pany had a challenge in their                                             gic thinking. The good news is that things are beginning to
European facility: the pack-                                              change. Theorists are emerging to describe this new era of
aging of large light fixtures                                              strategy. Stephen and Shannon Rye Wall put it this way in The
caused costly breakage. Not                                               New Strategists: Creating Leaders at All Levels: “Strategic plan-
only were the costs of the                                                ning’s top-down flow and linear procedures are breaking
packaging and breakage                                                    down, just as the hierarchies of management are. What was
skyrocketing, the materials                                               once a structured, once-a-year activity undertaken by a single
used were difficult and                                                    group of senior managers and planners is becoming an itera-
costly to recycle. The team                                               tive, continuous process that involves the entire organization.”
was sure they had thought
of every possible solution.                                               What about your organization? How does strategy emerge?
They were stuck and men-                                                  What is the process? Are you a participant? What is strategic
tally exhausted. Using                                                    thinking? It is a mindset that allows you to:
whole-brain innovation techniques to tap into their imagina-
tion and get “out of their mental box,” they devised the idea of          !       1) Invent (and anticipate) future events and issues;
packaging the fixtures in a type of garbage can, one which they            !       2) Imagine and create alternative scenarios;
then were easily able to resell rather than worry about recy-             !       3) Destroy your pre-assumptions to free up new
cling or disposal. The recycling problem was solved, and costs                    perspectives on your business.
dropped significantly as did the breakage, saving significant
financial investment and operation losses.                                 Then, and only then, can you:
                                                                          !           4) Assess and understand your options;
To get out of your “thinking box,” first determine what your
                                                                          !           5) Decide on your objectives;
thinking preferences are. This is often discovered by taking an
                                                                          !           6) Determine the direction to achieve those objectives
assessment such as the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instru-
                                                                                      on a winning basis.
ment or other assessment tools. Next, look for ways to learn
tools and develop skills in areas of your lesser preference:
                                                                          Once you have accomplished the latter steps, then a test plan
!   1) Find a mentor;
!   2) Engage with colleagues who have different preferences              can be developed.
    in problem-solving sessions;                                          Without this approach, so-called strategic plans end up using
!   3) Enroll in a training program outside your current focus;           history as the basis for inventing the future, and thus are really
!   4) Read one of the many guides to innovation, try out                 only operational or tactical plans in disguise. The future is not
    several tools and practice them.                                      a straight-line projection of the past.
Awareness of your own “box” is the essential first step! A
commonly cited anonymous quote puts it well:                              To better understand the difference between an operational
                                                                          plan and a strategic plan we can once again look at the
    If you always do what you have always done, then
     you will always get what you have always gotten.                                                                                  continued page 11

10"                                                                                                                          FOCUS July-August 2007 Issue
                  A    M   E    R   I   C   A   N   C   R   E   A   T   I   V   I   T   Y   A   S   S   O   C   I   A   T   I   O     N

Creative & Strategic Thinking continued                                     marketplace and thus learned to regard them as key customers
                                                                            and company assets. As a result, their picture of the business
thinking style differences they each engage. The model below                radically shifted. The group later realized that the products
shows our four different selves from a thinking perspective. Stra-          that distributors really needed weren’t something they manufac-
tegic thinking calls for more D-quadrant thinking, especially in            tured, but could. They seized the opportunity and have never
the beginning. In contrast, operational and tactical thinking               turned back.
require more B quadrant processes.
                                                                            Gaining the competitive edge requires anticipating rather
                                                                            than reacting.
                                                                            This shift in mindset requires looking outside the business and
                                                                            scanning your environment for trends, as well as looking at
                                                                            your customers in a new way by asking new questions. An
                                                                            example of this approach is described in the classic work of
                                                                            Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad, who have explored issues of
                                                                            competitiveness in their ongoing research. They affirm that
                                                                            one of the greatest strategic challenges is to move beyond the
                                                                            focus of today’s agenda. Every business HI works with has a
                                                                            good grasp on today’s business, today’s customer needs and today’s
                                                                            customer types. Hamel and Prahalad propose going beyond that
                                                                            limited perspective to explore those customer types we don’t
                                                                            yet serve and those customer needs not yet articulated.
                                                                            To accomplish this mindshift, first start by anticipating new
                                                                            customer opportunities and alternatives.

                                                                            Blue Ocean Strategy, a recent book that studies successful com-
                                                                            panies around the world, explains that “…you must begin by
                                                                            reorienting your strategic focus from competitors to alterna-
                   Making Strategic Thinking Happen                         tives, and from customers to non-customers.”
So how do you stimulate strategic thinking? Successful strate-
gic thinking often involves understanding factors beyond the                Rather than solve problems as they occur, a strategic approach
walls of your company. This process involves a “scan” of the                avoids problems before they happen and seeks out opportuni-
key factors and general trends around the business that could               ties before they have become obvious to everyone in a given
have an impact on future results. This is not always easy to                industry. To do this, you must think ahead to where you want
assess. How do you stimulate new thinking around the key                    to be (not where you are today), imagine the possibilities, and
elements of the current business?                                           often disrupt today’s business to get there. As Canadian
                                                                            hockey player Wayne Gretsky describes it, “I go to where the
One group of senior executives from a technical company was                 puck will be to win the game.”
looking to determine how their existing customer base might
shift in the future. To help the group gain new perspective on              This is not about guessing what the future may bring. Kevin
their customers, they first participated in an activity based on             O’Conner, a founder of DoubleClick, reminds us that embrac-
metaphors to describe key products, customers, distributors,                ing the future requires a leap of faith: “You will never know
vendors, OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), and                       the future for certain. Understand that and embrace it.”
competitors. Interestingly, all the metaphors chosen by the
                                                                            So how do you get to where the puck “will be?” Once again,
group for the distributors were negative ones. In fact, once the
                                                                            your preferences will act as “filters” that have the greatest im-
group started discussing the metaphors, they realized that the
                                                                            pact on your ability to think strategically.
distributors were really considered more an outlet for unused
or unsold product--rather than a primary source of opportu-                 Some activities that promote a strategic mindset include:
nity and income.                                                               1) Look outside your normal view at different industries
                                                                            and businesses…What can you learn from trends that impact
Next the group scanned the environment for trends using a                   them?
future visioning activity. The exercise revealed that all indica-               2) Seek out “futuristic” perspectives from resources,
tors showed a large percentage of future revenue coming from                conferences, lectures, and experts from all over the world.
distributors due to shifting business trends. The metaphor ex-                  3) Read books on topics that may have an impact on your
ercise had already revealed to the group how negatively they                business in the future (but not necessarily today).
regarded distributors--as anything but key strategic customers.                 4) Play strategy games like chess to practice thinking
                                                                            several moves ahead.
These activities set off a shift in the group’s mindset about dis-              5) Look at your own plans, visualizing where you will be
tributors, who now were seen as strategic customers, not a way              and what you will be doing in the year 2017 and work from
to dump excess product. The team immediately set about to                   there backwards to the present to develop ideas.
develop a targeted strategy that focused on the distributor                                                                         continued page 12

FOCUS July-August 2007 Issue"                                                                                                                       11
                 A   M    E   R   I   C   A   N     C   R   E   A   T      I   V   I   T   Y   A   S    S   O   C   I   A    T     I    O   N

Creative & Strategic Thinking continued

                              Conclusion                                               DEFINING THE OBJECT LESSON
In times of radical change, new thinking is required to antici-                        Cultural factors in “live” information
pate and manage your own future. While the industrial age
required a focus of structure and analysis to build our indus-
tries, it is evident that this new era of “e”-volution demands                                         What did we just learn?
different thinking skills and more strategic and innovative
                                                                               A problem-solving exercise at the March 2007 ACA annual
approaches than ever before. The rapidly changing environ-
                                                                               meeting, “How Your Problem-Solving Style Affects Your
ment, simultaneous bombardment by multi information
                                                                               Work,” provoked some thinking. At first about the exercise
streams, and global perspective will demand that we all draw
                                                                               itself—and then, after some reflection, on the importance of
upon all our thinking skills. This requires going after the un-
                                                                               debriefing the outcomes of learning tasks themselves. How do
known, taking risks, and seizing upon the insight that thinking
                                                                               we learn from our experiences? Are we getting the right in-
can be developed as a powerful skill and leading business as-
                                                                               sight, matched to the object lesson intended? This is a key
                                                                               question for those who teach and train – as many of us know,
REFERENCES                                                                     there are many ways a lesson can go. But in whatever direc-
Cassidy, Joan, From Half Brain to Whole Brain: Learn to create high per-       tion, even off-target, other even more interesting tangents ap-
forming teams, 1998.                                                           pear and invite us to pursue them.
Christensen, Clayton, and Raynor, Michael E, The Innovators Solution:
Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth, (Boston: Harvard Business           In either case, the final debrief is the final stage of the learning,
School Press) 2003.
                                                                               one too often omitted in the time crunch. It equates to the
Hamel, Gary, Leading the Revolution:How to Thrive in Turbulent Times by
                                                                               “Discussion” section of a research report, which reviews the
Making Innovation a Way of Life, (Boston: Harvard Business School
                                                                               study’s hypothesis, the test, the results, and then determines
Press) 2000.
Hamel, Gary, and Prahalad, C.K., Competing for the Future, (Boston:            the meaning and implications of those results. This is where
Harvard Business School Press) 1994.                                           we compare the “lab” results with what we set out to discover
Herrmann, Ned, The Creative Brain, (Lake Lure:Brain Books), 1988.              in order to affirm what was learned—and, more important,
Herrmann, Ned, The Whole Brain Business Book, (New York: McGraw-               how that learning applies in other situations.
Hill)l, 1996.                                                                                               The big issues
Kim, W. Chan, and Mauborgne, Renee, Blue Ocean Strategy: How to
Create ,Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant, (Bos-        The broader issue is one of intelligence: how we transform the
ton: Harvard Business School Press) 2005.                                      outcome of any test case in order to transform experience into
O’Conner, Kevin,and Brown, Paul B,The Map of Innovation, (New York:            knowledge. This operation often requires going beyond the
Crown Business), 2003.                                                         “box” of what we assume a demonstration exercise should
Wall. Stephen, and Rye, Shannon, The New Strategist: Creating Leaders          prove. It always helps to think beyond the immediate goal, to
at All Levels, (New York:The Free Press).2003                                  observe beyond the task, looking for useful categories of op-
                                                                               eration, and finally, noticing whether what was intended to be
Contributor Ann Herrmann-Nehdi is a current                                    learned was in fact communicated. This principle holds for all
ACA Advisory Board member. Ann is CEO of                                       behavior as it feeds our knowledge of the world in general, not
Herrmann International, publisher of the                                       just creativity in particular – although creativity, as an elevated
Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument™                                           human thinking function, seems to be the preferred place to
(HBDI™) which is based on extensive research on                                search for meaning through peak performance.
thinking and the brain. Having resided in Europe
                                                                               As an example, psychologist Jean Piaget designed tasks he
for 13 years, Ann brings a global perspective to the company. Since            thought were of average difficulty, but found that children be-
joining Herrmann International USA 20 years ago, Ann’s personal                fore a certain age couldn’t perform them. Rather than labeling
goal is to promote a better understanding of how individuals and               the subjects as slow, his analysis led to the discovery of age-
organizations think and become more effective, as well as enhance              stage ability that before hadn’t been charted. Another on-the-
learning and communication technologies worldwide through the                  ground experiment, Philip Zimbardo’s famous “Stanford
application and development of the whole brain concept. Herrmann               prison” study of the 1960s, proved less about the prisoner re-
International Website: www.HBDI.com                                            sponse to authority (the study’s aim) and far more about the
                                                                               power of social situations to turn guards into abusers. This
                                                                               landmark example documented the unforeseen potential of
                ACA in Singapore                                               role-playing. In retail behavior, the Ikea chain has begun to
                                                                               charge a nickel for every plastic shopping bag, pledging that
                                                                               money to grow more trees. It will be interesting to observe the
      CREATIVITY ACROSS CULTURES                                               outcomes on consumers. Does this policy punish the shopper
             February 25-29,2008                                               for needing the short-term plastic, resulting in reduced use, or
                                                                               will it actually encourage spending for the promise of more
 For Information: www.amcreativityassoc.org                                    forest growth?
                                                                                                                                       continued on page 13

12"                                                                                                                              FOCUS July-August 2007 Issue