Category Archives: WCID principles

Happy 40th Anniversary to Why Man Creates. Creativity Principles Learned.

Leading up to the 90th Academy Awards Ceremony is a great time to honour the 1968 winner of the documentary short subject – Why Man Creates.

4BF6C08C-EEF5-41ED-AA9F-C2BE7A88FBF1We watched Why Man Creates every semester when I was an undergraduate and graduate student at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College; from September 1977 through to December 1983.

Students and faculty at the Center quoted lines from the film because it was shown with such regularity, ‘I’m a bug, I’m a germ, I’m a bug, I’m a germ.  Ha – Louis Pasteur, I’m not a bug I’m not a germ.’

Creativity Principle: Look beyond the obvious

Every semester when our professor, Dr. Ruth Noller, showed it, I’d moan.

“I’ve seen it already,” I’d say.

“Then find something new in the film,” Ruth replied; like clockwork, every semester.

And so I did.  Ruth modeled an important principle you can use to fashion your WCID and WCIW celebrations. I learned to look beyond the obvious, to dig deeper, to see new things in the old – skills I use to this day.

Creativity Principle: Harsh immediate judgments are like a shot in the gut

One scene, in particular, stood out. An artist, who, in creating a sculpture, experiences an insight of grand proportions. He adds this new idea to his artwork and then, puts the sculpture on show.

We see a crowd gathered, commenting on this piece of art. Each utterance is a criticism. “It’s unAmerican.” I can’t say what I think because I’m from Nebraska, and you know what we are like.” “It will never fly Orville.”

We see the artist dressed like an American cowboy, receiving the comments as if each is a bullet. With each comment, he buckles over as if hit in the gut.

This scene profoundly moved me. Still does. Every time I hear an immediate ‘no’ to a new idea, it feels like a shot to the gut. From that I generalized this must be how others feel with rejection, immediate harsh criticism to their new thinking, that, in turn, discourages them from using their creative imagination and contributing new and different ideas, thinking, or potential solutions.

Wouldn’t it be great for people to inquire about new ideas rather than judge them harshly and critically upon first learning of them?  That’s one of my wishes for World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21, that the portal for considering new ideas opens wider to enable free use of imagination applied to create a decent life for all on a sustainable planet.

Prepare for World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21: An Invitation

I invite you to take a step back in history and to participate in the worldview of the times. Watch the 1968 film. Highlight your connections and insights in the comments section.

What principles emerge for you?

It’ll be interesting to see the meanings we make today.

Why Man Creates

Cheers!

Marci

Google Doodle Request for #WCID2018

Hi Everyone,

I hope you can help.

Today I posted an email to proposals@google.com. I asked the team to create a Google Doodle for World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21, to help spread the word and concept behind it. Which is…

Everyone can generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes to make the world a better place and to make their place in the world better too.

I’m hoping you’ll be able to help and to write the Google Doodle team as well with a request.  proposals@google.com

Here’s are examples of a few Google Doodles. These will appear on the Google search engine page

 

Here’s the text of the email:

Hey there Google Doodlers!

I’m writing to inspire you to include a Google Doodle for World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21, 2018 (WCID).  It’s the first time the United Nations will be celebrating it; the UN General Assembly passed a resolution to include WCID among their International Days of Observance in 2017.

The UN wants people to use creativity in problem-solving to advance meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. “Traditional thinking,” UN Ambassador from St. Vincent and the Grenadines Rhonda King, said, “will not help us solve the problems we have.”

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Here’s the 5-minute video of Ambassador I. Rhonda King speaking for the resolution:

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Creative studies grad student Nicolette Wever created this graphic during a talk I gave last month at the International Center for Studies in Creativity, Creativity Expert Exchange, about the UN resolution. Underneath it is a photo of me. Pretty good likeness, eh? (for WCIW.org readers, the video of the speech will be posted when it is ready.)

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WCID observances began in 2001 – it’s a folk celebration intended to include everyone on the planet, to generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes to make the world a better place and to make our place in the world better too.

On our homespun website (it’s a labour of love, no money involved, entirely volunteer) you’ll see that people in over 50 countries take part in activities ranging from friends potluck suppers to multinational organizations pushing their need for innovation speed and engagement. Schools, universities, clubs, you name it – all are invited to take part – it’s like Mothers Day in a way – each celebrates in ways relevant to their context.

It would be great to have your support. Please help spread the word and to align with the UN’s first official event for WCID by creating and posting a Google Doodle for the day.

Please help spread the energy to inspire new thinking all over the world.

Might you?

Feel free to get in touch for conversation, further info, and to make suggestions??

Thanks!!  Hope to hear from you soon.

 

Best regards

Marci

(for WCIW.org readers – will certainly keep you informed of progress.  Please send an email to proposals@google.com to strengthen the ask for a WCID April 21 Google Doodle. Thanks!)

New Ideas Need a Soft Place To Land

You can quote me on this. I’ve been using the phrase and the idea behind it for years to explain that people feel more comfortable contributing new thinking, knowing their ideas will be well received; that psychological safety exists.

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Let’s face it, over 15,000 scientists worldwide agree we need to shift away from ‘business as usual’ toward a more environmentally sustainable way of acting, living. With that big ask, comes opportunities to use imagination, to free thinking to create new futures.

Environments with psychological safety give new ideas a soft place to land. Not necessarily adopted, as put into action, heard and considered.

Psychologically safe environments let people risk new ways of thinking and understanding challenges, and stretch beyond ‘normal’ to consider alternative methods, outcomes, and activities without feeling threatened, insecure or embarrassed.  In other words, out of the box thinking is welcomed; people walk the talk, they encourage using curiosity and exploration.

I recently read Inc magazine’s recently published article The Results of Google’s Team Effectiveness Research Will Make You Rethink How You Build Teams.  It cited the importance of psychological safety as a determinant of effective teams. Other qualities are dependability, structure and clarity, meaning, and impact.

What if, in the lead up to World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21, you planned to enable psychological safety in your environment?

Innovation is about people after all. New ideas need a soft place to land. See what you can do to be open and receptive to new thinking – yours and others’.

WCID founder Marci Segal outside the UN April 20, 2017. WCID founder Marci Segal outside the UN April 20, 2017.

What’s WCID all about?

I was at our local chamber of commerce informal business networking event last night and invited those present, in 1:1 conversations, to begin planning for their World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21, 2018.

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Tanya Sullivan, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant reviews WCID one-sheet with Marci Segal at Bow Valley Chamber of Commerce Bevvies and Business, October 25, 2017, held at Canmore Brewing Company.

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Observations: Many did not know about it, and when they learned of the UN’s adoption of the day, paid attention.

I brought along a document, a handout, WCID One pager October 2017, that, given people’s reactions, needs improving.

As I discussed the WCID opportunities available for local businesses, some people understood right away, and others, well, not so much.

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The Question: This morning, on reflection I wondered – what is World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 and Week, April 15-21 all about? That is, how to best describe to people to invite participation?

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The Aha! WCID is about flexibilizing people’s brains; to use new patterns of thinking to approach the challenges we face and will face in the future.

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The Story: I took my first course in Creative Studies in 1977 with Dr. Sidney J. Parnes at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo. On the first day of class, he handed out a blue examination booklet and said, “Solve a problem.”

I didn’t know what to do, so, I wrote 2+2=4 on the first page, closed the booklet, wrote my name on the cover and handed it in. I was out of the class in less than a minute.

At the end of the semester, without my knowing he would, Sid did the exactly the same thing.  He handed out blue examination booklets and said, “Solve a problem.”

This time, I opened the booklet and began to write, “Wouldn’t it be nice if…” and proceeded to use the creative problem-solving process we learned. I…

  • Identified a challenge to address
  • Scoped its context
  • Defined an opportunity for problem-solving
  • Generated many different ideas
  • Sculpted a prototype solution, and
  • Mapped its action plan.

After about 90 minutes, I closed the book, wrote my name on the cover and, before handing it over to Sid, asked if I could have it back when he was finished with it.  Sid smiled and said, “Yes.”

Sid Parnes, Marci Segal, 1995
Sid Parnes and Marci Segal at ACRE 2 in South Africa, 1995

In 16 weeks I learned how to use creativity in problem-solving; to honour the human spirit of curiosity, exploration, wonder, and imagination, and use them to perceive challenges and opportunities, and solve them, in new, unusual and relevant ways.

There was no looking back.

WCID founding principle 1: Wouldn’t it be great if everyone in the world had the confidence in their capacity to use creativity in problem-solving?

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Call to Action

In planning for your WCID2018 do what you can to use your brain in ways it hasn’t been used before, to increase its flexibleness and your resilience to adapting to and creating meaningful change.

What are some ways to help people feel confident in their abilities to use their creativity in problem-solving?  Feel free to add suggestions, references, and resources for people to consult in the comments section.

WCID: celebrating that we can generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new results that make the world a better place and make our place in the world better too.