Creativity Passes Through You

watermelonIn you is the history of the world, the pressure of the present and the potential for the future.

You are created so that the energy of life passes through to continue the chain of creating…

What are your plans for World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21,  2013?

Is a traffic jam a tribe?

A wonderful commentary for taking a fresh look at a plague to all in urban centers.  Models looking at a situation in a brand new way.  Is a traffic jam a tribe?.

See if you can use this example from this blog post to practice these creativity – enhancing abilities

  • defer judgement
  • come from an attitude of curiousity
  • see the humour in the new connection
  • build on new insights, take the ideas further
  • project the idea into the future for a new product, service, social innovation ideas

 

Marci Segal, MS, Creativity and Change Leadership; Freeing leaders’ thinking so they can create new futures, founder, World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21

World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 2013 – Starts on a Monday

Greetings all – the calendar is out – and Leonardo Da Vinci’s birthday the first day of World Creativity and Innovation Week, April 15 – 21, 2013 falls on a Monday – that gives you a great week to… to…

CHILL!  That’s right, this year’s celebrations will revolve around you doing something a little new, a little different.  You’ll discover another form of creativity that’s passive instead of active: appreciating, relishing, admiring instead of making, building, initiating.

There’s so many asking us to be actively creative every moment of everyday that this year, for our WCIW, we’re asking you to breathe, give thanks, affirm what creativity has done for you over your lifetime, and what creativity can do for you moving forward.

When we talk about creativity we mean new ideas used to create new solutions that will lead to new actions.  2013’s WCIW is about allowing your new ideas come from not doing, from pausing, taking a shower, going for a walk, waking, meditating, watching a fire, slowing down.

Are you up to it for one week in 2013? Are you willing to appreciate, observe, connect, intuit, recall, and admire all the creativity that came before you and again for that which will come from now until forever?

Wonder what that would be like before the actual day?  Can you imagine slowing down and paying attention and giving thanks for what is right in front of you that resulted from someone’s creativity? Why not try it on for size and write in about your experiences, so others can share.

Vote for World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21, 2013 Theme

lifeissimpleGreat theme for World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21, 2013, no? With a sprinkling of some reflection and appreciation, too?

Think you can work with this for your celebration this year?

Like, if yes.

The Brainstorming Myth: a repost from EidoScope

Just in time for World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21, comes this blogpost link forwarded from the International Center for Studies in Creativity 

Is Brainstorming a Myth?

Català: Imatge de pluja d'idees

The Jan 30, 2012 issue of the New Yorker carries an article entitled Groupthink -The brainstorming myth (The science of team effort) by Jonah Lehrer. The intent, apparently, of the article is to debunk the myth that brainstorming is an effective creative process. Instead, the author’s hope is to convince us that we should be thinking of creativity as a social activity that needs a healthy dose of constructive criticism to be effective.

The article begins by introducing us to the work of Alex Osborn, who in the 1940s coined the term “brainstorming” and introduced it to the world through his book “Your Creative Power”.  Like any pioneering idea, Osborn’s concept was fairly simple – get people together, let them generate as many ideas as possible, do not criticize, do not provide negative feedback. IDEO a premier design firm is thought of practicing this in its original form.  The big problem according to Lehrer, it doesn’t work. He goes on to cite many studies:  Yale study of creative puzzle solving. Groups did worse than individuals.  Apparently, “Decades of research have consistently shown that brainstorming groups think of far fewer ideas than the same number of people who work alone and later pool their ideas”.

Later in the article, he attempts to build a case for his alternative to the brainstorming myth drawing from examples of team compositions of broadway musicals, collaboration in science as evidenced by large numbers of coauthors, studio design (Pixar Animation) affording chance encounters between personnel, and the legendary Building 20 @ MIT. Along the way he is also dismissive of virtual teams (a vigorously thriving model in a world is flat environment) and long distance collaboration in general.

Here in lies the problem. The article falls prey to confirmation bias. It also becomes abundantly clear that Lehrer has not spent anytime designing or developing products under the pressures of a business environment. Most of the studies he cites were conducted in an academic setting.  He devotes a significant portion of the article to Building 20 @ MIT and seems to be simply taken in by the happenings there.  The issue I have here is that the story compresses the timelines in which the serendipitous encounters produced groundbreaking ideas. Real businesses can never afford those timelines to deliver products profitably. If anything, real businesses operate on creative steroids. Lehrer also seems to have missed the whole Open Source revolution or the phenomenon of crowdsourcing.

Now, back to brainstorming.  Having designed multiple products and being involved in multiple problem solving scenarios, the creativity process can span the whole spectrum from brainstorming as Osborn conceived it to more nuanced, hotly debated interactions.  Where you operate in the spectrum is a function of the macro or micro scope of the problem at hand. In fact, modern day usage of the term comprehends the inclusion of debate and/or feedback as part of early explorations of an idea or a solution. Merriam-Webster online defines it as

: a group problem-solving technique that involves the spontaneous contribution of ideas from all members of the group; also : the mulling over of ideas by one or more individuals in an attempt to devise or find a solution to a problem

To be sure, there are kernels of truth peppered around the article. But Lehrer may have done well to brainstorm his ideas with his peers to gain some validity.

Creativity 1 and Creativity 2

Creativity 1: It’s Always

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. – Louis L’Amour

“Each one of us is a blend of life and death. In the most literal sense, our bodies always contain old cells that are dying and new cells that are emerging as replacements. From a more metaphorical perspective, our familiar ways of seeing and thinking and feeling are constantly atrophying, even as fresh modes emerge. Both losing and winning are woven into every day; sinking down and rising up; shrinking and expanding. In any given phase of our lives, one or the other polarity is usually more pronounced.”

“There is no path that goes all the way.” Hang Shen, Daoist poet.

Creativity 2: Question: Creativity = new ideas + new decisions. What else do we call it and where is it used?

Other names for creativity

  • invention, innovation, humour, entrepreneurship, surprise
  • unexpected, novelty, originality, new, improved, game changer
  • personal expression, new uses, new perspectives
  • evolution, revolution, incremental change, disruptive change
  • improvisation, negotiation, stabilization, facilitation, strategic plan

Where used

  • research, product development
  • raising children, teaching, budgeting
  • relationship building, health and lifestyle
  • caring for others, caring for self
  • politics, sport, entertainment, media, business
  • science, technology, psychology, urban planning
  • travel, sustainability, economics, arts
  • networking, questioning, hypothesizing, wondering
  • speaking, writing, learning, playing
  • at home, at work, at school, in community, when shopping, when selling…

 

i-am-creative-iconsWorld Creativity and Innovation Week (WCIW) is April 15 – 21.  It’s a time for you to bring your creativity into the spotlight; to use new ideas and make new decisions that make your world a bit more satisfying – without, of course, causing harm.  What might you do during WCIW in 2011 make the world a better place and to make your place in the world better too?

  • Muscles Remember Past Glory (wired.com)
    Pumping up is easier for people who have been buff before, and now scientists think they know why — muscles retain a memory of their former fitness even as they wither from lack of use.  hm…Do we have same capacity for our creativity?
  • After the Show: The Many Faces of the Performer (psychologytoday.com)
    Creativity researchers aren’t so confused. They have long-ago accepted the fact that creative people are complex. Almost by definition, creativity is complex. Creative thinking is influenced by many traits, behaviors, and sociocultural factors that come together in one person (see “Could Michael Jackson Have Created Twitter?”). It would be surprising if all of these factors didn’t sometimes, or even most of the time, appear to contradict one another.

Creative and Philanthropic Team Building Activities: Ones that Give Back

Wondering what you might do for World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 in 2011 and beyond? Here’s a great idea from Team Builders Plus.

Philanthropic Team Building…Give & Get Even More Back in Return
by Andy Kraus

Source: Jonathan Calugi. http://www.happyloverston.eu

Despite what is going on with our current economic situation, most corporate groups understand the value of taking part in a team building activity. Goals of the team building activity have gone beyond showing appreciation, boosting morale and improving employee relationships. Many teams are utilizing the time dedicated to a team building activity as an opportunity to make a positive impact on their community.

Wheels for the World is a popular team building activity where the participants build bicycles and take part in challenges to earn the bicycle parts. The bikes are then donated to kids from United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Boys & Girls Club, to name a few, and for many of the kids, its their first bike.

There is a new outdoor philanthropic team building activity called Kindness Wins. This is no ordinary treasure hunt. Instead of searching for hidden clues or caches, teams are let loose to make a positive difference. No good deed is too small and no act of kindness goes unnoticed. Teams earn Good Karma points by holding a door open for a stranger, returning something, such as a shopping cart, to its proper place, or by using a Post-it note to make someone’s day.

There are many more acts of kindness that your team will take part in and participants will also have the opportunity to create their own symbol of generosity and giving that will serve as a reminder back at work of what they experienced on this special day.

Combining a team building program with a philanthropic activity is a win-win for everyone, functionally, spiritually and mentally.

Andy Kraus, is the Director of Team Development at Team Builders Plus, in Cherry Hill, NJ.

Other Philanthropic Team Building Ideas and Suppliers

Team Bonding offers a number of philanthropic team building activities that ‘do good’ for the team and the community. A great list to get the gist of this growing approach to building teams.

Team Buzz offers The Rookie. The main objective of this activity is for teams to grow a small investment into a big pile of money. They will do this through a range of tasks they are required to perform such as busking, creating artwork to be sold, shoe shining, and a lot more money making opportunities for the public. In the end, the money earned by teams can be donated to a charity of your own choice.

TeamBuilding Unlimited calls their philanthropic team building activities Charity Challenge. Have Your Cake and Eat it Too capitalizes on team creativity and sweet tooth and community service. Teams are challenged to design and decorate cakes to reflect their team, their company and more that will be donated to local hospitals, schools and children’s centers. TBU provides the sheet cakes, decorations and icing that teams use to create a visual and tasty masterpiece.

World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21

If you could invent a brand new charity challenge or philanthropic team building activity for World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 what would it be?  Ready to start creating one?  What if you did?

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Open minds, hearts, eyes to new ideas, new decisions, new actions: one week worldwide

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