Archive for the 'creativity' Category

Does the future need experts?

Apr 10 2017 Published by Neil Gains under creativity

I was lucky to attend a very interesting panel discussion last week, organised by the British Council along with the University of London and Royal Holloway College. Much of the discussion focused on the current discontent with “experts”, expressed most famously by Michael Gove during the UK referendum which led to Brexit. Much of the discussion focused on the implications for higher education. Some panellists agreed with a statement I’ve heard elsewhere that one of the biggest trends of the last 100 years is the professionalisation and specialisation of the world. Read more »

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Don’t Let Short Term Thinking Kill Creativity

Oct 30 2016 Published by Neil Gains under creativity

In their most recent report on advertising creativity and effectiveness, the IPA and author Peter Field reach the startling conclusion that both creativity and effectiveness are under threat. And who are the culprits? They believe that short-term thinking and especially a focus on driving rapid sales effects, combined with the post-global financial crisis recession, are killing the creativity of advertising. Read more »

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Digest, Sleep, Create

Aug 13 2015 Published by Neil Gains under creativity

What can sleep teach us about creativity? In The Secret World of Sleep, Penelope Lewis describes what sleep enables us to do that we can’t while awake. In many ways, the book is not just about sleep, but about the science of the brain, how memory works and what sleep brings to the creative process.

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How to Use Your Imagination

May 18 2012 Published by Neil Gains under creativity

Chance favours the prepared mind

The approaches that businesses use for brainstorming are widespread (almost universal) and date back to the work of Alex Osborn in the late 1940s. In his new book Imagine, Jonah Lehrer argues that some of the assumptions for these tools are wrong, and that we need to rethink, at least in part, how we understand and practise the creative process, basing his arguments on scientific studies and latest brain science. Read more »

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From Complex Contradictions to Simple Success

Sep 23 2011 Published by Neil Gains under creativity

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to to see that things are hopeless yet be determined to make them otherwise.”  - F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.”  - Albert Einstein

Connecting the dots

Are you drowning in the sea of data yet? As the world becomes more and more complex, with more and more information to understand and less and less time to do this, the importance of integrative thinking becomes more and more important. In The Opposable Mind, Roger Martin presents a number of convincing business case studies, including A.G. Lafley at P&G, Jack Welch at GE, Michael Lee-Chin at AIC and Martha Graham (who revolutionised modern dance), all of whom were able to see problems from a range of perspectives, think in terms of total systems and not component parts, and simplify complex ideas into straight forward (and often disruptive) solutions to problems. Read more »

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Trading Problems

Apr 05 2011 Published by Neil Gains under creativity

Dan Pink’s post on solving problems by sharing them intrigued and inspired me.  He reports recent research which shows that we are quicker and better at solving problems when we are solving them for other people than when we solve them for ourselves, and we get better and better the ‘further’ away we are from the person.  Put another way, the more we are able to distance ourselves from a problem, the more abstract and creative our problem solving is. It can really help your perspective to trade places with someone else (as Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy discovered). Read more »

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The Funny Thing About Creativity

Aug 16 2010 Published by admin under creativity

“He who laughs most, learns best.”  - John Cleese

John Cleese talks about the basis of creativity in our unconscious mind in this great video clip (thanks to @heartofinnovation for drawing my attention to this).  He also highlights some great tips for creating the right conditions for creativity :

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Does Creativity Pay?

Aug 11 2010 Published by admin under creativity

“I view my role more as trying to set up an environment where the personalities, creativity and individuality of all the different employees come out and can shine.”  - Tony Hsieh

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Showering with Ideas

Aug 10 2010 Published by admin under creativity

“There’s no half singing in the shower. you’re either a rock star or an opera diva.”  - Josh Groban

I don’t often sing in the shower (don’t worry – you haven’t missed much!).  However, I get many of my best ideas there, and based on conversations with friends, I think they do too.  Why is that?

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Cracking creativity

Aug 03 2010 Published by admin under creativity

“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.”  - Edward de Bono

“If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.”  - John Cleese

Is there a secret?

The secret to creativity is not to overcomplicate the creative process.  At heart, most of us know what’s really required.  There is no magic solution or silver bullet.  No one can guarantee a ground-breaking idea either, and the secret to success is to keep doing it!

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