Category Archives: Creativity

What prevents people from celebrating World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21?

Even though the WCID April 21 celebration is relatively new, it’s growing, and people are learning about it now that it is a United Nations Day of Observance.

Do you think that feeling self-conscious may prevent people from celebrating their capacity to generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes to make the world a better place and make their place in the world better too?
Think about it.

When it comes to creativity, many say they want to make sure they get it ‘right’ as if there is an external measure to meet, as if there is a perfection standard they must attain. There isn’t. Not where creativity is involved.*

Creativity is a natural process that results from a restlessness to change or improve the status quo. (Segal, 2001). We all feel that restlessness from time to time. We engage in new and different activities, use new patterns of thinking, perceive with new eyes, and/or seek new experiences. We might structure things differently, relate to others in new ways as a result.  Examples:  rearrange furniture; modify a recipe; take a new route to school; eat breakfast for dinner; hold meetings in a different location; invite unusual suspects to participate in the planning process.

Margaret Mead

Each these could be considered creative.  American Anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “In as much as someone has done something new for himself, he can be considered to have committed a creative act.” To which I like to add – whether other people consider it creative or not.

Backward Clock

Moving forward There’s no turning back the clock. We moved forward. We are creating the future with today’s resources and ideas. The World Economic Forum predicts creativity to be one of the top three skills employees will need by 2020. Yes, we moved on.

Creativity is one of our resources. By celebrating it every year April 21 and during the week leading up to it beginning on Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday, April 15 we prepare for the future.

Thought catalysts For your WCID this year, and for every year moving forward consider these thought catalysts

  • What is in your environment that can do with some improving?
    Improve it.
  • What ordinary activity might you make more fun?
    Make it more fun.
  • What efficiencies might you bring to a process? Bring them.

New ideas need a soft place to land. Remember there is balance in the universe.  Every idea influences a reaction. Giving new ideas a soft place to land will be the focus of a future blog post.

Confusion about creativity The term creative can be confusing. Insert the term before each of the following as an example:  economies, industries, advertising, agencies, media, digital, technology, sports plays, arts, commons, market, writing, images, resumes, ideas, photography, dance, quotes. In each instance, there’s a slightly different meaning.

A practical approach  For our purposes, to enable everyone to celebrate WCID and WCIW here’s the understanding used:  Generating new ideas, making new decisions, taking new actions and achieving new outcomes that make the world a better place and make your place in the world better too.

Remember to upload your WCID2018 and WCIW2018 actions to share with the world.


Segal, Marci (2001) Creativity and Personality Type: Tools for understanding and inspiring the many voices of creativity. Huntington Beach: Telos Publications.

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What can you do for World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21?

Start an imagination practice.

George Land‘s 2011 TEDx talk came across my Facebook feed today. I will always remember the class he guest taught.
George asked us, undergrads at the International Center for Studies in Creativity, to practice using divergent thinking. Even though we already knew how – he took our capabilities far further.
“Write down 5 of your strengths,” he said, “then draw a line.” After we finished, he said, “Now do it again.” This exercise went on for an hour and 40 minutes. Five strengths and a line, five strengths and a line. It was grueling.
By the end of that class, I realized I had strengths that I never knew about – like having brown hair, or breathing, and being able to laugh and cry. My perceptions and appreciation of strengths forever changed that day.
In school we practiced using our imaginations on a regular basis; we’d learned techniques by which to stretch and then focus thinking to make something of it. When I saw George’s TEDx talk, I was reminded of that.
I was also reminded that not everyone has the same experience using their imaginations; many may uncomfortable or shy away from using their imaging capabilities. Think that might be you?
if so, what if you began an imagination practice for World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 as George suggests at the end of his talk, to bring out your latent genius. Then, with practice, you can apply using your imagination on challenges to create new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes.
Seriously, watch this video all the way through. George gives basics behind what we all need to be capable of to create the world of tomorrow and to align with and meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals – to use creativity in problem-solving to make the world a better place and to make our place in the world better too.
Spoiler alert: George is going to mention the accelerator and the brake. Watch out for that.


Want an imagination practice buddy? Why not? Take George’s advice at the end of this video, ask a friend to help generate other similar kinds of exercise and see what you accomplish. It’ll be good for your brain, good for your body, good for your future.

Leaders can turn creativity into a competitive advantage, says IDEO's Tim Brown

Imagine starting off a conversation at your next meeting during World Creativity and Innovation Week, April 15 – 21 with these statements from a Tim Brown, IDEO CEO Harvard Business Review article from November 2016.

“All of our management practices need to be updated: how organizations are structured, how we deploy capital, how we interact and collaborate with broader networks, what tools and technology we embrace and deploy, what we measure, what markets we target, who we hire and how we lead. Of these, how we lead and the kind of culture we create are the essential starting points.

When our goal is efficiency, our concept of governance includes ensuring standardization, high levels of coordination, careful assessment of risk, and, of course, the elimination of waste. When we want to be creatively fit, governance looks quite different. It should be, and feel, more nurturing. It should focus on speed of learning and rigorous experimentation. It benefits from an attitude of abundance.

Nurturing a creatively competitive organization requires curiosity above all else. Asking the right questions is more important (and more difficult) than having the right answers. One of my favorite Victorian entrepreneurs, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, asked the seemingly ridiculous question, “How can I create the experience of floating over the English countryside?” in his quest to building the first large scale, long-distance railway service in England.”

More at: https://hbr.org/2016/11/leaders-can-turn-creativity-into-a-competitive-advantage

See what you can do.

Creativity involves new connections, listening, that's right

Would you agree that you are the product of a creative act?

For you to exist, two cells connected for the first time in a hospitable environment, and grew.

This World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21, make new connections.

Why?

Every person, idea, group, organization, challenge, or opportunity carries a similar cell be it an idea or a question that, when paired with another, can give birth to a new solution, product, service, approach to life.

Help give birth to the world we want by making new connections with issues related to sustainability, personally, professionally, and intentionally, to create a world we want, and a world future generations will appreciate and be grateful for.

WCID (April 21)  and WCIWeek (April 15-21) provide a hospitable environment in which new connections can be started, nurtured and grow.

Listen. 

“Listening to each other gives birth to an unborn child,” said Vijay Ayer, jazz musician, and MacArthur Fellow. ” Music is made of us listening to each other.”

Let’s connect, listen and make music World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21.

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.

Five lessons Walt Disney and Steve Jobs can teach us about innovation | ZDNet

There are startling parallels in the lives of Walt Disney and Steve Jobs. Their dedication to product quality and innovation transformed industries.
Lessons:

  • Don’t give up
  • Finding the right creative partner can be a force multiplier
  • Betting on new technologies ahead of the curve can be a strong differentiator
  • Perfectionism, if you can survive it, can create deep customer loyalty
  • Mashing up disciplines is new ways can transform industries

Read the blog post – First, you get to see Disney’s breakthrough Steamboat Willie animation and you’ll be exposed to good stories and examples to leverage as inspiration for your new WCIW – in 2017 and beyond.
Source: Five lessons Walt Disney and Steve Jobs can teach us about innovation | ZDNet

Research Shows Walking Actually Improves Creative Ability. Here’s How

Do you ever get a really good idea and then unconsciously begin pacing back and forth? Do you ever notice how, when this happens, the great ideas just keep on flowing?
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.collective-evolution.com
Don’t know what to do for World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 to 21? Why not just go for a walk?
See on Scoop.itCreativity and Learning Insights