Posted by Plish on May 23, 2012
A few years back, I blogged about IdeaPaint’s Whiteboard paint.
Now they’ve gone one glorious step further:
CLEAR Whiteboard Paint!
That is correct. You don’t have to change the colors of your walls, or any other surfaces, for that matter. Just cover them with this transparent, writable glaze and you’re ready to go.
There really is no excuse for not having a whiteboard space.
Thank you, IdeaPaint!
Posted in Traditional Brainstorming, idea generation, Workplace Creativity, culture of innovation, Creative Environments, Sketching, imagination | Tagged: creative environment, Design, IdeaPaint, ideation, innovation, interior design, whiteboard, Workplace Creativity | 2 Comments »
Posted by Plish on May 12, 2012
Inside your brain there’s a creativity censor. With finger poised above the ‘Bleep’ button, he’s constantly protecting you from ideas that he deems useless, or worse: foolish. He knows what every boss wants, what every friend thinks of you, what strangers see when they look at you. He knows what’s best for you and the best way to get it.
On more than one occasion I’ve seen this censor, singlehandedly, dull brilliance and turn a symphony into an energy sapping drone.
Why would the censor do this? Because he’s protecting you! Give him a free rein and you will comfortably reside in the Status Quo. You won’t look like a fool, you won’t push the envelope, you won’t feel uncomfortable.
Your creativity and the potential for great ideas will also come to a screeching halt.
Ideas build upon ideas – yours and others. They are stepping-stones. Remove one and things might be okay…might. Remove two or three and you’re constrained to walking on one plane.
So, what can you do?
You need to teach yourself to not listen to the censor, but instead to listen to the ideas. When you hear the “BLEEP!” you need to ignore it. Instead, write the idea down and play with it. See where it leads. Nowhere? That’s okay! But, the very act of acknowledging that idea has now given you a stepping stone to another idea, and another, and….
Don’t get me wrong. There is still a time and place to listen to the censor. But, when you’re trying to come up with ideas, looking for new possibilities, exploring the unknown, your imagination is your friend, your light. Work together with your ideas!
This is exemplified beautifully in this blog post over at Thoughts on Theater. I’m going to end this piece with a quote directly from her post, as it’s a wonderful read (as is her entire blog). It’s about Academy Award winning screenwriter, Robert Pirosh. He was a copywriter that wanted to become a Hollywood screenwriter. Here’s how he finally landed his dream job:
(Pirosh) sent the following note to all of the major studios, received a slew of interview requests, and finally accepted an offer as a junior writer at MGM. From there he went on to win an Academy Award and write for some of the best and brightest (including the Marx Brothers). Just another testament to the fact that you should not water yourself down in order to obtain the dream job. Do not censor the you that just might land you the gig.
I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave “V” words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty. I like sullen, crabbed, scowling words, such as skulk, glower, scabby, churl. I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land’s-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker, genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon. I like wormy, squirmy, mealy words, such as crawl, blubber, squeal, drip. I like sniggly, chuckling words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp.
I like the word screenwriter better than copywriter, so I decided to quit my job in a New York advertising agency and try my luck in Hollywood, but before taking the plunge I went to Europe for a year of study, contemplation and horsing around.
I have just returned and I still like words.
May I have a few with you?
385 Madison Avenue, Room 610
New York Eldorado 5-6024
Posted in idea generation, problem solving, Nature of Creativity, Workplace Creativity, Creative Thinking Techniques, innovation, Design, culture of innovation, The Human Person, Authenticity, creativity, imagination | Tagged: creativity, innovation, idea generation, Nature of Creativity, Workplace Creativity, problem solving, Creative Thinking Techniques, Design, imagination, creative problem solving, human authenticity | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Plish on February 18, 2012
Over at the Looper’s Delight group we were discussing what to do with ideas that don’t grow the way we expected, or wanted them to. Richard Sales of Glasswing Studios and Good Nature Farms (A farm/Creative sanctuary) then said the following:
We have a policy at our house that, when someone is in the creative moment, we tiptoe, we close doors quietly, we are very respectful of the presence of the Muse – that lightning fast butterfly. When we accidentally barge in, we dont’ make conversation and apologize etc. Everyone is trained.
This is such a great practice to follow!
Everyone puts such a great emphasis on collaboration nowadays, we assume that the best results will only occur when everyone is open to everyone else. Businesses try and force collaboration through architecture, work flows, etc.
Yet, how often do businesses respect the need for people to seriously engage their muses; to afford people the silence to hear the silent whispers of inspiration within? How often to we tread lightly when approaching people who are immersed in their creative moments?
How can businesses and people structure the environment, or create rules, so that individual creative moments are free to blossom?
Beautiful, amazing, new, hybrid plants are possible through botanical cooperation – the collaboration of multiple flowers.
But before this can occur, each flower needs to bloom on its own…
Posted in idea generation, problem solving, Nature of Creativity, Workplace Creativity, innovation, Design, culture of innovation, The Human Person, Authenticity, Creative Environments, creativity, imagination, Architectural Design | Tagged: creativity, innovation, idea generation, culture of innovation, Workplace Creativity, problem solving, Design, open plan office, inspiration, Creative Environments, imagination, collaboration | 1 Comment »
Posted by Plish on October 9, 2011
To keep creative productivity at its optimum, it’s important to be able to detect when we’re overstressed so we can decompress and allow the creativity to flow. However, sometimes people get so caught up in trying to be productive that the ability to detect stress gets dulled. Here’s an interesting technology that can help people detect when they’re pushing themselves (or being pushed) too hard.
Posted in innovation, Research, The Human Person, Health Concerns, creativity, Wellness, Medical Devices | Tagged: creativity, innovation, Workplace Creativity, stress, wellness, human health | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Plish on August 14, 2011
There is a growing consensus that when building a successful, thriving, innovative culture, it’s essential that people adopt the mentalities of entrepreneurs. While there are many different facets, Bob Baker over at The Buzz Factor has summarized them nicely in this great article (it’s worth reading to understand the nuances of what being INDIE means).
In summary, people should be:
I – Inspired
N – Nontraditional
D – Determined
I – Innovative
E – Empowered
Adopt these perspectives and foster them in those around you and, trust me, the sky will be the limit.
Posted in Musical Creativity, Workplace Creativity, innovation, Entrepreneurship 2.0, The Human Person, Authenticity, Start-Ups, creativity | Tagged: creativity, innovation, music, entrepreneurs, Workplace Creativity, innovative culture, bob baker, intrapreneur, INDIE, independent musicians, entrepreneurial mindset | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Plish on March 11, 2011
We all get stuck.
Dr. Stanley Block, over at Psychology Today, has a great process for breaking through the blocks, or rather the box that surrounds and constrains our psyches – in three minutes or less. Rather than reproduce it here, I’m including a link to the process that you can read here.
I’m a strong believer that the more relaxed we are, the better the quality of ideas. Dealing with stress is important if you want to stay on top of your game. Here’s another interview with Dr. Herbert Benson, founder of the Benson Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine.
What do you do to deal with stress and keep the creative juices flowing?
Posted in cognitive studies, idea generation, problem solving, Nature of Creativity, Science, Workplace Creativity, Creative Thinking Techniques, Interviews, Research, The Human Person, Yerkes-Dodson Curve, Authenticity, stress, meditation, creativity, Wellness, Behavioral Science | Tagged: creativity, Workplace Creativity, stress, Authenticity, Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, creative problem solving, human nature, stress relief, Dr. Stanley Block, Dr. Herbert Benson | 2 Comments »
Posted by Plish on July 23, 2010
We’ve all experienced it.
We’re cranking along in a project and someone comes in with a ‘brilliant’ idea or a new documentation requirement.
AUGHH! Time is ticking, money is being spent. Why couldn’t this have been brought up at the beginning of the project?!?!
There are basically three responses:
- Ignore the request and move forward promising to fold features into the next version
- Agree to the request and try and get more time/money
- Agree to parts of the request and move the rest into the next version.
All three of these cause angst to the team, to management, and perhaps even the users. They result in more time and money being spent. Creativity likewise drops as people go into crunch mode trying to accomplish more with less.
It’s Scope Creep.
So, why would anyone want to embrace this?
Let’s step back a moment.
We all have a tendency to look at projects as totally linear processes. Everyone agrees up front what needs to be done, money is allotted, a timeline is set and everyone is off to the races. The project moves into execution mode – efficient execution.
But, we also know that projects aren’t linear phenomena. They’re a combination of fits and starts, looping back, problems and solutions.
So what happens?
When we first embark on projects, we keep our fingers crossed and hope that nothing gets in the way of launching the product – that there is no Scope Creep. As the project progresses we continue with the same mentality, constantly moving forward but at the same time looking over our shoulders, trying to anticipate what might occur before it does. We hope nothing will knock us off our tenacious trek towards launch – especially no new product requirements. Nevertheless, these new requirements seem to come and wreak havoc.
But, there is a bright side.
Scope Creep is more than something that should be avoided and/or grudgingly dealt with because where there is Scope Creep, there are opportunities to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Authenticity, Creative Environments, culture of innovation, Customer Focus, Design, design thinking, innovation, Nature of Creativity, Project Management, stress, Tactics, Team-Building, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: Design, design and empathy, design process, design thinking, innovation, learning, project management, scope creep, Workplace Creativity | 2 Comments »