Posted by Plish on April 4, 2012
Over at Revive Your Creativity I found the following manifesto, and was struck by its simplicity. Replace the words, ‘storytellers’, ‘story’, etc., with ‘designer’, or ‘innovator’ or ‘musician’, and it still applies. Great bits of wisdom. (An Audience does exist for what you do!)
The storytelling manifesto was inspired by two other brilliant compositions. The first is from Expert Enough. The other is from Holstee.
Soak it all in and live…
Posted in Authenticity, creativity, Design, innovation, Musical Creativity, Nature of Creativity, Stories, The Human Person, Writing | Tagged: Authenticity, creativity, Design, Expert Enough, Holstee, innovation, manifesto, Revive Your Creativity, storytelling | 1 Comment »
Posted by Plish on October 22, 2010
“Rise above it!”
We’ve all heard the phrase. When circumstances around us threaten to destabilize our world at work or at home, we are told that we can “Rise above it!” – Transcend the problems as it were.
But, as we find ourselves being churned and spun by the waves of the world, pulling ourselves out of the swirling waters and rising above requires some serious energy expenditures. In fact, there are times that we may even wonder if the effort is worth it.
That doesn’t mean that we need to let ourselves be swamped, though. We have another choice:
We can live in the waves
Experience the beauty of the swirls
Catch glimpses of sun through foam
We can ask “why?”; not with anger but with curiosity
We can move in and through the water of which we are
Feeling the currents that pull, carry and caress
opportunities, movement, intention, beauty
from the wisdom of chaos…
There is no need to rise above-
In fact, the beauty and elegance of your creations would not be possible
were you not part of the waves…
“The Shibumi Strategy” is a story of one man’s struggle, growth and change, through difficult circumstances. It’s an easy read yet it’s filled with wisdom that author Matthew May distilled from his eight years of working with and for Toyota. These tidbits can be applied to solving problems and fomenting change both at work and at home.
It’s worth reading, if for no other reason than to make us think less about doing and more about being and becoming. Interestingly, when we shift our thinking in this way, we end up doing more, or more precisely, we design more beauty…
The The Shibumi Strategy: A Powerful Way to Create Meaningful Change becomes available on November 16th. The ebook version is available now.
Posted in Authenticity, Books, creativity, Design, imagination, innovation, problem solving, Stories, Tactics, Team-Building, The Human Person, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: Creating change, creativity, Design, innovation, matthew may, The Shibumi Strategy | 1 Comment »
Posted by Plish on December 11, 2009
I came across some amazing tidbits recently while visiting agendainc.com.
In particular, I was fascinated by this document, penned by the Office of Strategic Services, which is a manual for creating effective and believable rumors/stories.
So why is it in my blog?
First, It’s fascinating and cool history!
Second, it provides insight into human nature and the more insights we have into that, the more effective, creative and innovative we can be in design and marketing (among other things).
How would you use these insights?
Posted in cognitive studies, creativity, Design, Disruptive Innovation, innovation, Innovation Tools, Research, Stories, The Human Person, Writing | Tagged: crafting effective rumors, creative thinking, human nature, innovation, innovative marketing, successful stories | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Plish on June 5, 2009
This Picture is Your Assignment
When we’re awake, our eyes are taking everything in – everything! However, we basically ignore the majority of the incoming data so that we can focus and accomplish the tasks at hand.
Yes, we are ignoring most of what we see in the world.
This is an issue because the first step to solving a problem is seeing, or more precisely, observing a situation in its fullness. So, if we’re not observing, we’re depriving ourselves of the ‘stuff’ that enables us to come up with creative and innovative solutions.
So how do we improve our abilities to observe?
Seeing turns into observing when there is some type of internalized reflection about what we’re looking at. When we start asking Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?, while experiencing something with our eyes, we leave the world of passive seers and join the ranks of active observers.
It’s in observing that we see things more profoundly.
It is in observing that we understand the context of what we see.
It is the process of sifting through and connecting disparate observations that leads to creative problem solving and innovation.
So, here’s the lesson. Pick a picture to look at. I’ve attached one for your convenience. Now, simply follow the rules below:
- Try to approach everything you see with a “Wow!” Be in awe of it, expect to be surprised by it. Then…
- Look at it. Look at all aspects of it. Start from the foreground and move in to the background taking note of what you see. Don’t draw conclusions yet, just take it all in. Be sure to document what you see; these are the bones you will build upon.
- Once you’ve spent some time doing that, start asking questions about what you’ve documented. Journalists approach stories by asking Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? Remember, there’s a story in what you’re looking at and by asking these questions you’re putting flesh on the bones.
- Finally, pull together your answers to your questions and start drawing conclusions; start understanding the story behind what you see. You’re giving the enfleshed bones life!! Also, don’t ignore your gut feelings; use them and recognize their connections to what you’re observing. If you’re feeling something, odds are others will too. Great solutions often have an emotional component to them; it’s why people fall in love with things like iPods.
Don’t be afraid to repeat the exercise looking at the art from different perspectives – perhaps from the perspective of an older person, a person of the opposite sex, or a person from another culture. When you’ve done this exercise a couple of times, you’ll soon realize that even though your eyes haven’t changed, you’re now seeing the world in a whole new way.
Posted in cognitive studies, creativity, Design, idea generation, imagination, innovation, problem solving, Stories, The Senses, Writing | Tagged: creative problem solving, innovation, learning to observe, observation, seeing | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Plish on March 31, 2009
The book Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design describes the attributes of a sketch as:
- Clear Style – It suggests it’s a sketch
- Distinct – Not tight and precise, open and free
- Only Includes Detail Needed to Convey Information
- Appropriate Degree of Refinement
- Suggest and Explore Direction – Initiate conversations
It dawned on me the other day that in some way, shape or form, the animated show, South Park , meets all the above criteria for being a “sketch”.
Why is this important?
Because as a sketch, it is saying, “Here’s a problem and a possible solution; what do you think? Don’t like that answer? What about this one?”
Because these sketches are actually animated stories, they also contain a “formula” for bringing about resolution of problems contained therein.
So, what I’ve done is look at the South Park ‘sketch’ formula and find 9 lessons we can apply to our own quests to creatively solve problems, generate ideas, and innovate.
- Frame your problems/solutions in the context of a sketch. Remember, a sketch can take multiple forms.
- Don’t pre-judge what you put into the sketch. Let it be fodder for discussion.
- Always ask “What if?” What if we killed a character every episode and brought him back (i.e. What if we made some aspect of our device reusable?)? What if a mechanical larynx could be programmed with an Irish accent? What if ground up cash was anti-viral? What if human excrement could talk? Again, DON’T judge the ideas – play them through to their logical conclusion!
- Look at problems through childrens’ eyes and minds; children usually provide common sense answers.
- Don’t let political correctness be the automatic solution to a problem.
- Culturally diverse personalities/perspectives are a good thing.
- Ask questions. (See #4)
- Make the most of the resources you have on hand
- Always learn something from a process/problem/solution/situation.
What else could you add to this list?
How do you use sketches to solve problems?
Posted in children, culture of innovation, Design, idea generation, innovation, Innovation Tools, Play, problem solving, Sketching, Stories | Tagged: brainstorming, creative problem solving, innovation, sketches, South Park | 3 Comments »
Posted by Plish on March 13, 2009
“Individual creativity is very intimate and personal. So, it’s important to learn how to listen to your own instincts, to listen to your inner voice-or find your inner voice-so that your self-expression becomes authentic and grounded and not simply a function of what you think people want to hear,what’s fashionable or what you think you should do as a life-long task…. Creativity is very much about being intimate with yourself, but also a number of things that, frankly, are difficult, if not sometimes impossible, to articulate.”
John Kao -Innovator, Artist, Author of “Innovation Nation”
“When people ask me where I get my ideas, I laugh. How strange – we’re so busy looking out, to find ways and means, we forget to look in…All that is most original lies waiting for us to summon it forth. And yet we know it is not as easy as that….Embarrassment, self-consciousness, remembered criticisms, can stifle the average person so that less and less in his lifetime can he open himself out.”
Based upon the two perspectives noted above, it seems amazing that anyone is creative in a productive manner.
Yet, as Ray Bradbury says, it’s all there, waiting…
calling out –
to be shared with the world!
How do we tap into the depths of creativity within?
The Links of Creativity Websites on this page and the Resource page are good places to start.
But, there is an intimate, and effective way to tap into the authentic voice.
Think of great authors like Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke. They envisioned solutions long before they existed. The looked inside themselves, embraced the wonder, and saw it as more powerful and empowering than Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Authenticity, Creative Thinking Techniques, idea generation, Innovation Tools, Nature of Creativity, problem solving, Stories, The Human Person | Tagged: creativity, creativity tools, problem solving, Stories, writing stories | Leave a Comment »