Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pixar University's Randy Nelson on Learning and Working in the Collaborative Age

The Dean of Pixar University explains what schools must do to prepare students (and themselves) for new models in the workplace.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Creative Edge Workshop

I am running a creativity workshop May 29-30. I was looking around for a venue when I thought I live in a nice place, it has plenty of room - so why not do it at home. Home is in New Plymouth, New Zealand. If you are interested let me know. $225 including GST and a complimentary copy of my new book.

Whether you are an aspiring writer, business person, teacher, scientist, artist or someone who is curious about the creative process and seeking to further unlock your creativity, this workshop can help you discover and nurture your particular way of expression and break through blocks that may inhibit your creativity. We are all born creative, curious and imaginative but these qualities sometimes fade with the passage of time. This creativity workshop is to help people get their imaginations back.
The Creative Edge workshop / coaching will provide you with tools, techniques, and strategies that you can use throughout your personal and professional lives to continuously develop your own creative capacity and work in order to make positive improvements in your own life and impact the lives of others.

The interactive activities during the workshops will focus on ways to:

• Uncover and clarify your personal and creative ambitions
• Discover and express your creative strengths and creative potential
• Overcome your fears and creative blocks
• Find inspiration in the world around you
• Share ideas and work collaboratively
• Challenge and stretch your current perception of the world
• Develop a consistent practice of personal and creative development
• Play and have fun!

Lots of great feedback from previous ones.

“Outstanding - one of the best workshops I have been to at any creativity conference anywhere in the world. Practical and life-changing.”

“The workshop gave me a chance to refocus on what creativity is and more paths to get there. The 'team' shared - but did not invade private spaces. We all had different focuses and interests yet the same goals.”

“I now know my creative impulse is valid thanks to conversations, humour, support from all at the retreat, particularly Wayne as guide / facilitator. Self belief gives creativity one heck of a boost.”

“Really good creative and interactive sessions in a safe environment. New relationships, heightened perception and lots of laughs made it a great retreat.”

“The days of the retreat gave me the time to unlock my personal box to look outside the square into the endless possibilities of creative expression. It was a fizzing, bubbling time of creative action prompted by Wayne's enabling guidance.”

“A life changing experience... The retreat showed me how to kick start my creativity! The retreat gave a wonderful opportunity for expanding horizons, breaking down barriers and pushing the creative comfort zone in a supportive environment.”

“For me, this is what I’ve taken from the retreat - lovely friendships., inspiration, joy, freedom, energy, a new way of looking at life, a fresh sense of fun and mischief.”

“Your facilitation; It was ‘just right’ for me. I enjoyed the quotes, background theory, your insight and personal passion that set the scene and kept pulling us back to the purpose through out the weekend. I enjoyed the varied activities that made you think – e.g. draw using only 7 lines… and found the ‘visualisation’ exercises you talked us through very useful for me. I liked the balance with freedom to choose and no requirements to perform or share if you didn’t want to (we’re perverse beings. – when you don’t have to you usually do!)”

“I found the retreat fun and relaxing and I feel that myself imposed pressure to be creative has gone. I am continuing to feel calm, relaxed and more efficient in all aspects of my life. I have a real feeling of well-being that I haven’t had for a while”

"Wayne did a great job of creating a supportive space for the creative process and then did a great job of not getting in the way of it! I had great fun playing with my creativity and the creativity of others. Everyone should do this!"

“A fun and fascinating weekend conducted by Wayne which inspired me to put some creativity back into my life.”

“I think it was a combination of your hands-off approach combined with creative advice or ideas offered when requested, the stimulation of interacting with specific individuals in the group, and the creative atmosphere generated by the group as a whole that caused the magic to happen. The bubbling, buzzing feeling of being part of a group of people all listening to their creative sides at once has to be experienced to be believed!”

“Wow - creativity where I thought there was none and lots of fun. Thanks.”

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Father Guido Sarducci's Five Minute University

At Father Guido Sarduccis Five Minute University, he teaches what an average college graduate knows after five years from graduation in five minutes.

Fits well with my experience. Maybe Universities, schools and other educational establishments have had their day in their current form!

Whole Brain Creativity

Based on many years of research by Dr Kobus Neethling and others we now accept that our brain consists of two hemispheres, the left and the right brain. We also know that these hemispheres are metaphors for how the brain works. Our metaphorical “thinking brain” consists of four quarters (quadrants) and that we all have thinking preferences associated with one, two or more of the brain quadrants. Each of us has a brain profile which indicates our thinking preferences. These profiles shed significant light on the reasons why we differ, why we react differently in the same situations, why our expectations of others and situations are not the same, why we raise our children differently, why we manage, teach and learn differently. The profile I use is called the NBI [Neethling Brain Instrument].

The folllowing link is to an article by Kobus.

I am the New Zealand Agent for the Neethling Brain Instruments through Check it out.

Is anyone really out there?

I know lots of people from around the world read this blog - I see that on the statistics counter that I use - but what is it that stops people from commenting - even saying hello - sharing their own thoughts on creativity?
I am puzzling over this at the moment - anyone got any comment?

If a full wind blows, ride it

At the opening speech of the first Abu Dhabi Media Summit, Rupert Murdoch is exhorting Arab nations to open up and let creative talents flow. Of course, he has his own agenda: open it up to our content as well.
Read the full article here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What place does imagination, creativity and innovation have in organsiations?

I posed the above question to members of some Linkedin groups that I belong to.
The responses are interesting enough for me to want to share them on this blog..

This one from Crispin Garden-Webster.

"This is a fascinating area Wayne. I do think imagination is a necessary condition for innovation although there is a lot of urban mythology about innovation from unexpected outcomes; (3M stickies etc) . Imagination is a natural human capacity and I guess organisationally the issue is this:

How do we find the sweet spot between removing some of the barriers (rules and processes) that discourage people from exercising their natural capacity for imagination and managing compliance and risk.

High compliance cultures with prescriptive business processes trade innovation for predictable and consistent performance .While so called 'creative cultures' try to eschew prescriptive practices in the belief that this will enable people to generate more imaginative solutions. Edison famously said..."Hell there are no rules around here, we're actually trying to achieve something".

In reality if unintentionally, most organisational design constrains imagination by using structure, process and incentives to drive out variability and achieve repeatable and consistent business performance. But when you ask leaders about what is important for innovation and development they tell you things that are more often associated with informality, experimentation, spontaneity, collaborative experiences, failure, coaching and dialogue. For most part, jobs are designed as part of a performance structure, and hopefully learning is part of the journey. It is difficult for an organisation to encourage imagination and innovation when the operating model is designed to manage risk."

Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Why is creativity important?

This is an extract from my book The Creative Edge Workshop

In the introduction to his book A Whole New Mind Daniel Pink makes the following statement:

The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind – computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could draft contracts, MBA’s who could crunch numbers. But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind – creators and empathisers, pattern recognisers and meaning makers. These people – artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers – will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys. [p.1]

And this from Ken Robinson:
The challenges we currently face are without precedent. More people live on this planet now than at any other time in history. The world's population has doubled in the past 30 years. We're facing an increasing strain on the world's natural resources. Technology is advancing at a headlong rate of speed. It's transforming how people work, think, and connect. It's transforming our cultural values.
If you look at the resulting strains on our political and financial institutions, on health care, on education, there really isn't a time in history where you could look back and say, "Well, of course, this is the same thing all over again." It isn't. This is really new, and we're going to need every ounce of ingenuity, imagination, and creativity to confront these problems.
Also, we're living in times of massive unpredictability. The kids who are starting school this September will be retiring—if they ever do—around 2070. Nobody has a clue what the world's going to look like in five years, or even next year actually, and yet it's the job of education to help kids make sense of the world they're going to live in.
You know, for my generation—I was born in 1950—we were told that if you worked hard, went to college, and got a regular academic degree, you'd be set for life. Well, nobody thinks that's true anymore, and yet we keep running our school systems as though it were. So many people have degrees now that an individual degree isn't worth a fraction of what it used to be worth. So being creative is essential to us; it's essential for our economy.
I work a lot with Fortune 500 companies, and they're always saying, "We need people who can be innovative, who can think differently." If you look at the mortality rate among companies, it's massive. America is now facing the biggest challenge it's ever faced—to maintain it's position in the world economies. All these things demand high levels of innovation, creativity, and ingenuity. At the moment, instead of promoting creativity, I think we're systematically educating it out of our kids.
Source: Educational Leadership September 2009 Volume 67 No.1

How would you answer the question why is creativity important?

Here are some other thought starters:

There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns. Edward de Bono
In today’s world creativity is fundamentally important for our personal, social, economic and cultural well-being. The most important developments in civilisation have come about through the creative process. Robert Fritz
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift. Albert Einstein
I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones. John Cage
The one fundamental choice – to become the predominant creative force in your life – is a foundation for the entire orientation of the creative. Robert Fritz
Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives . . [and] when we are involved in it we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Creative Restraint

This from Keith De La Rue of Acknowledge Consulting and the Creative Skills Training Council.

"I like the idea of using restraint to promote creativity. I recently took part in an exercise on this. We were asked to spend 10 minutes writing on whatever topic we chose - with the constraint that every word must include the letter 'e'. We were also asked to write at least six lines of text. It prompted some interesting pieces. [This is related to a form of constrained writing known as a 'lipogram' - 'missing letter'.]

If you are interested to see more, see for the full story, and a couple of the resulting pieces [refer to the comments for a link to one of them]. This also includes a classic piece of poetry from Stanislaw Lem."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


This is as probably as close as I'll ever come to giving birth. I picked up the proof copy of my book this morning. Its a pretty cool feeling.

If you would like a copy - they are $NZ30 plus postage - let me know on

If any one has any ideas about distributing self published books I'd be very happy to hear from them. I would like to see The Creative Edge Workshop being used by as many people as is possible!

Monday, March 15, 2010

What is creativity?

A project from the students at Texas AM University.

via Alan Black and Hector Ramos

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Creativity Habit #1 BE OPEN

Many people go to WOMAD not knowing what to expect.

Even those who are regular goers never quite know what to expect and there are always the surprises.
One of the surprises at this year's WOMAD were the Empress stilt dancers - flirtatious flowers, glowing suns and curious red dragons - and you never knew when you would meet them!

Creative people are open to whatever happens and whether they like what they hear and see or not they at least took the opportunity to experience the possibilities that a festival such as WOMAD opens up.
Creative people live with a sense of curiosity, where each moment is an opportunity for learning.

You can learn more about the habits of creative people in my new book 'The Creative Edge Workshop - Putting more creativity into your life - Putting more life into your creativity'.
If you would like to know more contact me on

The girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes
but is anyone listening?

Creativity Habit #3 CHALLENGE

Give some artists and designers, who cover a range of generations and who have completely different styles, a blank wall, paint and a weekend to complete an art work and you have a challenge.

At WOMAD Taranaki [that's in New Zealand] artists Sean Broughton, Milarkey [Damin Radford], Greg Muter, Phil Jones, Peter Lambert and Tim Chadwick were given the challenge of collaborating to produce an art work at the WOMAD Festival.

Challenge well met? - absolutely!

More on the habits of creative people in my new book ' The Creative Edge Workshop- Putting more creativity in your life - Putting more life in your creativity'. Email me at for more details.

Creativity Habit #5 SURROUND

Creative people surround themselves with interesting people, things and environments.

An opportunity that lends itself to being 'surrounded' is WOMAD [you don't have a choice!!] - surrounded by a stunningly beautiful environment - the Bowl of Brooklands - and extraordinary talent from around the world. You can't help but soak up the creativity.

More about the habits of creative people in my new book 'The Creative Edge Workshop - Putting more creativity in your life - Putting more life in your creativity'. Email me at for details.

Creativity Habit #6 PLAY

In my new book - The Creative Edge Workshop - PLAY is clearly identified as a habit that creative people exhibit. Creative people give themselves opportunities to be 'child-like' and the 'permission' to play.

Last weekend New Plymouth - my home town - hosted WOMAD [The World of Music and Dance] there were opportunities to play in abundance - and De Stijle Want - a performing group from the Netherlands - led the way.

They presented 'Hek' - the tale of two city workers and a fence, that seem permanently bonded together.

Despite the obvious difficulties and obstacles this entails, the fence serves as a place to sleep, a fitness machine, a musical instrument and a shelter - not to mention - a hazard.

The workers keep dragging it along wherever they travel.

They even involved the audience - me in this case!


This from my colleague, Ralph Kerle, of the Creative Skills Training Council and the Creative Leadership Forum

I have been playing with something that I am getting great feedback on - Haikugami. Here is a link to a video expalining its use.

Great fun!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Learning Connexion

The Learning Connexion International School of Art and Creativity teaches creativity through courses in art.
Started by Jonathan Milne and Alice Wilson Milne it offers practical, hands on courses in many popular fine arts processes including painting, drawing, 3D, printmaking, jewelery, computer graphics and much much more.
Learning Connexion students can study art and creativity programmes on site and from home via a distance programme.
Having visited TLC some time ago it is definitely more than an art school, it is a creative community. On the 6th March they had a festival of art and creativity. Check out the video.
You can check out the school at

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Creativity Habit #4 SEEK

Creative people seek.

They seek out new experiences, with the understanding that the more diverse their experiences the more interesting the interconnections.

Creative people also give themselves permission to play and find opportunities to be 'child-like'.
When family and friends decide to give you a birthday party one doesn't have to do anything for that to happen.

Bruce Hammonds took the photos.

Creativity Habit #5 SURROUND

My new book - The Creative Edge - details the habits that creative people demonstrate and ways of expanding those habits. You can get a copy from me at and pay by PayPal.

Habit #5 is Surround.

Creative people surround themselves with interesting people, things and environments.

They spend time with people who have lots of creativity in their lives.

Just like in the photos - Karen, Alan, Tony, Lisa, Sarah, Ken, Darryl and Janet - a musical evening at home.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010