Monday, February 28, 2011

The Creative Edge Workshop

There have been lots of hits on my blog recently and the marketing people say I should be making the most of them so . . . . here's a plug for my book The Creative Edge Workshop.

By participating in the activities and completing the workbook you will:

• learn what creativity is.
• learn about the ways in which you are already creative [and expand them].
• learn how to make your life more creative.
• learn how to identify and strengthen aspects of your creative character.
• learn what creative people do [habits] that makes them creative.
• learn how you can expand your creativity by applying the six habits of creative people to your life.
• do practical activities to grow your creativity.
• do it all in your own time and at your own pace.

The Creative Edge Workshop is a sizable, information rich workbook developed by New Zealand creativity consultant Wayne Morris, and honed through many individual and group-based workshops. Whilst retaining and element of fun, it robustly teaches an approach to understanding and building the creative process within any individual, that Morris – a highly creative person in his own right – has developed over many years of exploring. Used with intent, this workbook will help locate the creative inner-you, or act as a sound guide for those who wish to expand the creative potential of others.
Graeme Beals, Publisher, Zenith Publishing Group, 2010

In New Zealand you can get it from me or the publisher Search for creative edge. Overseas go direct to the publisher.

Its around $NZ30 plus postage and packaging.

Go on - you know you would like one!

The International Centre for Studies in Creativity

This from Dr. Cyndi Burnett, Assistant Professor, Director of Distance Education Programs, International Center for Studies in Creativity, Buffalo State University

Would you like to keep up to date with current issues in the field of creativity? Please follow the Current Issues Blog (entries submitted by our Graduate Students):

Why creativity matters

Question and answer with Josh Linkner.
Linkner is a jazz musician, venture capitalist and the founder and chairman of ePrize, an interactive marketing company.

More here:

How to be an explorer of the world.

The title is from a favourite book of mine by Keri Smith.

My friend Bruce Hammonds says the title of this interesting book sums up what learning ought to be all about - students as explorers of their world. I agree.

He then goes on the express his real concerns about creative teaching [or rather the lack of it it.]
He begins: "I would like to think that creative teaching is alive and well but I am not sure I believe that anymore.

Being creative has always been a hard road to follow particularly since the introduction of the curriculum and accountability and assessment demands imposed on school in the mid eighties. And this has only escalated with demands for schools to focus on the 'three Rs' leading up to the most recent reactionary concept of National Standards - themselves one step away from National Testing and League Tables."

More here:

Creativity Habit: PLAY

This TED clip from Marci Segal's blog

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tauranga Acoustic Music festival

Last weekend Hard Candy, the band in which I am a drummer, were invited to perform as part of the Tauranga Acoustic Music Club Festival. Our hosts Penny and Paul made us very welcome. That's Paul and Penny performing.

The day started at 10 am with a range of very talented local musicians on a smaller stage and then later in the day the attention focused on the large stage.

One of the challenges for Hard Candy is that we all live in different parts of the North Island of New Zealand so practicing prior to gigs is challenging. Our friend Christine arranged for us to practice at a neighbours place. We could have stayed at Little Weed all day - beautiful environment, homemade ginger beer and ice - but we couldn't. Thanks Anne.

The highlight for me - apart from our own gig and an originals band from Raglan - The Hand Me Downs - was playing with one of the world's best harmonica players - Brendan Power. That's me and Brendan and a really hot guitarist Peter Charlton-Jones. I got to play a duel with Brendan - him on the harmonica and me on the Cahon [the box that I am sitting on] and trying to match Brendan rhythm for rhythm. Hopefully the video clip will come out and I can out it on a later blog.
A great festival and great people whose spirits were only slightly dampened by a thunderstorm. But that's what festivals are all about - the unexpected!

Young Creative Leaders

For the last couple of years I have been invited by a local primary school to work with their senior students. The school expects all senior students to play a leadership role.
One of the challenges is to identify what it means to be a leader and the expectations that the school has for their senior students. Rather than dumbing the sessions down I do as I would with any leadership group and I have to say that the kids respond as well as any adult leadership group. They know what leaders do.
Capturing and keeping young students attention is a challenge so the morning is broken up into some individually focused activity and some team activities. Starting with a game of Leadership Bingo, through to team based activities with rope and duct tape to tower building these kids applied themselves really well.
One activity involved having a student lie on a large piece of paper so that others could draw around them - I was too busy working with then to get photos - and then the group drew or wrote over the shape all the characteristics of a leader. They then had to present their poster to the remaining groups
I'm not sure what happens as people get older but if the energy and commitment of these kids is anything to go by New Zealand is going to be well served with leaders in the future.
Thanks West End School students and staff.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The dark side of creativity

According to this Harvard Business School report original thinkers can be more dishonest. What do you think?

And here is Greg Fraley's response:

ADHD's upside is creativity

Parents who’ve claimed for years that their kids with ADHD are more creative are getting some scientific backup from a new study, which found that subjects with the disorder have enhanced creative abilities.

The Creative Economy

Creative Economy - United Nations Report. Its quite a big download but interesting reading.

How great entrepreneurs think.

Hmmmmmmmmm - interesting!!

Why you should become a creativity champion.

Tom Tresser's FREE download. Thanks Tom.

Lessons for New Zealand?

Why cutting arts funding is not a good idea!

Lessons from the States.

The art of management

Management has much to learn from the arts.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


If you land on this blog from cyber-space you may be able to help me.
For several years I have been running creativity workshops [and speaking at creativity focused conferences] - 1 day, 2 day and 5 day -both in New Zealand and overseas. I love doing them. The feedback has been great.

In all sectors of our society there is a call for more creativity, more innovation - but very little actually seems to be being done about it. I would like to do more and perhaps you might be able to help me.
Each workshop needs a minimum of 10 people who are willing to explore their creativity at a venue conducive to being creative - the best ones being bush, beach or inner city.
I run the local ones from my home.
If you are in New Zealand you can come to me or I can come to you. If you organise a workshop you get a free place. I will also consider overseas requests.

Email me on if you would like more information.

If you know of any people or organisations that might like to have a workshop let them know or put them in touch with me.

Danny Gregory wrote a book I wished I had written. It is called ‘The Creative Licence’. He starts it off by saying:

“Too many people seem to feel they are not creative. They’d love to write or draw or paint or dance or act or play music but are afraid to even try. Some of them wish they could be more creative professionally, but have taken a career path that makes it seem impossible. Others have begun to dabble in creative matters but somehow find themselves blocked or limited or lost and need help to break through.”

If you want to put more creativity into your life or more life into your creativity then the creativity workshops are for you.

Thanks for your help.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Curious Summer

The way education should be!
Go to
and hit the buttons on the left side with the intriguing titles of stitch, shelter, curious cafe, stop motion, labrynth etc and enjoy education at its best.

The Talent Code

Daniel Coyle The Talent Code - great book and great blog
More here:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Is there a creativity crisis?

Tom Stewart says creativity isn't a linear, consistent phenomenon but rather happens in clumps.
More here:

What sparks Moby's creativity?

This from Big Think.

What sparks your creativity?

This from Calvin Trillin - author and journalist - on Big Think
More here:

There are a whole heap more on Big Think - just search for creativity.

Creativity Habit: COURAGE

Twenty years into his acting career, Norton still feels like an "idiot" and a "fraud" whenever he begins a new project. This sensation is similar to what all innovators face, he says, and you have to learn to push through it.

More here:

How do you design for creativity?

Putting creativity on the company agenda

An entrepreneur offers a system for nurturing creativity and focusing it on business problems.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Creativity in Action

Grifen Hope - a kiwi - and Javiera CarriĆ³n discuss the planning and transition of El Manzano, Chile into a sustainable future. Lessons for all of us.

More here:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Is creativity the No.1 skill for the 21st century?

This from Mark Batey:

Against a backdrop of uncertainty, economic turmoil and unprecedented change a new picture is emerging of the skills and traits for success (and perhaps even simply survival) in the modern era.

At the heart of this essential skillset for the future lies… creativity.

A raft of recent research studies demonstrates that creativity is vital from the shopfloor to the boardroom and at the level of the individual to the organisation as a whole. What is more… our economic fortunes at a societal level probably rest on creativity too.

He explains 7 (magnificent!) themes and some research studies that convinced him. I wonder if they will convince you of of the cruciality of creativity too.

More here:

Education for the Real World

“I have come to a frightening conclusion,” writes Haim Ginott, in his book Between Parent and Child: The Bestselling Classic That Revolutionized Parent-Child Communication (Three Rivers Press, 2003). “I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child de-humanized or humanized.”

More here:

No right brain left behind

No Right Brain Left Behind is a speed innovation challenge, calling on the creative industries to concept ideas that can help the creativity crisis happening in U.S. schools today. In collaboration with Social Media Week 2011, teams from creative industries will have 5 days to concept ideas. On the last day of the week, ideas will be submitted virtually to this site, and an expert panel will pick 3 winning ideas that are to be featured by our media partners. The best ideas are to be piloted in 2011 and 2012.

We are inviting teams of various sizes from advertising agencies, innovation companies, design consultancies, and communication schools. Ideas can be in form of tools, applications, or products, or whatever else we have not thought of.

If adapted, this will be a yearly challenge where creative industries will spend one week out of the year, responding to a burning crisis.

The power of an idea can transcend wars, politics, races, and economies. We hope that this collaboration will demonstrate the ability of our leading creative minds to step up to the challenges where conventional thinking fails.

It is not about creating more artists. It’s about giving the students tools to solve 21st century problems. We must understand that creativity is a key constituent that can no longer be neglected in the school systems.

Do we need the same in New Zealand?

More here:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gumboot Tango at Waitangi Celebrations

On the 6th of February New Zealand celebrates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. It is New Zealand's National Day. More about the Treaty here:

Despite the foggy weather it was a great day.

We - Gumboot Tango - were invited to play at the celebrations at Ngamotu Beach in my home town of New Plymouth.

The festival atmosphere was enahnced by the many hand painted flags placed thtoughout the site.

Liquid Creativity

On Saturday the 5th of February a creative event took place that changed people's lives in ways they couldn't imagine.
Held in a small hall in back-country Taranaki [that's in New Zealand] a crowd gathered to take part in the Inaugural Huinga Home Brew Festival - a home brew tasting competition, feasting on great Kiwi food, and listening to music from 3 bands - gypsy, appalachian and kiwi [that was us - Gumboot Tango].
One lucky punter [William] was the recipient of one of Woodsy's rocking chairs which will no doubt be put ot good use.

A great time was had by all.
Recovery is expected within 3 days!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Creative Edge Workshop

Give yourself a Creative Edge:
learn what creativity is
learn about the ways you are already creative [and expand them]
learn how to make your life more creative
learn how to identify and strengthen aspects of your creative character
learn what creative people do [habits] that makes them creative
learn how you can expand your creativity by applying the six habits of creative people to your life
do practical activities to grow your creativity
do it all in your own time and at your own pace.

After years of spending time with creative people, academic research and running creativity workshops in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa, Wayne Morris has published The Creative Edge Workshop.

It is a 150 page workbook for the person who wants to “put more creativity into their life – put more life into their creativity.’

The book is designed to help people reclaim their imagination and creativity. It is the culmination of years of working with creative people.

What others have said about Wayne’s work:

"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!"

“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!)”

In New Zealand from $NZ30 plus postage and packaging
Overseas from Publish Me: search for Creative Edge

We Are All Makers

Dale Dougherty co-founded O'Reilly Media, a technical publisher and conference organizer known for its advocacy of Open Source and the Web. He coined the term "Web 2.0" while developing the Web 2.0 Conference. Dougherty started MAKE magazine, which brings the do-it-yourself mindset to everyday technology -- celebrating the right to tweak, hack and bend any technology to your own will.

Dougherty is the creator of Maker Faire, which leads a growing maker movement in New York, Detroit and the Bay Area. An early Web pioneer, Dougherty was the developer of Global Network Navigator (GNN), the first commercial Web site launched in 1993. He's a former publisher of Web Review, the online magazine for Web designers. Dougherty developed the Hacks series of books to "reclaim the term 'hacking' for the good guys," and he's the author of Sed & Awk.

More from TED here: