Sunday, January 29, 2012

Forget Networking. How to Be a Connector

Shared by Robert Alan Black
We all know people like them, people who seem to know everyone. They're always able to help -- or if they can't, they know someone who can. You meet them for the first time and in 15 minutes, you're talking with them like you're childhood friends. They're successful, smart and funny, with a likable touch of self-deprecation. And they're interested in everything.

Famous Creators on the Fear of Failure

While intended as advice for design students, these simple yet important insights are relevant to just about anyone with a beating heart and a head full of ideas — a much-needed reminder of what we all rationally know but have such a hard time internalizing emotionally.

Visualising Creativity

The ability to think creatively, and from that innovate, is a key skill in any business. Whether it’s sales, customer service, operations or management, being able to solve problems and develop new products and services is ultimately the difference between business success and failure.

Creativity is not what it used to be

Dimis Michaelides' thoughts on creativity

How the mind creates ideas

More from Michael Michalko in Psychology Today
"When you are brainstorming for ideas and have a thought, the value of that thought depends upon how you interact with it. We are educated to be critical, judgmental, logical thinkers and to instantly evaluate and judge thoughts based on our past experiences. If there is any ambiguity, the judgment is invariably negative and the thought dissipates back into nothingness. The ordinary mind has no tolerance for ambiguity because it is conditioned to simplify the complexities of life."

Creativity Crisis?

Big Think is a site worth exploring. This short clip featuirng Tom Stewart, then editor of the Harvard Business Review, is one exploring aspects of creativity.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Free Email Courses

Mindwerx International and the Buzan Centre @ Mindwerx are committed to Tony Buzan's vision of Global Mental Literacy - that is the ability of everyone to understand how their brains work and how to improve the way they think and learn.
10-Day How to Mind Map®
10-Day Teaching Others to Mind Map®
8-Day Introduction to Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats®

Creativity and Mental Illness

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have been linked with creativity. The relationship may occur because some of the genes that contribute to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder also contribute to creativity.

Creativity: Dissonant Goals into Radical Harmony

The idea that visionary geniuses are best-poised for radical innovation is simply misleading. Maybe Jobs or Steve Wozniak were visionary geniuses working in uninterrupted solitary isolation … when they weren’t busy working crazy-long hours with the rest of their ├╝ber-talented crews in the cultural cradle of high-tech innovation.

More here:

12 steps for fostering your creativity

Marie Patchen in her blog Mynx Writes says "If I could, I would take every single bit of advice in this poster and turn it into one of the 12 Steps For Fostering Your Creativity this weekend. However, rest assured that you don't need to stop at the 12 steps listed here today. Find your own copy of this poster, frame it up, and hang it in your writing space - and don't be afraid to open yourself up to being the creative creature that you are."

Why creativity

Why Creativity? looks to the heart of the very question addressed in the title. With insightful and motivational answers from some of today's most creative minds, including Julien Smith, David Meerman Scott, Patrick Algrim, Matthew E May, Gregg Fraley, Mike Brown, and Frank Chimero. You can download the ebook right now, for free from

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Creative Dissidents: Stop Shortchanging Talented Kids Who Challenge Us

Mark Phillips is a columnist for the Marin Independent Journal and the The Answer Sheet. He has this to say.
"A few years ago I spent time at Eagle Rock School, a wonderful school in Colorado for so-called "at-risk" kids from all over the country. I noticed that many of the best students were highly creative kids with extraordinary leadership, presentation and communication skills. Exploring further, I discovered that many of these same students had been in and out of two or three high schools prior to coming to Eagle Rock; in some cases voluntarily, in some cases not."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


The POPUPHOOD is a new urban initiative and small business incubator revitalizing Oakland, block by block. This is an innovative strategy for breathing new life into the city’s retail sector in downtown’s hip, historic Old Oakland neighborhood.

The Introversion - Creativity Link

The ability to reach inside your mind to produce and develop great thoughts is a quality that we all cherish. How can you best develop your own creativity? The answer may lie partly in the makeup of your personality and partly in your ability to marshal certain brain powers

The Art of the Idea

Shared by Francois Coetzee

John Hunt is an award-winning playwright, author, and Worldwide Creative Director of TBWA. He has witnessed again and again the power of original thinking to transform both companies and individuals. At the Berlin School President's Lecture, John will be sharing his ideas about what creative leadership means today as he presents his new book, The Art of the Idea. In this book Hunt addresses everyone from the global boardroom to the man on the street, demonstrating how to create space so ideas can breathe. Copies of his book will be available at the event for purchase.

Part 1 of 6: Start here and follow the links on the side

It takes Two in the Innovation Tango

Greg Fraley has his say about the effectiveness of brainstorming.

Effective Brainstorming Works

A recent New York Times article by Susan Cain challenged the effectiveness of brainstorming. Here is the link to Susan Robertson's rebuttal.

Beyond Brainstorming

Creativity is an idea-shaping process. Ideas themselves are a source of other ideas—and a useful strategy to remember something is to associate it with other ideas. One method of catalyzing the processes of creativity and memory is Tony Buzan's Mind Mapping technique.

Miniature Pot Hole Gardens

British artist/gardener Steve Wheen has been installing these gardens around East London for the past year and a half.

That bad time made me more creative

Many people face challenges in their lives they not only overcome, but are able to use for enhancing their creative work.

Mixed-media and glass artist Ginny Ruffner recovered from a near fatal car accident and a coma for five weeks and was confined to a hospital for five months.
Her story here:

To make creativity sustainable, don’t wait.

Shared by Robert Alan Black

Mere ideas aren’t worth anything.

When professional creatives are paid it’s because they either have worthwhile knowledge and experience that they can actively educate others about, or because they create work that sells.

In both cases, the only way to make creativity sustainable is to do something with your ideas.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Introversion and creativity

The ability to reach inside your mind to produce and develop great thoughts is a quality that we all cherish. How can you best develop your own creativity? The answer may lie partly in the makeup of your personality and partly in your ability to marshal certain brain powers.

How to Squeeze Creativity From Your Employees

The makers of an Oscar-nominated short film app weigh in on managing uber-creative employees, running a studio like a start-up, and why CEOs should take more business trips.

Brian Wilson and Creativity

via Tara Grey Coste and the American Creativity Association

Lives are messy. Maybe that's why we try to put them in little boxes with neatly printed labels. Albert Einstein becomes "brilliant physicist." Ezra Pound is "crazy poet." Actors, musicians, authors, scientists -- all boiled down to a handful of words.

Technologies impact on creativity

Has the Internet spoiled creativity? Enhanced it? Or is creativity just changing with the rest of the world?

via Tara Grey Coste and the American Creativity Association

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Creative Reinvention in 50s and Beyond

Reinvention, encore careers, Don't Retire, Rewire, "Now I can wear purple" -- Boomers in the third age who want to change their lives are now in the spotlight. Many of us want to exercise our minds, bodies and creativity in new ways. But, what does it do for us to challenge ourselves to do new things? Is it just more fun?

Take a Line For a Walk: A Creativity Journal

This isn’t your typical sketchbook. Robin Landa, Professor of Design at Kean University in New Jersey, collaborated with some of the nation’s top creative experts to bring readers a brainstorm session in the form of a journal. Contributors include Rick Valicenti of 3st, Pentagram’s Michael Bierut, and design critic Jessica Helfand, among other well-known artists and designers. “Consider this journal your creativity coach or personal exploratory zone sans pressure,” Landa writes in the introduction. Seattle’s Modern Dog Co. designed the book.

The Art of Junk: 7 Creative Approaches to Trash Reuse

The concept of "recycling" usually refers to the breaking down of used items into raw materials and then using those materials to make new items. In contrast, the concept of "reuse" includes both using an item again for its original function, as well as for "new-life reuse" where it is used for a brand new function.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Future Belongs to the Curious

"We are all lifelong learners, from day one to twenty-thousand-and-one, and that’s why we keep exploring, wondering and discovering, yearning and learning, reaching with more than just our hands… The future belongs to the curious.”

Monday, January 9, 2012

Is your clutter killing your creativity?

From Goeff Goins

"Clutter is not my friend; it is my enemy.

Clutter is procrastination. It is the Resistance — a subtle form of stalling and self-sabotage. And it keeps me (and you) from creating stuff that matters.

The mess is not inevitable. It is not cute or idiosyncratic. It is a foe — and it is killing our art."

Bringing your whole brain to work

Michelle James of The Center for Creative Emergence, shares her expertise on the brain and its effects on human behavior … specifically as it pertains to creativity. We talk about stories, improv, somatics, natural resistance, risk-friendly work cultures, generational creaitvity, discovery sessions, and more in this 30-minute interview.

Finding creative inspiration

Guy Garvey, Isaac Julien, Martha Wainwright and other artists give their top tips for unleashing your inner genius.

Creativity Has Become the Elephant In the Board Room

From Jim Prior in the Huffington Post
In 2012, politicians, economists and expert commentators will undoubtedly continue to speak out on how creativity and innovation are essential if we are to overcome the current economic malaise. Yet, for every creative company that commits to doing thrilling things, there are many more dull businesses throttling new ideas.

How the Unconscious Mind Boosts Creative Output

New research finds we’re better able to identify genuinely creative ideas when they’ve emerged from the unconscious mind.

Effective use of creativity and innovation

Learn six important rules on how organizations can use creativity and innovation to boost performance. Nancy Napier, professor of strategy and executive director of the Centre for Creativity and Innovation in the College of Business and Economics, shares insight gained from her research into that question in this week’s Beyond the Blue faculty podcast “Effective Use of Creativity and Innovation.”

Are we getting dumber?

"We are mentally lazy. Our education has conditioned our brains to circumvent deliberative and creative thinking wherever possible through rote memorization and robotic learning of formulas and principles. We have not been taught how to think for ourselves, we have been taught what to think based on what past thinkers thought. We are taught to think reproductively, not productively. We have been trained to seek out the neural path of least resistance, searching out responses that have worked in the past, rather than approach a problem on its own terms. This kind of thinking is dehumanizing and naturalizes intellectual laziness which promotes an impulse toward doing whatever is easiest or doing nothing at all."

From Michael Michalko

Dr Suess for Adults

Based on Dr. Seuss's final book before his death, this is a story about life's ups and downs, told by the people of Burning Man 2011.

Creativity - what is it and how do you express it?

Perspectives from a bunch of creative people.

7 ways meditation increases creativity

Our creative intelligence is not accessed by effort in the conventional sense that you learned at school or work. We cannot try or strive or strain for it, any more than we can strive to have fingers or feet. It’s more about dissolving the internal barriers that come between us and our innate creative potential, so we can align with it and allow it to flow more freely.

Meditation is a doorway between our inner and outer worlds. Between “reality” (the seemingly solid world that we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch) and an elusive “something else” we sense beneath, between and beyond what those five senses can grasp.

Meditation offers enormous benefits for everyone, and a set of particular benefits for those who are engaged in a creative activity like writing.

Four Types of Creativity

Creativity can be either emotionally or cognitively based, and it can also be spontaneous or deliberate. That gives you the four quadrants.