Creativity and Self-Expression

  • Why Structured Creativity for Business?

    I was doing a training session this past week and I was confronted by one of my students. I was giving an overview of CPS* which is a framework for structured creative problem solving. Someone asked the obvious, and in a somewhat confrontational way — Can this really help our business? The implication was that learning a structured creative process was a waste of time. It’s a good question. Why would you pay for expensive training if you believe that creativity can’t be structured? If you believe that you can’t capture that lightening in a bottle, it would be hard to see the value of a structured creative process like CPS. But you can capture that lightning in a bottle. In

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  • America, where everybody has a chance to win

    The new Miss America is a real stunner. I saw the clips at a pub — they had the sound turned down.  I thought, so that’s who won the contest this year — can we please get to the baseball scores? It would appear others had a different reaction. Miss New York, now Miss America, is a Syracuse native and University of Michigan graduate, her name is Nina Davuluri. She’s the first woman of Indian descent to win the contest. Born in America, an American citizen, and by all accounts an exemplary young person. Congratulations Nina. You live in America, where everybody has a chance to win. You just proved it. I’m an innovation commentator and from that lens it’s

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  • Building Bridges in Oklahoma

    Briefly noted: Registration is open for the fourth annual State of Creativity Forum. The main day is Tuesday, November 19th. It’s in Oklahoma City — but make no mistake — this is now an international event. This conference is 1000+ people from all parts of the country and around the world. It has a strong speakers list, a vibrant exhibit hall, and a palpable energy. The theme this year is Building Bridges, and it is an apt one for a diverse state like Oklahoma. Also apt in that it’s always a challenge to bridge the gap between creative people and productive innovation. This kind of conference is a great way to cross that chasm. It’s still a very affordable price

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  • Yes, I Tweet a Bit (Innovators Use Twitter)

    I was just named as one of the Top 50 Innovation tweeters by Innovation Excellence. A tweeter is one who uses Twitter. It’s a fairly informal sort of top 50 list — I don’t think there is a great deal of analysis around content or reach, but still, it’s nice to be recognized. I crossed the 10,000 follower line about a month ago, and weirdly, it felt like a real accomplishment. Then I saw that my friend and colleague Dr. Cindi Burnet (@Cyndiburnett) is over 50,000 followers and I didn’t feel quite so glamorous. And, you get out of Twitter what you put into it. I’m happy with my results at my current time-investment level. 10,000 feels like a “very

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  • Innovation, like eggs, is cheaper in the country

    This post is about an innovative company called aXess America, but first… Do you assume that broadband web access is nearly universal? It’s not. Millions of rural Americans have no, or quite poor, web access. Our government allocated part of the 2.9 billion in the stimulus package (The American Recovery and Reinvestment act of 2009) to solve this problem. For many, probably most rural Americans — this had no impact at all. This inequality of access has the USA ranking 26th in the world. In Internet access! And we’re slipping. This does not bode well for USA innovation. Historically, many breakthrough innovations have originated in the countryside. Philo Farnsworth, the Idaho farm boy, helped invent TV. Edison was a country boy

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  • The Magic of Sid Parnes

    I got the news in the modern way, Facebook. Sid Parnes had passed away. I felt a grey milestone pass through me, and I smiled. If there is one person I know who gave life his all, who did his best, it was Sid Parnes. He was 91 years old. For my readers who don’t know who he was — Sidney Parnes, Phd is the co-inventor of what is known as the Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving process.  He helped start the CPSI Conference with Alex Osborn, and, was the  co-founder of the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State University. Sid wrote many books — including a very popular one Optimize the Magic of Your Mind, and was a prominent and prolific

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  • The Value of a “Cross Domain” View

      Dr. Orin Davis (@DrOrinDavis) has written up two more short pieces — essentially his reflections from the talks of Rebecca Henderson and Dan Pink at the recent World Innovation Forum. His comments on Pink are somewhat provocative, so, be aware I do not share Orin’s views exactly. Orin is a well read academic (and practitioner as well) and he knows a lot about the wide array of literature that exists for creativity and innovation — that’s why I’ m publishing his insightful work here. His critique of Pink is interesting to me because I was not aware of who Pink borrows from, and, if he is borrowing faithfully to the original research. That said, I think there’s a real value for people

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  • Why Not? Keeping the Creative Door Open

    When it comes to sparking the imagination, much is made of that lovely phrase, “What If?” It’s a good one, no doubt. Just the mention of the phrase has folks going down a more imaginative path. However, quite often, we get to the end of that imaginative path, and, good news, we have an idea in mind. We might express it, we might not. Often, instead of moving forward with self-expression, like writing it up, talking to others, or taking some action, we just let it go. Why? Lots of reasons. It might seem impractical. Or expensive. Or just hard to do. Or, we might start thinking about what everybody is going to say about it, and mercy sakes, don’t

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  • Trayvon, George, Fear and Creativity

    It’s all about Fear. I’m of the belief that fear is the opposite of creativity. Fear leans towards the darkness in our souls. Creativity leans towards the light. Creativity is high order thinking, fear is not thinking, it’s letting our lizard brain dictate our action. Fear is the hidden truth in what happened with the Zimmerman sentence and the Martin murder. Some would question, now, my use of the word murder when Zimmerman has been acquitted. I’m sorry, but George is responsible for the death of Trayvon Martin. He put himself in that position, he fired the weapon, in my view he’s responsible. George Zimmerman was operating from a fundamental place of fear. He could have chose differently. Fear is

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  • Reflections on CPSI 2013

    Beg forgiveness for writing again about CPSI (Creative Problem Solving Institute) but feel compelled to share my experience at the conference. I’ve just returned and am still digesting a very rich creative learning experience. I’m thinking differently. Disclosure: KILN was a sponsor this year at CPSI. CPSI 2013 returned to a college campus, and to Buffalo, after many years of bouncing around the country. My first thought is to say I hope it stays there. CPSI is not a “corporate” conference and it does not belong at a hotel. It’s a learning conference (where anybody who can afford it) belongs. Of course, many corporate folks attend, they need creativity in the worst way and some actually know it. AND also attending: educators,

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