Public Speaking

    Have You Made the Creative Choice?

    GreggFraleyCasualv2smHave you made the Creative Choice?

    There is a ton of written material about creativity and innovation. I make an effort to keep up with the waves of literature — there’s a new methodology, a new process, fresh brain research, best practices, anti-best practices, etc. Some of this literature is quite good. There is also stuff about how creativity relates to mysticism and spirituality, also quite interesting. Finally there is also a good deal of useless, boring drivel that only reinforces unhelpful mythology about creativity. If you intend to be more creative and to use that capacity to innovate, I would encourage you to read widely and make your own judgments, but don’t get lost in all the words, don’t forget this:

    Creativity, the wellspring of innovation, starts with something very simple — a choice.

    Creativity is not something that happens to you. Or doesn’t happen to you! It may feel that way at times when your creativity doesn’t seem to be present. People over many years have bemoaned how elusive creativity seems to be, and term it a muse, an angel, a gift from God, etc. Creativity is indeed connected to spirituality. In my view it is part of the soul. So, I understand why people would connect it to things divine. And I understand it’s elusive nature, I don’t deny that.

    And…

    Creativity is Not a Muse, it’s a Choice.

    Thinking of creativity as a muse is like giving away the key to your own mind. When you make an active choice to be creative, your life changes. You open the door to your own creativity, you take back that idea engine between your ears. When you get up in the morning and look in the mirror and say “I’m creative” you’re choosing a path, and, you’re telling your brain how to behave. Good things flow from that choice. When you make that creative choice, creativity, over time, becomes something that’s part of your being, your personality, how you think and act — all you do. When you integrate it into your life and mind, elusive creativity shows up more often and stays longer. You’ll notice that good ideas will pop into your head more often. Over time people will notice and start calling you creative.

    It can change your life, and for the better.

    If you question your creativity “am I creative?” or even worse, say, “I’m not creative” your brain will listen. It will believe that you aren’t interested in the ideas it’s processing for you, and, won’t give them to you. You will process challenges with no energy or momentum. And, you’ll be living life tentatively, with fear, and with no confidence — and that’s no way to live. If creativity is a muse, you’ll have told it to go somewhere else. Belief in your own creativity is a self-fulfilling prophecy — as is the opposite belief! 

    If you think this way now, that you are not creative, remember: creativity is not just about artistic talent, at its root creativity is best defined as the human capability of solving problems. If you’ve ever solved a problem, you are creative. Humans are a successful animal because we are so adaptable. Problem solving is part of every human being’s chemistry.

    Creativity defined as artistic self-expression is one of the dominant myths about creativity. Many people believe that if they have no artistic talent they are not creative. This is just not so — but the belief inhibits. Another myth is the idea you need to be Einstein level brilliant. Not so, a high IQ is helpful but average people are also creative. Average  people can have amazing ideas. Again the belief that you must have a high IQ is inhibiting to more creative effectiveness. Toss that notion out!

    So, young people, old people — creative people — I urge you to make the active choice. Say it out loud. Write it down in your idea notebook (which you have with you at all times). Pick a time, every day, to remind yourself of your choice. Maybe it’s the morning mirror, maybe it’s an oak tree you pass, maybe it’s the door to your home, maybe it’s the first taste of coffee or tea. That’s your reminder moment, your re-choice moment. Pick your moment now.

    Try this for a month and see the difference in your creative results. I’d wish you luck, but when you make this choice you no longer need it. I’ll just say — happy trails to you, until we meet again.

    PS: If you want to start into more advanced practice, you might consider my book – Jack’s Notebook, a business novel about creative problem solving.

    PPS: If you liked this post or found it interesting, note that this concept is also a keynote speech I’ve given many times to corporate groups and associations, see: The Creative Choice.

    Comments

    Take Advantage — Innovate More for Less

    I’ve done 385 general interest creativity and innovation posts in the last few years. This post is different — it contains a commercial offer — albeit a fairly innovative one. If you’re not interested please ignore this post. Here’s the offer – I’ve decided to double the value I provide to my customers by offering a good old fashioned two-for-one deal. Why? I want to generate more buzz about my service offerings. To generate more buzz I want the perception of my value to be exceptional. So exceptional that people will talk , tweet, and refer. There is no sleight of hand here, I’ll be working twice for one fee. For both services delivered I won’t be cutting preparation time or the customization I

    Read More..
    Comments

    Ted Nugent Lacks Creativity

    The Golden Triangle of Inanity I’ve resisted the urge to write an enraged post about the inflammatory comments made in recent weeks by Ted Nuget, Sarah Palin, and Duck Dynasty guy, Phil Robertson. I call them The Golden Triangle of Inanity (GTA). Many writers and observers have responded to their words in kind, so, I guess that base is covered. I had the notion to take Ted Nugent’s recent statement (called Obama a “subhuman mongrel”) on word for word, and then I thought, it’s not worth the energy. Why spread around even more negativity? Suffice to say I think the recent statements of the GTA are crass, ignorant, and grossly inappropriate. If you believe that these celebrities are speaking out

    Read More..
    Comments

    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

    Read More..
    Comments

    Luke Williams at World Innovation Forum (a review)

    The following is a review of Luke Williams talk at the recent World Innovation Forum. Roving reporter and colleague Dr. Orin Davis gives Luke high marks as both a speaker/entertainer, AND as an innovation expert, high praise indeed. I’d not heard of Luke Williams, apparently he’s a fellow at Frog Design, an author, and a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business. I’m putting his “Disrupt” on my reading list. Here’s Orin’s report: ************** Disrupt Yourself!  Luke Williams at the World Innovation Forum by Orin Davis, Phd I note in jest that what Luke Williams primarily proved at his WIF talk is that showing pictures of babies doing really cute things, like trying to dance to Beyoncé’s “All the Single Ladies,” gets

    Read More..
    Comments

    Innovating Congress: Elect Intelligence & Competence

    As the on-going battle between parties in the congress winds on, it occurs to me that USA citizens might want to change how and why they vote for a representative. We’ve got it wrong. We voted for Gridlock! Representatives in a republic are not supposed to “do your bidding.” No, they’re supposed to Think and Act For You. When you elect someone to vote a specific way on a specific issue what you’re doing is closing down creativity, opportunity, and solutions. It’s the opposite of innovative. Let’s ignore party entirely. How about if we vote for intelligence, competency, and effectiveness? Let’s ignore specific positions on one issue. Let’s be more holistic, and, let’s vote for people who really know something. I

    Read More..
    Comments

    Why Make the Creative Choice?

    I believe that one of the most fundamental choices a human being can make relates to creativity. The choice is: do I wish to be a creative person or not? It would seem to be a no-brainer, but it’s interesting that at least half of people I talk to make the choice to Not be a creative person. This is done without a lot of thought, but sometimes it’s deliberate. Oh shame! For a long time I’ve taken for granted that people would want to be creative, but now I’m getting that there are reasons why folks might go the other way. Here are those reasons:   I don’t want the pressure of people looking to me for creative options

    Read More..
    Comments

    Gonzeaux #8 — Florida

    I spent most of the past week in the great state of Florida. While I hardly exhausted the potential of it’s vast expanse and endless coastline, I did get a gonzeaux dose of it. The FEI 2012 Conference lived up to it’s billing and reputation as the “serious” innovation conference. Hard to summarise, but let me try: great, insightful, relevant speakers, interesting interactions with both participants and vendors, and lots of fun and conversations around the edges. All about innovation of course. It’s expensive, but it you’re serious about innovation at your organisation and want to be aware of trends in the “industry” it’s well worth going. I made some great connections for KILN, which was my personal goal in

    Read More..
    Comments

    Michigan Innovation — Gonzeaux Tour Begins

    Three Oaks, Michigan, Monday May 7 — Gonzeau Tour Begins I’ve spent a frantic weekend preparing for the Gonzeaux Tour trip to Florida to attend the FEI 2012 Conference*. Two requests for proposal came over the transom on Friday and they required weekend work, and a lot of it. I had hoped for a bit of peace and thoughtful packing prior to what might be a week of cheap hotels, crashing with friends and family, but it was not to be. So, the first leg begins in an hour and I haven’t even packed a bag yet. I do have piles of stuff to take: KILN IdeaKeg boxes, large mural paper, Post-it’s, iPad, iPod, Garmin, pocket knives, sunflower seeds, water,

    Read More..
    Comments

    States of Innovation, Going Gonzeaux Tour – 2012

    I’ve decided to take the battle of Doing Innovation to the streets. Literally. Okay, it’s not a battle, it’s a conversation, but it’s definitely a road trip, and definitely about the Doing. I’m heading down to Orlando, FL to attend the Front End of Innovation Conference (FEI) taking place May 15, 16, and 17. Instead of doing the boring (and convenient) thing of taking a cheap flight from Chicago to Disneytown, I’m opting to drive through the heartland and a bit of the south — I’m going Gonzeaux (“GAWN zoe”) on my way to FEI. FEI is an amazing event, and, wouldn’t it be great if that innovation “conversation” was happening all over? And online? As I Go Gonzeaux I’m going

    Read More..
    Comments