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2010 Creativity World Forum-notes

2010 Creativity World Forum

Working to transform our world through creative initiatives which lead to a more entrepreneurial and vibrant economy along with a better quality of life for its citizens.

Conference Notes Nov. 2010 Sher Sester



Oklahoma State of Creativity newsroom


Read about the Oklahoma State of



Read about the Initiatives Oklahoma is

taking to improve business in the state


reviews of current technology


several provocative, bestselling books

about the changing world of work, a

more effective path to high performance


Mixergy Interview: Why should business

people care about creativity?



Imagination, the ability to visualize

new possibilities,


imagination conversations Lincoln



International center for creativity and




Connecticut Imagination Conversation

Creativity is fueling the 21st Century.

Three global leaders looked

at the creative innovation that is driving both business and individual

growth.Think about the companies that have done well in this economic downturn, what made the difference? A creative approach to business, making the brand human, connecting with the public in a fun or personal manner. Think about the “Cult” of Apple followers. Apple,

Macs, iPhone owners are fans, not just owners. They will talk about

the positive qualities at the drop of a hat, it’s personal. Don’t you wish

your business generated that kind of response. They are a creativity

driven product that is personally embraced by many! Think about

what they did differently. How they got there. Think about Google,

iMovie, Twitter, YouTube. Their creative approaches generated a

great, old fashioned, positive bottom line.

Creative ideas come from bringing different disciplines together

in a nurturing atmosphere where everyone is encourage to suggest

ideas,even risky ideas. They are permitted to fail in order to find the

BEST answer, not just the socially acceptable, tried and true answer.

The “Proven” path will get you the same results that produced what

you are you are trying to improve. Listen to people who work in a

different field, have a different point of view, don’t always see things

your way to get ideas that you might not think of yourself. Often the

first “Best idea” leads to even better idea if you say that sounds good

“Yes, and so… what else might work?”

Think about the Science of Motivation. The classic motivator is the

carrot and the stick – if you do this then you will get that. That doesn’t

always work, no one size fits all. People want to make a contribution

to something good, worthwhile, they want their work to be worth


The roundtable discussion with Pogue, Robinson and Pink was

preceded with presentations by each, in which they look at creativity’s

relationship with the worlds of technology, business and education.

No government ministry invented rock and roll,” Robinson said. “That

happened because it was in the culture and the culture shifted. That’s

what’s happening today. The culture is shifting and I think everyone

should ride the wave.”

In his talk, Pogue said that the world is in need of more whimsy and

fun, which fosters innovation. And on the flip side of that, technology

has allowed people to become more innovative.

Pink analyzed the roots of motivation and encouraged people to

give themselves time in their businesses and organizations to work

on “non-commissioned” projects, when creativity would flow freely.

Commissioned work is the work you have to turn in each day, the

must do’s. Non-commissioned work is the project or idea that you

thought up yourself and think would make a difference, something

you are intrigued or passionate about if you could just find the time to

work on it and get someone to look at it with an open

mind it would be a great contribution. “In your work,

you are most creative when you have autonomy over

your team, technique, time and tasks.”

Robinson focused on the state of creativity and how

it has impacted education, saying “many of our institutions

don’t understand the process of creativity” but

that this a “revolutionary time of change” and new

ideas must be studied and embraced.

Ideas to spark “Imagination Conversations.”

Imagination, the ability to visualize new possibilities

and new paths to solutions.


Conversations are conversations between two or more

people to investigate, research, imagine, brainstorm.

A key cognitive capacity to engage policy makers,

business leaders and thinkers across professions in

a series of dynamic discussions about the role of

imagination to create action plans for solutions to the

challenges of competing in this economic downturn

era. These conversations include diverse groups all

looking at the problems from different perspectives,

in-house business groups, private gatherings, or large

public forums coming together for a safe, nurturing,

discussion of ideas, visions and various solutions to

arrive at a strategic plan for accomplishing the goals

of the group or agency. This session was conducted

by Scott Noppe-Brandon, Executive Director. Lincoln

Center Institute, Eric Liu, Author, Civic Entrepreneur

and Martha McKenna, Provost and Academic VP of

Lesley University.

David Pogue and Daniel Pink said “All love affairs

begin with a single conversation” Wouldn’t you love

to change the world or improve conditions for humanity?

Imagination conversations should take place on a

daily basis as part of all business planning session.

Consider having what some companies call FED-EX

Days( Fed Ex Delivers, When it absolutely, positively

needs to get there, Must Deliver) The workers get a space

of time each week to work on a project they thought of,

or wanted to work on that must be delivered at a weekly

meeting where new ideas are presented and discussed.

Some ideas live on and some will die.

Some companies have 20% time – 20% of your day

or 20% of your week to devote to a project for the

company that you are passionate about.

Provide space to meet, work on or develop with a

team, your special projects. A space where you are free

to discuss, brainstorm, or propose ideas that are off the

wall but Might Work Or Fail with no repercussions or

they might succeed and be a boon for the company.

“Can I do one thing tomorrow that will make

things better? YES!”

Change doesn’t happen from a mapped out initiative,

but from a conversation that ignites a fire of passion

in people to find a way to make the change possible

within the constraints of the situation.

We no longer live in the Industrial Era when business

models were developed for assembly line processes.

Our jobs are no longer about; be in you spot

and always put part A next to part B and repeat to

develop the product. Stick and carrot thinking.

Now counter intuitive thinking produces new answers

and solutions to the questions facing businesses. Instead

of looking at the Big Picture and thinking I can’t

change all of that, think what can I do today to make

one thing better. Everyone can impact the process.

Look at what the 4 people who held your job before

you did and do something different and the company

will progress. Creativity is a river, it has inertia and

movement – you can be the person that removes the

obstacles or you can block the flow. Great managers

and workers visualize, facilitate and motivate people

to take ownership of the flow and move the company

and humanity forward.

We need to hire or promote people who don’t “drink

from the same well as you do” (don’t think the same

way). We need to do something different to change for

the better. Doing the same thing over and over, following

the same path leads you to the same place you are

now, you never move ahead.

Creativity at Work

– lead by Linda Naiman

Handling change, the heros journey – Think of a



steps 1-4 going down to the bottom and 5-8

climbing back up. 1. Change 2. Destabilizing events

fear of the unknown 3. Chaos 4. Crucible of change

(the pits) 5. Transforming ideas Finding gold (your

true self) 6. Integrating your vision 7. Returning to

the Ordinary World and expressing your Golden Self

to create your new status quo 8. Experiencing wellbeing

by striving toward excellence using your unique

talents and potential for the good of others.

We also need healthy relationships, characterized by

empathy and trust, to engage in creative conversations

and collaboration.

“Where your talents and the needs of the world

cross, lies your calling.”;Aristotle

Art is a conversation in visual literacy. People are

more likely to understand documents that reach then

through several of their senses – seeing, (Seeing encompasses

reading words and pictures – symbols, body

language, icons and emotions) hearing touch or taste.

Be sure you reach out to people in as many ways you

can to reach those who respond to visual, audio, words

or numbers.

Listen for the brilliance in others. Often they are

quite, look different or act different than you do, but

may possess the answer you have been searching for.

What is your companies Point of Purpose? What is

your Point of Purpose? Where do they coincide? When

you are clear of what your point of purpose is you can

lead, communicate and help others. Create conditions

that encourage transformation and conversations on

accomplishing your personal, company and professional


Creative Innovation – Define desired out-come

1. Define challenge

2. Gather data

3. Question assumptions – ask why – What if, Why not,

don’t allow: but… or because that is the way we

have always done it.

4. Incubate thoughts and information

5. Evaluate

6. Develop prototype – test

7. Evaluate out-come

8. Accept process or go back to step 3 and repeat

9. Implement

10. CELEBRATE with everyone in the process

What is your narrative?

So much of what we think is possible is in the story

we tell ourselves about ourselves, about the people we

know, about the company, about the state, etc.

“Well that could never happen in Oklahoma” “You

know government, they don’t do it that way” “My

vote doesn’t matter, I’m too young/old for them to

care what I think”

It is easy to fall into that trap.

1. Renew your narrative. They have a tendency to be


self fulfilling. Evaluate what you think and say.

Is this story serving me or holding me back? Change

your story!

2. Challenge the challenges. Has the challenge become

routine – “this is the best we can do about this situation

so this is the way we do it.” Is it still a tough challenge

or is it just a routine we aren’t crazy about? What is

the next step what challenge should you be working

on now. New challenges come along each day. Keep

trying to improve.

3. Improve. “ Yes and we can also…” make the world

a better place. Make your job better.

make action plans, action steps, what would you like

to see happen?

Share Dreams!

Think Big Thoughts! Make imagination part of your

everyday thought.

You can’t move forward if you cant imagine something





Edison knew 100 ways how not to make a light bulb.

•It has to be OK to fail before you will risk trying

something new.

•Come to every problem or challenge from a point

of ignorance. The more you know the more likely

you are to assume you know all the answers. From

ignorance you can research, discuss and climb your

way up to a new solution.

• All people need to know how to follow, not just

lead. They need to be willing to be part of a team

success not just the star.

•Use the YES AND method in all discus

never no or but

•Always look for the BEST ANSWER in

•Creative – the ability to imagine things as

they could be.

•What is a dream of your


•Embrace constraints – learn to deal with

them and think “inside the box



Listen actively!

that matters?

•Dreams can make change happen

•Notice Deeply

•Encourage Play

•Embrace Experimentation

•Think Big (crazy big vision!)

•Keep dialogues going. Engage in conver


of the just the Right Answer.



When ask “Can you, can we say:

“Yes and we could…”

It was a very good conference!

Sher Sester


If you want it to or not, some good, some bad.

It is up to you to decide how to react to it.

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