Creative team building

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Creative team building

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I recently had the pleasure of attending a Tantalising Tuscany program held at the Italian Village at the Rocks in Sydney. The program was run for a global investment group who wanted to “do” something different for one of their internal teams. So they called us, and ended up at the Italian Village ready to take part in VisualFunk’s Tantalising Tuscany program, creating a sumptuous three course traditional Italian meal (facilitated by traditional Italian chefs!) from scratch. They created antipasti, insalata, pane della casa, pizza and an amazing dessert of Canestrini di Arancio e Cioccotta!  The larger team was divided into three teams and then these teams were given their first challenge – to design their own name badges and chefs hats. They then took their places at their food stations and the fun really began. Coached by the Italian chefs and helped by a little vino rosso, the teams transformed their basic ingredients into a wonderful dinner. But wait, there’s more… For the teams to take home the title of “Best Chefs” and a prize donated by the client, a VisualFunk judge (who shall remain nameless), had to choose the best antipasti, pizza and dessert. It was a hard choice, and it became very clear that each team wanted THAT TITLE. As the teams tussled between each other for the best dish in each category, the judge wasn’t surprised that bribery came into the fore – even the Italian chefs were bribing her!!!! At the end of the day, the judge wouldn’t be swayed and based her decision on the best looking dishes. (Shame she didn’t get to sample any!). After a couple of hours of cooking, the teams were able to sit down together and enjoy their creation amongst much laughter and recanting of the evening. A nice way to end a busy day....

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I think that we all have a creative knot. Something that in all of us, is tied up, tight and potentially stopping us fulfilling our creative potential. Stopping us expressing ourselves and coming up with some great ideas and then acting upon them. It’s a knot that can be really tight. Untying this not is the key to tapping into your creative mojo and all the good things that can happen. So what helps you to unlock this creative knot? I am writing this in the middle of a 5 hr plane ride and I find that this is where I unlock my knot. It’s usually after a wine and about an hour into the trip. The realization hits that there are no phone calls, no email, no messages. I am feeling relaxed. adidas nmd I am usually watching a movie and then I start to feel really inspired. Not just inspired, but over the top of inspired. I feel like my mind becomes a flowing river if ideas, thoughts and images. Things are happening. I get my creative flow on and I stay in it. cheap mu legend redzen I always keep my notebook handy and jot down, draw and play with the river of ideas. The more you unwind the creative knot, the easier it is to keep it that way and to keep harnessing that wonderful creativity that we all have. Think of it like fitness. To get fit you have to unlock the knot of motivation. You have to get off that couch. You need the will power to keep the exercise going after 2 minutes when you get puffed. You need to push yourself hard. The more you untwist the knot, the easier it is to keep it untwisted. You get your fitness charging and then you don’t want to let it go. It’s the same with you creativity and your self-expression. Once you untie the knot and start expressing and acting on your creative talents, the easier it is to keep it going and not have that knot reappear. Whilst untying the creative knot sounds like a very slippery use of a metaphor, finding the right environment, mood, situation, stimulus, energy to untwist your creative knot is essential. It’s different for everyone but once you find it, it gets easier to stay creative and fulfill the great potential that we all have. I don’t want to do a 5 hr plane ride every day so it’s important to put into your day those little things that untie your creative...

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I have been lucky enough to share my passion of art and creativity with some fantastic companies over the last 14 years. I love seeing people tapping back into that wonderful creativity that we all have and the wonderful energy that comes from being expressive, imaginative and creative. So I was delighted when we had the opportunity to run a creative session at this years Sydney Fringe Festival for members of the public.  Whilst not a team building session, many elements were the same as the creative team building programs we run. Everyone getting out of their comfort zone. Everyone really scared about how to start and what it will look like! The first few steps are always very, very tentative.  It’s as if the paper may ignite when the pen first hits it and makes a mark. Great things start to happen when everyone feels more comfortable. It was a sold out program and we had an absolute blast.   The venue was a great space. Always a fan of a great environment to drive creativity, Fringe HQ was buzzing with stimulus. It was great to have a room full of people ready to get out of their comfort zone and to do something creative. There was plenty of fun and energy in the room. Most importantly, everyone left with something that they were proud of! The Fringe Festival gave a nice review as well  There is a tipping point when you do anything new and out of our comfort zones. There is often a voice inside  you have to deal with, telling you a bunch of crap about how unsuccessful your are going to be. The inner voice/ego/doubt we have holds us back from doing so many things. This is especially true with anything creative. Once you suck it up and go for it, the inner voice starts to quieten down then disappear completely. That’s when great things happen. I love seeing everyone leave with something they were proud of and the great smile that comes from reconnecting with your creativity. All things start with a small step, even opening up your creative potential. So, what step are you going to take to reconnect with your creativity and...

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You see so many list of what to do to be creative. In corporate land, its always about using a specific tool (invented by a consultant) to help you to think up better ideas. In creative land (where people make a living every day from doing creative stuff), the lists are different. You don’t rely on just a specific tool to keep being creative – why would you?  For me, these creative tools miss most of what it means to be creative – the act of creating itself.   To be creative, you have to create and live creatively. And the good news is that you don’t have to buy it. Designers become great designers from designing Artists become great artist through creating art Florists become great florists from constantly putting together floral creations Photographers become great photographers from constantly taking photos The more you CREATE, the more creative you become. You can then throw out the book of thinking tools you paid $60 for and is on the bookshelf in your office. This is why I really liked the Rules of a Creator’s Life from Creative Something. My favourite rules were: Try new things Always be creating Turn work into play Sounds so simple but creativity is simple. Creative people are creative because they try new things and area always creating. Who cares what is looks like at the end – just concentrate on having a good time in the process. Mistakes are OK! So what’s stopping you? Go and be creative today. It feels...

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A recent study by Adobe of over 5000 people in the worlds 5 leading economies: United States, England, France, Germany and Japan has revealed that only 1 in 4 people are living up to their creative potential. There are some interesting points: 80% of people feel that Creativity is key to driving economic growth Whilst 50% agree that they are increasingly being expected to think creatively at work 75% say that there is increasing pressure to be productive rather than creative at work 59% feel that creativity is being stifled by the education system – echoing the words of Sir Ken Robinson There were some interesting barriers that people spoke about as a barrier. The biggest surprise to me was that 43% indicated that a lack of money was the biggest challenge to being creative. Isn’t creativity free? Artists are considered highly creative but have one of the lowest per capita incomes around. I fully understand the issue of time (which I have spoken of before) as you have to make time to put the idea into action and make it real. Some other barriers to creativity were: Fear of being judged Finding others to support you I don’t take chances What people wanted most to help them be creative were: Time to think creatively 36% Training to learn and use creative tools 31% An environment to think creatively 30% Tools to create 27% 71% of people also preferred to be by themselves when they create – something to think about next time you head into a brainstorm session. One thing I like about this study is that it is easy. Thankfully, a study on creativity has been represented, creatively! Easy to read, not much text and plenty of colour. There is always lots of negative and positive feedback about any study such as this and this has been no different. Whatever your thoughts, its a great way to think about how you are trying to encourage innovation and creativity in your company and the one I really like, ‘Are you living up to your creative potential? If not, why...

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I really enjoyed an interview I read where Peter Cook was interviewing Professor Adrian Furnham. For me, it was great to read an an article that was low on jargon and trademarked and what I see as the bulls#*t factor. Unlike a lot of academics work on creativity and innovation he speaks simply and realistically.He also acknowledges the hard work (as with any success) involved in developing a culture of innovation. There was a nice sum list at the end the summed up the his view on encouraging personal creativity. Read the article, it’s great. Furnham’s top creativity tips PK: Given that creativity may be necessary but insufficient for an innovative enterprise, I asked Professor Furnham for his top tips to encourage personal creativity at work, learning and play: AF : Here are ten simple but important ideas: Sleep on it:  Come back to problems and issues.  Let them fall fallow for a bit; stew; incubate.  Revisit them when it suits. Read widely: Talk to all sorts of experts.  Get outside your box. Talk to people who think about things differently from you. Don’t give up:  Persistence is the key.  Most attempts fail.  Breakthroughs are rare. Take a Risk: Fear of failure, humiliation, teasing and abuse are natural enemies of creativity.  Go on – play with hunches and tentative ideas.  Break the rules.  Take courage. Piggy back:  Take others’ work and take it further.  Put things together which do not fit. Identify peak times and conditions:  Work out when and where you are at your best for idea generation and refinement.  Set aside these times for those activities. Record your flashes:  Have a place and method to record all ideas – some worth revisiting and incubation. Build your particular expertise/skill/knowledge: creativity is always skill based.  Get to the cutting edge of your chosen area…..there is no substitute for this. Question and Probe the obvious:  Take little for granted; turn things upside down; celebrate similarities and differences. Lighten up:  Be playful; use humour; have a sense of the absurd and the ridiculous....

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