Creative team building

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Creative team building

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I bang on a lot of how  the simple fact of opening your eyes (really opening your eyes and looking) is one of the easiest ways to give your idea bank/creativity/innovation pipeline a boost. I use this example a lot on creative programs I deliver. The question I ask is, who has the best time on an overseas trip? Do you want to be a traveller with your eyes wide shut (Well, this is a lot dirtier to home, I don’t understand what people are saying and where the hell is a supermarket?) or a traveller with their eyes wide open? (This place is so different to anything I have ever seen, I am going to embrace it and enjoy everything new that I see). The response is always the traveller with eyes wide open has the best time. Having your eyes open and really taking in what you see (recognising it, pondering on it, exploring it) is like putting a stick of creative dynamite in the brain. The more you look then the more you see. The more you see the more ideas you trigger. Pretty simple but too often overlooked. An article I read of eyes wide open coming to life was titled ‘Gallery puts sleuthing in the frame’ in the Sydney Morning Herald last year. CIA and FBI agents have been sent on a course at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to ”refresh their sense of inquiry” by analysing paintings. The course leader, Amy Herman, said: ”We’re getting them off the streets and out of the precincts, and it refreshes their sense of inquiry.‘They’re thinking, ‘Oh, how am I doing my job?’ And it forces them to think about how they communicate, and how they see the world around them.”Ms Herman, an art historian, developed the course for medical students, but successfully pitched it as a training course to the New York police academy. Inspector Kenneth Mekeel, of the New York Police Department, said the course helped officers with their usual line of work.”We always teach them: step back, look at what you have, the crime scene, make observations,” he said. ”There’s more to a picture than meets the eye.’‘Bill Reiner, an FBI special agent, said Ms Herman’s classes had helped one of his officers crack a fraud scheme worth up to $US100 million. ”Amy taught us that to be successful, you have to think outside the box,” Mr Reiner said. ”Don’t just look at a picture and see a picture. See what’s happening.” When I lectured at the National Gallery of England on the paintings (one of the reasons I loved this story), I went...

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Creativty – process or end product? I think that people often focus on the wrong thing with creativity and especially their won creativity. Mostly the focus is on the end result, rather than what happened in the process. Let me use the example of drawing. Someone sits down to draw or represent an idea. If the result is something that they hadn’t imagined or even don’t like, has it been a waste of time? The commercial answer may be yes. The internal skeptic we all have would tell you it’s a pile of crap and a waste of time (along with the usual “you aren’t creative, don’t try it again idiot!”) Some other people may even laugh at what you have done. But is it waste of time? My thoughts are a big NO. Participating in the process of drawing gives great outcomes such as self expression, thinking differently, visualisation, relaxing, thinking, creating, improving hand-eye coordination, refreshing your soul, learning to see, learning a new skill and plenty of other great outcomes. I think that to many people ignore the benefits of engaging in a creative process. How good is it to dance just because you can? What are the benefits of dancing for no reason at all? I started thinking more about this whilst reading an article by Tom Allen recently about prisoners in Bali who were exhibiting their art. The organiser said the exhibition was more about soothing troubled souls rather than unearthing a master.The focus was as much on the benefit of painting rather than the specific outcomes of the painting. And that’s exactly right. Creativity has many fantastic benefits, including the benefits  process of doing something ‘creative’. Be brave, ignore the outcome and go and create for the fun of it. What is the worst that can...

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My year 7 art teacher killed my creativity! Its a little bit of a harsh statement but I find that for so many people it seems to be true.  This is not a slant against art teachers or any teachers at all. They do an amazing job and I used to be an art teacher myself many years ago. What I find though, is that so many people we work with had a bad experience with their year 7 art teacher where they were either told they were useless or made to feel useless. What happens? That person builds a limiting belief and spends the rest of their life saying  ‘I cant draw, I am not creative’. If you say you are not creative then you will not act creatively. Simple. Which is really sad. You kill off a part of you that should be alive and that can make your life and career great. There is a speech by Sir Ken Robinson at the TED conference on You Tube that is getting a lot of interest at the moment. He talks about how the school system is killing creativity and that he thinks that ‘creativity is as important as literacy’. Some other great points he made are: If you not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with anything original. We get educated out of creativity – we are all born creative. Education is focused on skills that would get you a job in the industrial age, not in the current age We need to radically rethink our view of intelligence – its multi-functional, dynamic, interactive and distinct. He presents some fantastic points and about embracing all forms of intelligence and creativity, not killing it. Remember, all children are born creative, lets not kill it off Last chance saloon If you havent been able to see the work of Olafur Eliasson at the Museum of Contemporary Art, DO!! You dont need to have any knowledge of art whatsoever to be enthralled by this exhibition. “From light-filled environments to walk-in kaleidoscopes, Eliasson’s unique, experiential works explore the intersection between nature and science, and the boundary between the organic and the artificial” Make it happen before 11th April...

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