Creative team building

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Creative team building

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THE SECRET TO UNLOCKING YOUR CREATIVE POTENTIAL        – Is far easier than you think! Last week I facilitated an Art Masterpiece team building workshops with a high profile client in Melbourne. Opening the event I asked the participants the dreaded question, “Who here considers themselves to be creative?” To which I heard nothing but crickets. Now this response wouldn’t normally surprise me however I considered this company to be operating in a particularly creative field. When I probed a little further I found that the majority of staff did not consider themselves to be creative for in their words, “they could not draw!” They held strong to this belief and we where about to partake in a 3 hour art workshop… yikes! We pressed along as I guided them through a series of activities where their skills scaffolded allowing each participant to stretch and strengthen their right brain and creative ability. 2 hours in and the very same staff members now proudly displayed amazing, expressive works of art and a creative confidence exuded from their being. Asked the same question again “Who here considers themselves to be creative?” and the answer was an resounding “I do!” Admittedly throughout this process there was quite bit of drawing involved and yeah the ability of the individuals mentioned was less than crash hot but big stinking deal! Drawing is simply the ability to make a mark on something, and is absolutely no indicator to one’s creative ability. Creativity is a frame of mind, a way of looking at the world not an measure of ones artistic talent.   We need to dispel this myth that “I can’t draw a life portrait so that means I’m not creative”, and accept the reality that just by being human you innately are!  Granted you may have closed that possibility a long, looooooong time ago but regardless, the fact is you are! Just take a look at a group of kindergarten students anywhere between the age of 4 and 6 every child of that age pours creativity, if your a parent you know the truth of this statement, and guess what… We where all children once. When we embrace this truth we give ourselves permission to think creatively, exercise innovation and intern drive opportunities for growth be it for our department, our organisation, our business or our personal lives. Creative is the key to future progress   Time and time again I see countless individuals flex their creative muscles and reconnect with their ability as I guide them through our Art Masterpiece Workshop. If you think your team may need some guidance to unlock their...

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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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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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A great book has been written recently by Susan Cain called the “QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”. It has triggered of a rash of debate/feedback/emotions (nothing quiet there!) about brainstorming/group work/collaboration and creativity in general. There are three articles that I read that are worth a look that explore this topic: The brainstorming process is B.S. But can we rework it?  The fortunes of Solitude: Susan Cain on Introverts, The “New Groupthink”, And The Problems With Brainstorming Does Solitude Enhance Creativity? A Critique of Susan Cain’s Attack on Collaboration My thoughts after reading the articles and Susan’s work are that I am somewhat of a fence sitter. I take this position both as a practicing artist/creative practitioner (I think is the current term of phrase) and a business owner where creativity and people are our business. Those thoughts are: The great thing about being people is that we are all unique and different. What applies to one wont necessarily apply to the other. That’s what makes us cool. Great things happen when people collaborate and spend time by themselves. Coming to this argument with my artists hat on, great moments of creativity happen when you are alone in the studio. Playing undisturbed with your art is fantastic. Given that, you also need stimulus from the outside world to keep feeding this creativity going and developing and get some new energy going. Collaborating on art projects is fantastic as you get to mix and mash plenty of ideas together and you also get great feedback on what you are creating. As a business owner in the field of creativity, I cant wait it share ideas with the team and get their ideas and mix into a huge hotpot of creativity. I could not achieve what we do without this collaboration/sharing/feedback. Spending time by myself however gives great time for contemplation and review and when the mind rests, plenty of ideas are unlocked from the subconscious. Plane trips are great for this. If you have an ultra busy life, always being disturbed by phone calls or a household of young kids, these quiet times are ideal on both a personal and a professional level. Brainstorming is potentially crap and potentially great. It depends on how these are run, the environment, the expectations, the leaders of the ‘storm’, the energy and dynamics in both the team and the organisation, how the information is captured. You have to find what works best for you and your team. Try different things, be open to feedback, listen and see and the best way to work will be easily...

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I have spent the last 5 years working with people in organisations to unleash their natural creativity after a lifetime of practicing it myself. In many ways, this translates to coming up with better ideas, fresh solutions and innovative products. mu legend items for sale One of the things I always teach is to take a walk and open your eyes to what you see and relate this to your problem. The moment you move, you change your energy. The moment you change your environment and open your eyes, you bring in fresh stimulus. As I always share, the key is putting it into practice. Visualfunk is currently working with a business partner on some some new work we are doing. I had a list of ideas that I was being asked to come up with content for. One particular idea had me stumped for about 2 weeks. I had thought about it a lot but wasn’t getting anywhere. What was the problem? I was doing all of the thinking at my desk whilst looking at the same stuff. adidas original So, time to practice what I preach. All it took was a 5 min walk from the security clearance at the airport to an Airline lounge. The airport is full of stimulus. Lots of advertising, bright colours, sound, people, clothes, brands, food. Once I REALLY looked, it started to trigger my brain to think in different ways as I connected my problem to what I was seeing. The ideas started to flow. I wrote down loads of information. Once I sat down in the lounge, I continued to look around, see, connect and write the first thing that came into my head. In 10 minutes, I came up with more ideas on this particular problem than I did in 2 weeks of trying to solve it at my desk. If that isn’t improved productivity, I don’t know what is and it was soooooooooooo easy. We are hard wired to be creative. To unleash it, Try anything Most importantly, try something Move Change the stimulus around you Don’t judge what you are doing up front, wait a while Enjoy the...

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