Everyone has the same number of hours in a day to achieve their work. The greatest creative minds in the world were (or are) no exception. RJ Andrews' infographic using the book “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work” illustrates how some of these great minds schedule their day to include their creative work.
A thought about Imagination from the book "A Tree Grows in Brooking" by Betty Smith.
I found the excerpt in a Blog called "A Little Bird Told Me", but I think it is worth reading. You can go to the blog to look at the nice photographs, or read the book or, just read excerpt here :
"And you must tell the child the legends I told you--as my mother told them to me and her mother to her. You must tell the fairy tales of the old country. You must tell of those not of the earth who live forever in the hearts of people--fairies, elves, dwarfs, and such. Oh, and you must not forget the Kris Kringle. The child must believe in him until she reaches the age of six."
"Mother, I know there are no ghosts or fairies. I would be teaching the child foolish lies."
Mary spoke sharply. "You do not know whether there are not ghosts on earth or angels in heaven."
"I know there is no Santa Claus."
"Yet you must teach the child that these things are so."
"Why? When I, myself, do not believe?"
Because," explained Mary Rommely simply, "the child must have a valuable thing which is called imagination. The child must have a secret world in which live things that never were. It is necessary that she believe. Then when the world becomes too ugly for living in, the child can reach back and live in her imagination."
Ryan Jacoby, head of IDEO’s New York practice, gave a talk at NYU/Poly titled Leading Innovation: Process Is No Substitute.
His point: processes to promote innovation are all well and good, but they don’t guarantee it, and in some cases they might even provide a false sense of security.
He outlined what he described as the Seven Deadly Sins of innovation which are:
1: Thinking the answer is in here, rather than out there: You have to get outside and be open to innovation answers from unexpected places.
2: Talking about it rather than building it: in a land of meetings and memos and lots and lots of discussion it’s more than possible that all this talk might prevent us from actually doing anything.
3: Executing when we should be exploring: Management types usually try to nail down a project way too early in the timeframe.
4: Being smart: “If you’re scared to be wrong, you won’t be able to lead innovation or lead the innovation process”. Innovation is all about discussing new ideas that currently have no place in the real world. If you’re only comfortable talking about things that *don’t* strike you as alien, chances are you’re not talking about real innovation.
5: Being impatient for the wrong things: Innovation takes time, but too often executives expect unrealistic results at an unrealistic clip.
6: Confusing cross-functionality with diverse viewpoints: More than simply mixing up functions, it is better to mix people with a whole host of backgrounds. “Diversity is key for innovation”.
7: Believing process will save you: Having an innovation process is fine, but it's not a guarantee of success even if it does produce some tangible product at the end. You have to “learn the process, execute the process, and then lead within it.”
Solve for X, Google’s new project, is a good example of how new technologies can be used to foster creativity and Innovation.
There are several videos of talks that can give you ideas to implement collaborative work that can foster innovation.
Some examples are:
“collaborative science” presented by Adrien Treuille which is about crowd solving scientific problems
« getting big stuff done » presented by Neal Stephenson. He urges who he calls the “imagination professionals” to build inspiring visions of the future to inspire the builders of the new world.
« low power wireless everywhere » by Anthony Sutera that speaks about accidental discovery
Solve for X is intended to be a forum to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and teamwork. It is a place where the curious can go to hear and discuss radical technology ideas for solving global problems.
Fearing failure stifles creativity and progress. If you're not failing, you're not going to innovate. Do your product or service a favor: embrace failure and blueprint a plan that affords you the opportunity to do it early and often.
Everyone is creative. But there are times when even the most creative person loses her muse. At those moments try these 7 unusual creativity boosters that research has shown will increase creativity:
1. Psychological distance
People often recommend physical separation from creative impasses by taking a break, but psychological distance can be just as useful.
2. Fast forward in time
Like psychological distance, chronological distance can also boost creativity.
3. Absurdist stimulation
The mind is desperate to make meaning from experience. The more absurdity it experiences, the harder it has to work to find meaning. Absurdity is a 'meaning threat' which enhances creativity.
4. Use bad moods
Positive emotional states increase both problem solving and flexible thinking, and are generally thought to be more conducive to creativity. But negative emotions also have the power to boost creativity.
5. Combining opposites
Interviews with 22 Nobel Laureates in physiology, chemistry, medicine and physics as well as Pulitzer Prize winning writers and other artists has found a surprising similarity in their creative processes.
Called 'Janusian thinking' after the many-faced Roman god Janus, it involves conceiving of multiple simultaneous opposites. Integrative ideas emerge from juxtapositions, which are usually not obvious in the final product, theory or artwork.
6. Path of most resistance
When people try to be creative they usually take the path of least resistance by building on existing ideas (Ward, 1994). This isn't a problem, as long as you don't mind variations on a theme.
If you want something more novel, however, it can be limiting to scaffold your own attempts on what already exists. The path of most resistance can lead to more creative solutions.
People often jump to answers too quickly before they've really thought about the question. Research suggests that spending time re-conceptualising the problem is beneficial. Forget the solution for now, concentrate on the problem. Are you asking the right question?
Despite all the high falutin talk of Nobel Prize winners and artists, all of these methods can be applied to everyday life.
Combining opposites, choosing the path of most resistance, absurdism and the rest can just as easily be used to help you choose a gift for someone, think about your career in a new way or decide what to do at the weekend. 'Off-duty' creativity is just as important, if not more so, than all that 'serious' creativity.
Two weeks ago, I shared some of my favorite quotes on service. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you already know that I love to share quotes.
Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results. ~Andrew Carnegi
No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it. ~Halford E. Luccock
We should not only use all the brains we have, but all that we can borrow. ~Woodrow Wilson
Each of us must make the effort to contribute to the best of our ability according to our individual talents. And then we put all the individual talents together for the highest good of the group. … Understanding that the good of the group comes first is fundamental to being a highly productive member of a team. ~John Wooden
There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves. ~Lyndon B. Johnson
Good teams always have common goals. When you find that goals of certain members differ from the team’s, then the team will usually do poorly. ~Red Auerbach
No one of us is more important than the rest of us. ~Ray Kroc
The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much better I’d made my teammates play. ~Bill Russel
I can do what you can’t do, and you can do what I can’t do; together we can do great things. ~Mother Teresa
Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. ~Vince Lombardi
The key elements in the art of working together are how to deal with change, how to deal with conflict, and how to reach our potential…the needs of the team are best met when we meet the needs of individual persons. ~Max De Pree
No member of a crew is praised for the rugged individuality of his rowing. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half sorrow. ~Swedish Proverb
A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history. ~Mohandas K. Gandh
If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
SCAMPER is a checklist of nine creative-thinking principles based on the notion that everything new is some addition or modification of something that already exists. You can take anything that exists and change it into a new idea.
This checklist was first formally suggested by Alex Osborn and later arranged by Bob Eberle into the following mnemonic:
S = Substitute C = Combine A = Adapt M = Magnify = Modify P = Put to other uses E = Eliminate R = Rearrange = Reverse
With each section of the mnemonic, just think of how you could apply that action to the idea you want to work with. So, for example, ask yourself:
Can I substitute certain aspects of this idea to create something new? Can I combine it with something else? Can I adapt it to fit a different situation?Can I Modify or chang it in some fashion? Can I puit it to some other use? Can I eliminate something from it? Can I rearrange it? What happens if I reverse or rearrange it?
We know that few things are truly original. Some of the best ideas come from adapting other ideas into something that hasn't been done before. So think about any subject and apply the "Scamper" checklist of questions. You'll find that ideas start popping up almost involuntarily.
1. You are creative. Every one of us is born a creative, spontaneous thinker. The only difference between people who are creative and people who are not is a simple belief.
2. Creative thinking is work. You must have passion and determination to immerse yourself in the process of creating new and different ideas. Then you must have patience to persevere against all adversity.
3. You must go through the motions of being creative. The more times you try to get ideas, the more active your brain becomes and the more creative you become.
4. Your brain is not a computer. Your brain is a dynamic system that evolves its patterns of activity rather than computes them like a computer. It thrives on the creative energy of feedback from experiences real or fictional. The human brain cannot tell the difference between an "actual" experience and an experience imagined vividly and in detail. (go to the post to read more about this, it is important).
5. There is no one right answer. Reality is ambiguous. The only certainty in life is uncertainty. Think of all your ideas as possibilities and generate as many as you can before you decide which ones to select.
6. Never stop with your first good idea. Always strive to find a better one and continue until you have one that is still better.
7. Expect the experts to be negative. The more expert and specialized a person becomes, the more their mindset becomes narrowed and the more fixated they become on confirming what they believe to be absolute. Consequently, when confronted with new and different ideas, their focus will be on conformity.
8. Trust your instincts. Don't allow yourself to get discouraged.
9. There is no such thing as failure. Whenever you try to do something and do not succeed, you do not fail. You have learned something that does not work.
10. You do not see things as they are; you see them as you are. All experiences are neutral. You give them meaning by the way you choose to interpret them. You construct your own reality by how you choose to interpret your experiences.
11. Always approach a problem on its own terms. Do not trust your first perspective of a problem as it will be too biased toward your usual way of thinking. Always look at your problem from multiple perspectives.
12. Learn to think unconventionally. Creative geniuses are inclusive thinkers, they generate associations and connections between unrelated or dissimilar subjects to provoke different thinking patterns that lead to new connections which give them a different way to focus on the information and different ways to interpret what they are focusing on.
Albert Einstein once famously remarked "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."
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