Creativity


Why it can be hard to do things differently


In Chapter 9 of Coaching for Innovation we encourage you to try doing things differently. Doing simple, everyday tasks in a different way or varying your normal routine is an excellent way to train the brain to be more creative as it  builds new neurological connections and pathways.   I just came across this really interesting and well-produced video which demonstrates why it can sometimes be so difficult to challenge ourselves in this way. Take a look – and perhaps like the man in the video who unlearns how to ride a bike in order to ride it differently, you will see that perseverance is sometimes...

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TEDx at CERN: innovation in action


There was a superb TEDx event this week at CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva. Attendance was free – thanks to excellent support from Rolex. The topic was “Forward : charting the future with science” and the big questions being asked were around “What are the big ideas in science that will help us address tomorrow’s major global challenges?”. Now, I am not a scientist but I do enjoy learning. There was a lot of that – mostly delivered in an interesting and easy to understand way. There was inspiration from young entrepreneurs who are making contributions to global health, saving the rainforest and finding new ways to deal with the looming problem of providing enough energy to power our needs; I was asked to consider how genetically modified crops will play a major role in feeding a planet with 10 billion people and to ponder the secrets of the universe; there was innovative music and story-telling with tap-dancing; and I am starting grasp just a little bit the implications of  nanotechnology and the exciting innovations that are in the pipeline. It was also wonderful to hear that many of themes we address in “Coaching for Innovation” are not just abstract ideas but real drivers for making a difference – doing things differently (Chapter 9), thinking big (Chapter 8) asking powerful questions (Chapter 4) and perhaps just simply having the right attitude and being determined to make innovation happen (Innovator Behaviours discussed in Chapter 1). Videos from this event are not yet available but when they are, I will post a link so that you can enjoy them for yourselves. Meantime, check out some great animated films at TEDEd, some of which shown at the Tedx at CERN- if you though science was beyond you, then think again! LATEST NEWS: videos now available           ...

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What is the most creative thing you have ever done?


This was the question we asked guests at the recent launch event for Coaching for Innovation held in Switzerland (the country where both Maureen and Cristina live). Big, small, inventive, funny, serious – everyone has at one time or another done something creative. People were asked to write a brief description of their creative moment onto a card in order to enter a prize draw  – we had two copies of the book to give away to the lucky winners. With the kind permission of our guests, here are a few of their creative moments to inspire you: “As I was trying to raise funds for a good cause and wanted to have some fun as well, I asked a good friend to cook at my home. I invited people who then had to make a minimal contribution – good fun, very good friends and I raised nearly CHF 10,000.” “Creating light bulb cupcakes.” “During a bad period of my personal life, I was obliged to look deeper into myself and there was a puzzle to be used to build a new me…And I was very creative then…building a new me step by step with help from very interesting people…finally I liked me. I vote for creativity and the courage to change!” “Implementing a mobility plan for an international hub at work, involving all employees, on-boarding leadership and living it by example, using a rewarding culture rather than a must-do culture” “Building Lego from scratch with my son.” “A self-made carnival created as a child when I was nine.” “Doing nothing.” “I made the curtains of my new house before the house was built.” “To ask for creative birthday presents – outings with a smile.” “Two wonderful children.” “Coming from the environmental sector to studying gemmology to become an expert in this new field.” “Adapting Romeo and Juliet to make it approachable to a teenage audience.” “I wanted to leave for six months sabbatical leave. At the same time, my employee had the opportunity to move to the global team. My manager said to me, “Only one of you can leave the team. You can decide who it will be.” Thanks to my out-of-the-box thinking and understanding the real needs and fear of my manager, I found a solution that enabled both of us to go for our dreams. And my manager was happy waiting for me with my job to come back to.” “Leave everything behind to discover the world.” “I invented a new way of talking via Skype with my four and six year old nephews. They would say, “Ask us a question and we will respond...

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There must be a better way to cut cherry tomatoes


Creative thinking comes in many guises and can be stimulated and encouraged in ways you might never have thought were possible. Sometimes, it is simply about doing things differently. This clip on YouTube about a time-efficient way to slice cherry tomatoes has had more than four million hits. That is a lot of energy saved when making the salad! Did you realise, though, that being creative in the kitchen can have a positive impact on how creative you are in other areas of your life as well? Psychologist Dr Simone Ritter from Radboud University Nijmegen has found that even just changing the way you make your usual sandwich can help boost levels of creativity. Dr Ritter’s research featured in a BBC Horizon documentary broadcast in 2013. You can explore how you can be more creative in this interesting article on the BBC website, “Five Ways to be More Creative” By expanding your experiences and turning your daily routines on their head once in a while, your brain builds new pathways, makes new connections and becomes increasingly better at generating new ideas. In Chapter 9 of Coaching for Innovation, you can find out how to use Building Block 8 to strengthen your creative potential and that of your team as well....

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