The Science Of Creativity – Homework!

I was going to deconstruct an article on creativity I just read in Newsweek. Instead, I’m just going to say you need to read it for yourselves. Get past the scary call to action about creativity declining in the United States. (Scary for those of us who live here at least) This is one article where the really interesting and useful stuff is in the second half. As you read keep in mind: Creativity is about the creation of something original and useful – don’t limit your thinking to fine art categories. Creativity can be learned and encouraged in every part of the educational process, possibly improving overall effectiveness more than when limiting to traditional categories. The need to be creative is a deep, neurological need. Kudos to Po Bronson and Ashley Merry at Newsweek for a great synopsis.  Creativity is messy, which means there’s plenty to argue about in … Continue reading

Abandon Logic, Create Then Verify!

Logic has a peculiar way of boxing you in even as it helps you make great decisions. It leads you down a path, logically, step by step. And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet, knowing how way leads onto way I doubted if I should ever come back Frost – The Road Not Traveled Love this poem. Reminds me that there are Key Decisions in the life of any business or creative endeavor. Once that Key Decision is made many possibilities and opportunities are not presented – not noticed – because they lie elsewhere. Sometimes a leader declares a particular path “Right” and all others “Wrong,” if only to get one foot in front of the other. We know there are other paths, but we follow. The nature of a logic path is that once a … Continue reading

Physics, Ideation, Community & Entanglement

Inspiration is a funny thing. It comes from places you expect, don’t expect, and come to expect.  You have to be open to it. Defend it. And, on occasion, abandon it. Physics has been my muse for thinking about ways creative ideas might be better shepherded through an organization as we try to: Avoid concept death by committee. Avoid killing creativity through argument. Avoid ignoring the game changing idea. As I explored folks came to my rescue – building on concepts, offering encouragement, arguing kindly (and on occasion providing the needed fix). Very similar to the way discussions surrounding physics were described in Gilder’s Book. The discussion has spurred my thinking – and so this seemed like a good time to review where we are at. Strategies for Probing and Testing Ideas without Killing Them Thought experiments were a favorite of Einstein and Bohr in part because they help you to think … Continue reading

Community Creativity: “Let’s Put On A Show”

Since Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland first appeared together in Babes In Arms, “Let’s put on a show!” pretty much describes the gung-ho attitude of high schoolers, their teachers and the community support that goes into every high school musical.  The connections between community and high school benefit everyone by generating pride of place, generating opportunities for mutual support and, most importantly, reminding everyone that the young can accomplish amazing things. High school performances, sporting events, academic competitions, and service projects build youth confidence and contribute to the community at large. But have the days of singing in the streets to whip-up a crowd been replaced by Facebook and Twitter? The need for community support has not changed. (Honest Disclosure: I’m going to talk about high school musicals today as an excuse for a ‘proud papa’ moment as well as to participate in a Middle Zone Muzings project.) Maine South High … Continue reading

Physics and Ideation: Customer Entanglement

I think the word ‘entanglement’ may be the best single word description of marketing at its best – no matter what your specialty. The word ‘entangle’ intrigues me. In physics it describes a mysterious connection that exists beyond visible physical contact. Imagine its meaning in marketing: Mutual Long Term Influence Even At Great Distance! We wish to increase customer entanglement. We need to be entangled with our co-workers. We entangle ourselves in the community around us. This is much more than a simple person-to-person or company-to-person relationship. It is mutual influence, dependence, respect, listening, griping, praising, changing, helping, learning. Entanglement is the ultimate feedback loop.  In physics – when you measure one entangled particle that somehow determines the state of the other. (Simplified, I know –  if you can say it better please do!) In marketing it is multiple, multiple-way connections. Whether in person, over the net, via tweets, during a … Continue reading