Qualities of Creative Individuals – care to do a self-assessment?

Cover of "Creativity: Flow and the Psycho...

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Here’s an oldie and goodie. This list of characteristics is excerpted from “Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention”  by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, 1996, who is a noted researcher on happiness and creativity.

Creativity assessment:  You can use his descriptors as a checklist to see which apply to you.

  • Creative individuals have a great deal of physical energy, and they are also often quiet.
  • Creative individuals tend to be smart, yet also naïve at the same time.
  • A third paradoxical trait refers to the related combination of playfulness and discipline.
  • Creative individuals alternate between imagination and fantasy at one end, and a rooted sense of reality at the other.
  • Creative people seem to harbor opposite tendencies on the continuum between extroversion and introversion, seem to express both traits at the same time.
  • Creative individuals are also remarkably humble and proud at the same time.
  • Creative individuals to a certain extent escape rigid gender stereotyping.
  • Generally, creative people are thought to be rebellious and independent as well as cultured/traditionalist.
  • Most creative people are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well.
  • The openness and sensitivity of creative individuals often exposes them to suffering and pain yet also a great deal of enjoyment.

So, how do you think of yourself with regards to your creativity?  New ideas and new decisions anyone?

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Original Thinkers: What qualities? Dr. Mark Batey, Manchester Business School

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Why do people write books? What’s next?

Excuse me for grappling with this dilemma.  Just re-saw this clip for Google chrome.  If this is how people are communicating, then why are people still writing books or ebooks? Especially when people expect to get information online for free?

Last January, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) reported eBook net sales rose from 2010’s 32.4 million dollars to 69.9 million dollars, increasing by 115.8 percent.

The report said adult mass market paperback book sales plummeted almost 31 percent when compared to 2010’s sales, and hardcover books dropped by 11 percent. Okay, I get it, paper books are on the way out, passed their prime, old-fashioned.  Print on demand is in.  But why print at all?

Is there a future in writing books?  There’s a future in transmitting and interacting with information and stories; new levels of engagement are nigh.

Are you open to create and/or adapt to new ideas and new decisions with regards to your intellectual and experiential intake and expression? If you watched the Google chrome clip – what do you imagine Sophie’s college life will be like with regards to learning? Creativity ho!

To read the full AAP report, click here.

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A 2-minute online interactive creativity exercise

Wikipedia creativity (Wikipedia, the free ency...

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Here’s a creativity exercise for you that’s fun and has a purpose. It may also give your creativity a boost.

Fun: Click Draw a Stickman link for two minutes of interactive fun.

Purpose: In what ways did the Draw a Stickman experience

  • remind you of your creativity? and
  • inspire your creativity?

Creativity Boost:  In what ways might you apply your creativity to a project, task, relationship or event you are currently considering or involved in?

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Organizational Culture: An Overlooked Internal Risk – BusinessWeek

Organizational Culture: An Overlooked Internal Risk – BusinessWeek.

corporate_culture2Companies that encourage and support open communications outperform their peers, according to research from the Corporate Executive Board

Nearly half of executive teams lack the information they need to manage effectively because employees withhold vital comments out of fear that doing otherwise will show poorly on them. This restricted information flow can cripple a company’s ability to identify and respond to internal and external threats. A recent survey by the Corporate Executive Board of more than 400,000 employees across various industries reveals that companies that break down two key barriers to honest feedback not only cut fraud and misconduct, but also deliver peer-beating shareholder returns by a substantial margin.

  • Nearly half of executive teams fail to receive negative news that is material to company performance in a timely manner because employees are afraid of being tainted by being the bearer of bad news.
  • Only 19 percent of executive teams are always promptly informed of bad news material to company performance.

Companies where employees provide honest feedback substantially outperformed their peers in terms of 10-year total shareholder return (TSR) from 1998 to 2008.

Two factors stood out in particular:

Openness of Communication

Employee perceptions of the extent to which management encourages two-way dialogue matters. According to CEB research, companies rated by their employees in the top quartile in terms of openness of communication have delivered TSR (10-year TSR 1998–2008) of 7.9 percent compared with 2.1 percent at other companies. In addition, they also had materially lower levels of observed fraud and misconduct.

Fear of Retaliation (and Willingness to Speak Up)

Among the 12 key indicators we track in our cultural diagnostic, the one that is most strongly correlated with 10-year TSR is employee comfort speaking up. The most important driver of this comfort is a lack of fear of retaliation. As with openness of communication, we found that companies that excel on this factor also had materially lower levels of observed fraud and misconduct.

Fear is a particularly powerful inhibitor.

Full article here.

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Do both and you’ll increase creativity too

corporate_cultureOrganizational climates that support creativity and innovation also include open communication and idea support, both of which contribute to employee engagement. Win, win, win.

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500 years of transition – in less than 3 minutes

Philip Scott Johnson‘s “500 Years Of Female Portraits In Western Art” traces how representations of women have changed throughout art’s history. Watch as Johnson delicately weaves together famous portraits to show what traits and characterisitcs of the female figure have been deemed ‘ideal’ from epoch to epoch. See this list for all the paintings used in the video.

Women In Art from Philip Scott Johnson on Vimeo.

Found in Huffington Post. 500 Years Of Female Portraits In Western Art

What’s next, eh?  Think there’d be as much change in business ‘ideals’ over the same 500 years?

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The New Creativity

PJharvey Singer-songwriter P.J. Harvey is a patron saint of the new creativity. Not the old one where people said they needed to be in the depth of despair, high on drugs or drunk to oblivion to get new ideas.

“When I’m contented, I’m more open to receiving a lot of inspiration,” she testified. “I’m most creative when I feel safe and happy.”  You too?

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Script to sell your boss new ideas

"Portrait of the Writer Fyodor Dostoyevsk...

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Jordan used the quick checklist for creative ideas.  The new idea arrived.  Another call came through.

“Marci, thanks, I got it.  Now how do I sell it to my boss?  Can you remind me?”

“Jordan, your learning and retention style amazes and delights me.   I’m happy to zap over this checklist for you, here t’is.”

  1. Describe the idea: What is it? What does it look like? How is it used? In what situations is it used?
  2. Who is this idea for?  Who is the primary target?  Is there a secondary target?
  3. What belief, problem, and/or need does this idea address?
  4. What are the end-user benefits?  In what ways to people derive value from it?
  5. How do you support what’s good about the idea?  Why is this one idea the one that can deliver those benefits?
  6. Describe how this idea is different from others that are available.
  7. Show a picture, diagram, model, structure of how it works, how it makes life easier, more efficient, more satisfying.

“Dostoyevsky once said, Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.  When presenting a new idea to your boss, your responsibility is to cut that fear.  Got it Jordan?”

“Thanks Marci.  Done.”

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Future of Innovation 2011 — Special Report — Does Innovation Guarantee National Success? – CNBC


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This morning’s breakfast reading, wondering what it all means for the future of creativity. (Innovation needs creativity = new ideas and new decisions.)

Morning questions:  What does National success mean? Does happiness or satisfaction factor in to these rankings?  What about creativity, the ability and invitation to contribute new ideas and make new decisions, do you think creativity should overtly be factored into rankings of national success?  Why or why not?

Future of Innovation 2011 — Special Report — Does Innovation Guarantee National Success? – CNBC.

Top 10 Innovative Countries according to Booz & Company’s Global Innovation Index: Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, Hong Kong, Finland, Denmark, the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, and the U.K.

Top 10 countries based on innovation and competitiveness from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF): Singapore, Finland, Sweden, U.S., South Korea, U.K. Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Japan.

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Key to Creativity: Reduced latent inhibition

Creative inspiration is more likely to occur when people allow themselves to become vulnerable to the new ideas says Psychologist Dean Simonton, interviewed on CBC’s Ideas Program, the Idea of Genius. Creative ideas emerge when people can reduce their latent inhibition, the survival mechanism that judges ideas right away for appropriateness or fit.

Why is this important? Imagine having a day-to-day environment where people feel safe so they can become vulnerable for the purpose of using their creativity to advance innovation.

Dr.Simonton on genius

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