Looking and Thinking...are they enough?
Nope. The concepts of looking and thinking are directly related to one of the first stages in the creative process, discovery, but do not represent the whole enchilada. Imagine the world in which everyone invests their effort towards looking at more stuff and thinking about it harder...great awareness and awesome thoughts. Additionally there must be some form of action to create and maintain purposeful value of new awareness and thoughts. For example, in the early formation of the PureContent blog there was a high level of awareness created and a sharing of awesome thoughts. The forum became well known quickly as a direct result of looking, thinking, and acting. Contributions were many and quality was high. Recently the PureContent blog appears to be stuck as potential contributors have locked into observational mode and leapt out of contribution (action) mode.
If we think of creativity as Dr. Ruth Noller (an early pioneer in the creativity research field) did in terms of three areas perhaps it will bring another layer to our understanding of creativity. The three areas of creativity she described are Personal, Recognized and Transformative. Personal represents that which is new and useful to the individual who thought it up. It represents what is unique to the individual such as special hobby talents and/or ones' personaly style. Adding a social element brings us to Recognized creativity which represents what is new and purposeful to larger communities, groups, organizations and society at large. It represents highly utilitarian novelty...automobile, airplane, dishwasher, electric range, etcetera. The result is often seen as increased efficiency in the way something gets done. At the Transformative level we find those discoveries, outcomes, actions, methods, process...which fundamentally alter individuals, societies, and cultures. Such high level creativity is represented by nuclear energy, internet communications, or revolutions such as Women's rights, Colonial, Industrial...etc...
Open to other's insights I offer a thought... Perhaps the PureContent blog, at this moment in time, represents one of the greatest challenges to applied creativity...sustained value. I think this forum was born of an Individual who was higly interested in creating a new and valuable sharing and discovery forum temporarily Recognized by a particular community.
Contiunuously challenged by the thoughtful and actively engaged Individual PureContent continued to grow. When the Individual was 'removed' from the community its degree of Recognition decreased.
For creative achievments/contributions to achieve sustained value requires the continued contribution of Individual which is recognized and Transforms the culture in which it is introduced. Without Transformation...Individual contributions are required to sustain 'creative' momentum through group Recognition.
Simply put, PureContent represents a creative achievement driven by consistently valuable contributions made by individuals. Without valuable individuals there will be no recognition (meaningful community involvement).
In what way(s) might we challenge the PureContent Street Team and the PLAY Oraganization Team communitiy to bring this forum to a higher level of meaningful interaction?
How might the members of PLAY post informative insights? - round Robin sharing...commit to one post each per week...invite a personal friend to provide an insight...
How might the PureContent Street Team post informative insights? - Commit to one post each/week...keep a list of most interesting websites visited during the week and publish it weekly...
How might the publisher of this message post informative insights? --- perhaps a weekly commentary, facilitate dialogue on a particular post...suggest a them for each week...
I'd like to propose the following (flexible) structure for the next 4 weeks starting Monday Sept. 1st. Week one will focus on contributions related to the Creative Environment. (What are the characteristics, dynamics, attributes...of an environment which supports, enourages and sustains creativity?) Week two will focus on contributions related to the Creative Person. (What are the characteristics, traits, skills, abilities of creative people? Who are creative people? Why?....) Week three will focus on what are the elements of the Creative Process and week four will focus on what are the necessary attributes needed for us to identify a Creative Product?
anyone wanna play?
Got Ideas? Write 'em down!!! The Creativity Pool is an open source for ideas of all kinds. Ideas can happen at anytime and can be lost just as quickly. Maintaining an idea capturing system...notebook, pda memo, voice recorder, corporate suggestion scheme etc...is a hallmark of many highly recognized creative people (the special talent type). What I like about the creativity pool is the fact that it's ideas out in the open. Too often we keep our ideas to ourselves and they never have a chance to become real. I know there's a lot of talk about how we often don't share our ideas because we're afraid of being laughed at, ridiculed, or reprimanded. We all know of idea killers such as "we've never tried that before", "it's not in the budget", "that could never work", "the way it is works fine"... How about the more subtle kind of subterfuge? The fear that someone else might profit from your idea without ever getting credit. The fear that a 'subbordinate" with the 'great idea' is going to steal your job. The Creativity Pool...just a place to take a few laps, wade arround in shallow waters or do a cannonball and leave a splash.
For years many have heard about or experienced interview questions from http://www.sellsbrothers.com/fun/msiview/default.aspx?content=question.htm. Increasingly potential employers are paying more than just lip service toward their desire for creative problem solving skills, their interviewing for them. While puzzles and brainteasers aren't exactly valid tests of one's work talents many are using them in their selection process. Questions such as these also help level the playing field between those with formal education and those without. Perhaps PLAY observes their 4 Square court to zero in on potential hires...a direct way to find whose willing to play!
It's amazing to me how many of my students ask the question 'Why do we have to learn about creativity?'. Perhaps I'll share this with them. It's easy to observe that creativity is more than just new products it's also going beyond traditional processes to find a way that works better. I like the 'Lookatmorestuff' motto because, like a compass, it points towards the way. I also like the fact that more and more actions are being taken to go beyond the "compass" and actually buy the boots get on the trail and reach the summitt.
I like to complain and I'm pretty good at it. I mean, I'm good at finding stuff that doesn't work too well or could be working better "if only". I don't think I'm alone at this. In fact, I believe the world is full of great complainers whose potential momentum for change is often lost. Some of the world's greatest ideas, products, philosophy's etc...were a driect result of complaining about something because someone knew it could work better "if only". And not the kind, gentle, softened complaint style advocated by experts. I'm talking about gettin' right down deep into the "goo"...the shit, the crap, the stuff that really pisses us off. NO holds barred and totally open. When's the last time you were able to completely hold a "bitch" session and complain openly and honestly about everything bothering you for the past 6 months? I think companies and families and friends would benefit greatly from a monthly gripe session held out in the open with everyone present. How cool would that be? Once a month you get to vent about anything you want to with everyone else...the only purpose is to openly and bitterly complain about anything to everyone and, of course, there can be no negative repercussions of the event. The world has gained great benefit from Brainstorming why not "ShitStorming"....
who / what / why
At Play we create brands, strategies, new products, and better cultures for Fortune 100 companies. Our formula for creativity: "Look at more stuff. Think about it harder." Pure Content is one place where we do that, daily.
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A Pattern Language
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The Ultimate Book of Business Creativity
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