creativity wants to flow #34 #cong18


Creativity wants to flow – taking time to observe and understand the flow of creative process – what is happening and where it wants to go next – not only generates new ideas, but ensures those ideas are useful and appropriate to what you want to think about. here are some useful tips…

4 Key Takeaways:

  1. Creativity unfolds, like, say, a flower. There is a rhythm and a sequence that can be observed.
  2. To have good ideas, I make space – in my day, in my notebook, in my mind.
  3. Intuition is a compass. It’s the thread that guides you through the labyrinth of creative possibility
  4. Thinking about idea-having as a kind of dance reminds me that I have a body. Getting my body activated by dancing, moving and playing mobilises whole resources of brain power that we are usually inclined to overlook or ignore.

About Jeffrey Gormly:

Artist, Author, Thinker, Collaborator
Current research topics:
Creative organisation – how we can unlock creativity in our collective life
Creativity for health – strategies for normalising creative self-expression
Creativity for freedom – making room for creative diversity in society

Contacting Jeffrey Gormly:

You can contact Jeffrey by email and see his work on Rice on Hydra

By Jeffrey Gormly.

Creativity wants to flow, so I shall let my thoughts go, unedited. A one time one take streaming of ideas about ideas. Not just my ideas – I’ve been collecting ideas about ideas for a long time now.

Creativity wants to flow – this much I intuitively know. It’s why we call it the opposite when we say so and so is blocked. So what Mihaly has said about flow applies to having ideas – it can be practiced, it can be observed, and it gives pleasure.

Creativity unfolds, like, say, a flower – perfect image of creativity. There is a rhythm and a sequence that can be observed. There is a process at work, and there is a language of process, that can be learned, even if each instance, each idea, is unique in and of itself.

Process can be thought of, in the words of Arnold Mindell: “what is happening … and what wants to happen” – which suggests that if you pay attention – the right kind of attention, and enough of it – you can maybe see what is happening, and anticipate what wants to happen next.

This is my way. My tao. As artist, author, thinker, maker, leader, follower, I put hard hours into observing what is happening, really happening, so that I can make the lightest, most effective, most precise intervention possible. I want to be precise, I want to be economical, I want to be clear, and I want to be ecological – leave the lightest footprint.

To have good ideas, I make room. I don’t know where they come from, but those original, interesting, context-breaking ideas can’t emerge if there’s no space for them to breathe. So I make space – in my day, in my notebook, in my mind. I stare at a blank page, I drink my coffee, I listen to music, I take time.
What kind of an idea am I looking to receive? Am I open and willing to take what comes to me? Can I accept the universe’s generosity?

I lay out my territory. I am a hunter, stalking a breakthrough moment. I am a gardener cultivating a fertile ground for creative thought. I think about what I want to think about. For instance, thinking about ideas, I’m thinking about creativity, flow, process. I’m thinking about the role of the thinker. I’m thinking about gardening. And hunting. I’m thinking about the relationship and difference between my inner world and outer, and how ideas bridge that difference.

These thoughts are what chaos theory calls strange attractors – strong ideas that act like gravitational bodies, stars and planets that pull the random movements of my mind in different directions. So that over time my thoughts start to find pathways within and between all these strange strong attractors, without ever settling on just one. With luck, this movement starts to feel like a kind of dance.

Dance implies flow. Dance is a source of pleasure. Dance means creative flexibility. These are all good things.

Dance is also a good way to inhabit the not-knowing chaos and mystery that I believe is the birthplace of all ideas.

Before you have an idea, you have to have no idea!

You can have clues though. Clues point to ideas. That ability of humans to find a way through mystery, doubt (there will always be doubt!) and the thicket of experience is what I think of as intuition.

Intuition is a compass. It’s the thread that guides you through the labyrinth, a golden thread you discover one step at a time. You can only feel it, and you’ve got to trust it, even when trusting it exposes you to potential ridicule, disbelief, misunderstanding from others. That’s what makes a safe space so important.

And this is a good time to remember that the space you need to follow intuition into the labyrinth of creative process, is the space you can give others to do the same. Solidarity between creative thinkers! Let’s give each other space to explore, to experiment, to expand, to be wrong. Let’s practice the receptivity to each other’s creative expression that we all crave for ourselves.

Thinking about idea having as a kind of dance reminds me that I have a body. And, as Ken Robinson reminds us, that body is not just a delivery system for my brain! It is a thinking feeling communicating engine of creative sensing, making and expressing.

Did you know there are as many neurons in your gut as in your brain? Trust that ‘gut feeling’, right? That’s intuition.

Did you know the latest research describes the immune system as a ‘floating brain’?

So for me, getting my body activated by dancing, moving and playing mobilises whole resources of brain power that we are usually inclined to overlook or ignore.

Being in a state of dance is crucial for when the moment of truth arrives and an idea finally emerges. Running with the idea – trying to keep up with it as it flies ahead of me – takes constant adjustment. Often the idea is unexpected. It never comes when and where I anticipated. And it won’t hang around forever waiting for me to be ready to concentrate on it.

As I follow the idea’s progress through the world, trying to honour its integrity, communicate it authentically, and observe it changing and growing, I must keep on my toes, keep moving with it, stay flexible and ready. I feel like a surfer – the wave is the same wave, but the wave constantly changes.

So I try to keep my balance, I dedicate to staying with the wave – the idea – all the way.

All the way – to wherever it takes me.

Ideas Won’t Put Food on the Table! #23 #cong18


Be creative. Be innovative.

These two words are:
1. over used
2. misunderstood
3. under appreciated
…but together they can bring you a long way.

4 Key Takeaways:

  1. Be creative and innovative.
  2. Be the thinker and the doer.
  3. Be the lone nut seeking the first follower.
  4. Or else be the first follower.

About Noreen Henry:

Noreen Henry is a lecturer in IT at the Mayo campus of GMIT. She lectures in IT support, training, project management & service management on the IT Support and Computer Services Management course and chair the B. Sc. (Hons.) in Digital Media & Society. She has a particular interest in developments in IT and education.

Contacting Noreen Henry:

You can follow Noreen on Twitter or reach her by email.

By Noreen Henry.

Creative is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “Relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something.”

Innovative is defined as “(of a person) introducing new ideas; original and creative in thinking.”

In my simplified understanding and appreciation being creative is coming up with the ideas and being innovative is bringing the idea to reality. Or creativity and innovation could be considered as the difference between thinking and doing.

So, can one person be both creative and not innovative? Do they always come together? Is one better than the other? Can you teach someone to be creative and/or innovative?

Loads of people have loads of ideas but not all come to fruition. Steve Jobs reflected on Thinkers and Doers as “it’s very easy to take credit for the thinking, the doing is more concrete… it’s very easy for someone to say ‘Oh I thought of this three years ago’ usually when you dig a little deeper you find that the people that really did it were also the people that really worked through the hard intellectual problems”

Steve obviously values the doers.

Theodore Levitt, former editor of Harvard Business Review, published a controversial article in 1963 titled “Creativity is Not Enough”, following is an extract. 4

“Creativity” is not the miraculous road to business growth and affluence that is so abundantly claimed these days. And for the line manager, particularly, it may be more of a millstone than a milestone. Those who extol the liberating virtues of corporate creativity over the somnambulistic vices of corporate conformity may actually be giving advice that in the end will reduce the creative animation of business. This is because they tend to confuse the getting of ideas with their implementation—that is, confuse creativity in the abstract with practical innovation; not understand the operating executive’s day-to-day problems; and underestimate the intricate complexity of business organizations….

The fact that you can put a dozen inexperienced people into a room and conduct a brainstorming session that produces exciting new ideas shows how little relative importance ideas themselves actually have. Almost anybody with the intelligence of the average businessman can produce them, given a halfway decent environment and stimulus. The scarce people are those who have the know-how, energy, daring, and staying power to implement ideas….

Theodore in his male dominated world is also looking for the innovators, the doers.

If innovation is the greater ability, can we teach someone to be innovative or is it a personal attribute? Is it a personal characteristic or a skill? Is it your tolerance of risk? And will put food on the table?

Sometimes the braver position is the person that sees the value in your idea, trusts your vision and joins in.

The Lone Nut