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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Creative Instigation Week - Structured Creativity

A primary theme in the Creative Instigation presentation was how you can use structure to help people expand creativity.

We showed how everyone could draw a “gator” by using letters and a couple of characters of punctuation (the gator at the right is drawn with a different color for each letter if you'd like to give it a try). Providing a music structure helped several groups write and perform blues songs, while others drew comic strips or wrote Haikus all within only 10 minutes.

Structure can be powerful in helping anyone get a faster start on thinking and performing creatively.

Here’s a challenge: think about your best talents, stepping back to see how you successfully apply rules, heuristics, formats, and other structural elements to perform well. Then identify how you can teach and share that structure with others so that they can experience new talents that they didn’t know they possessed.

They’ll appreciate it and maybe even show you how to use structure to start experiencing their talents!

A side note: The objective of the exercise above was to have people exorcise past negative people or interactions that said "You can't do that" or "You can't be creative." They ranged from someone being told she couldn't be in a university music program without completing a piano recital (even though she was making money performing music already) to a young woman who was denied playing soccer with boys.

Interestingly, just a few days later, reading the current issue of "Men's Health," it turns out that even David Beckham had a similar experience, being told that he was too small to play English football. Just goes to show that any of us have to be on the watch for "creative disintegraters."

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