Seven Creative Ways to Improve the Way You Work


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This deck includes links to research on why we find creativity hard, how to work through that difficulty, and some practical applications for creativity at work.

Slides are from my talk and workshop at Learning Skills Group - June 2014.

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  • Used basic art as a learning trigger for others to experiment with for some time.
    A reluctant daughter
    Working coactively
  • Seven Creative Ways to Improve the Way You Work

    1. 1. Creativity The Art of Learning Leadership Doug Shaw What Goes Around Learning Skills Group 2014
    2. 2. This is an annotated version of the slides I used to accompany my talk and workshop at Learning Skills Group 2014
    3. 3. ©reativity ©ommunity ©ollaboration @dougshaw1
    4. 4. We Are All Born Artists
    5. 5. We Make Creativity Hard 1,500 kindergarten age kids surveyed for ‘genius’ levels of divergent thinking – the ability to come up with many solutions to a problem. At this young age, 98% have this ability. By the time these kids are aged 8-10, the level drops to 32%. By the time these kids are aged 13-15, the level drops to 10% A similar study of people aged 25 and over returned a level of only 2% We are routinely driving creativity and collaboration out of people. Source: Breakpoint and Beyond
    6. 6. Vulnerability ‘Vulnerability is the path to belonging, to innovation, trust and creativity.’ 85% of interviewees for Brene Brown’s research can recall a time in school that was so shaming it forever changed how they thought of themselves as learners – 50% of those recollections related to art and creativity.
    7. 7. Are You Creative? I ask people: ‘Can you draw/paint/sketch?’ They say: ‘I am not an artist’ Our work is our art We are all artists - Never be ashamed to admit it
    8. 8. Drawing For The Bin We get hung up on believing our work is not good enough. We are not here to create Masterpieces – we are here to stretch our creative muscles. Draw for the bin – not the Royal Academy Relax – and sketch yourself Into existence.
    9. 9. Ebb and Flow – Tuning up the Environment for Creativity
    10. 10. A Beginning I’d been using basic artistic methods in client work for several years, but without practicing them myself. In August 2011 I encouraged my daughter to make a birthday card for her Grandpa, by making one too. This picture is the card I made. I decided to keep the artistic practice going and set up the artsensorium website so I could publish what I drew, painted and learnt. The artsensorium has become a great way to show my work, in all its untrained clunkiness. An essential part of adopting creative ways to work needs to be about working out loud – showing emerging ideas so that others can give you
    11. 11. What Are We Learning The next few slides are examples of how this creative practice is being applied to work.
    12. 12. Memory Trigger These sketches are powerful links to experiences and trigger important memories for me. A picture paints a thousand words.
    13. 13. Doodling Hand sketching is an aid to many essential skills including: Concentration Idea Regeneration Problem Solving Memory Enhancement Sketching and doodling often takes a different path than words on a page, opening up more possibilities.
    14. 14. Iteration Creative work is iterative. Once this landscape idea had formed in my head, it developed over a period of time. Each attempt, each mistake I made informed my learning until I realised the final tweaks I needed to make, to get somewhere close to what I was seeing in my mind’s eye.
    15. 15. Sketch Notes Going social Devolved power = more agility Going social – what’s the hardest part? Going social – what does it mean to you?
    16. 16. Mark Making Using symbols and shapes to help represent your business is an interesting way of helping get clarity around your brand and strategy.
    17. 17. Coaching Questions In the workshop we experimented with using sketching and non judgmental questioning to help create a coaching culture and improve your work.
    18. 18. Sketching the Future of Work Everyone in the workshop was invited to cocreate a ‘big picture’ future for learning and development. In a short space of time we cocreated 13 pieces of work. Here’s one, follow the link to see more. Had we more time, we would have refined and developed our work further – the point was simply to get people familiar with the concept on the day.
    19. 19. Further Reading Photo Credits Photos © Doug Shaw – except: Vulnerable Sunflowers