Cultivating Creativity and Innovation (ImageCon 2020)

When someone approaches you with an idea, do you listen and say “yes, and…” or “no, because…”?

Today I attended a virtual session by Duncan Wardle on cultivating creativity and innovation. (The session was part of ImageCon 2020, which is a digital experience that “give[s] you practical tips and advice on how to make the best of your media assets”. ) Below is a recap of the ideas and strategies I learned during the session, as well as some additional thoughts and notes I wrote down.

When you first hear an idea, follow the SUN acronym: Suspend judgment of the idea, Understand the idea by asking questions, and Nurture the idea by saying “Yes, and”.

A “Yes, and” versus a “No, because” attitude can be the difference between making or breaking an idea. Add on to an idea; expand it. Don’t tear it down, no matter how silly it may seem. You never know what may come of it.

87% of our brains our subconscious. During the day, we mostly use our conscious mind. To activate your subconscious, run an “energizer” – a creative activity to stimulate your mind.

Diversity is innovation.

One creative strategy can be started by writing down rules. Next, follow by asking, “What if?” to the rules. Finally, expand on a What If with “Imagine if”. (For example: Theaters are indoors. What if theaters – movies – could be brought outdoors? Imagine if we had live characters, with costumes, to create a unique experience for people! Imagine if we could create Disneyland.)

The core human traits – creativity, intuition, curiosity, and imagination – are evident in children, but stifled as time passes. These traits are important, however, as they are what makes us human. Although AI may sometimes seem to be creative, as machines have generated paintings and poetry, it is limited. Only humans will be able to create the next Post-it note, Facebook, or airplane.

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Catherine Chen
Inspire and be inspired.
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