Feb 132013


The holidays are over, the weather is lousy, and we’re sober again. We made all kinds of New Year’s promises, but the big one that will change our careers, if not our lives, is the promise to ourselves to become more creative. In my new book, Creative Intelligence, I show that creativity is learned behavior that gets better with training–like sports. You can make creativity routine and a regular part of your life. That’s true for big companies as well as small startups, corporate managers as well as entrepreneurs. Creativity is scalable.

The huge national policy storm brewing over “dwindling innovation” and an “innovation shortfall” also gives creativity an even greater agency. Creativity is the key to generating economic value and getting the U.S. economy to grow fast again.

So here are four specific ways to lead a more creative life and boost your creative capacities. Creativity is not about blue rooms and brain waves but about social engagement and mining the existential. Here’s what you can do.

MORE:  4 Ways To Amplify Your Creativity | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.




Sep 122012

Beating your head against a project’s metaphorical wall will never help you get into a creative and productive flow. Denise Jacobs presents four unconventional ways to help you get your creative productivity on

While most people attempt to force great ideas of out themselves by relentless pursuit of an answer to a problem or straining to think up original ideas, they don’t realise that most truly great ideas are borne from a more hands-off approach that comes from the back and forth dance between concentrated and diffused focus.

The road less travelled

Creative bursts occur when discrete bits of information stored in the brain connect along new neural pathways. Unfortunately, most people are typically overloaded and exhausted mentally and in a stressed state when trying to produce good work. Despite their best efforts, their brains travel along well-worn, established pathways, and they literally have one-track minds.

Clearly, a one-track mind is no place to generate awesome ideas. But, if one thing were ever true, it’s that you can’t force creativity: it needs incubation, downtime, and the space to happen on its own schedule. However, just because you can’t force creativity doesn’t mean you can’t give it the proper encouragement. Let’s take a look at four lesser-known secrets for increasing creative productivity.

MORE:  Four secrets to enhancing creative productivity | Feature | .net magazine.


Aug 312011



Maybe Steve Jobs was on to something when he refused to hide away his disappointment or displeasure. That, at least, is the takeaway of a new paper by Matthijs Baas, Carsten De Dreu, and Bernard Nijstad in The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Their first experiment was straightforward, demonstrating that anger was better at promoting “unstructured thinking” on a creativity task, at least when compared to sadness or a neutral mood. The second experiment elicited anger directly in the subjects, before asking them to brainstorm on ways to improve the condition of the natural environment. Once again, people who felt angry generated more ideas. These ideas were also deemed more original, as they were thought of by less than 1 percent of the subjects.

via The Creativity of Anger | Wired Science | Wired.com.