Exploring creativity

Yesterday at work, I participated in a brown bag seminar “Fostering Team Creativity” offered by CMU, taught by Ron Placone, whose seminar “Communicating Through Dialogue” back in October that I had found so useful.

Often, when we think of creativity, we think of creative individuals. There is growing interest, however, in the importance of team creativity to the overall success of organizations. This brown bag session will explore ways managers and team leaders can stimulate innovative work teams. We will discuss the following: The importance of debunking myths about creativity. Ways to design supportive physical and psychological environments. The relationship between dialogue and team creativity.

What is creativity?

Creativity is, in our (American) culture, a fuzzy and loaded term, with all kinds of unfortunate connotations. Throughout my life, I have heard rather emotional reactions to the very idea of creativity. One is that it’s something some people are just born with. Another is that it’s artsy nonsense. Another is that “everyone is creative”. So it may be useful to undertake a more objective examination of creativity, what it is, why it is important, who has it, etc. I attended the seminar to get some interesting starting points for thinking about this topic.

I don’t yet have any special insights or comments to offer; I have not had the time since yesterday to at least read all the handouts and excerpts in the packet we received. But I plan to explore the topic of creativity on this blog in the future, as I learn more about what researchers have found and as I reflect on my own experiences.

Online resources

I happened to find a audio-recorded version, with accompanying slides, of an older instance of this seminar online! So if you are curious, you can go through Ron Placone’s presentation and pick up a some ideas from it.

I am grateful for CMU’s commitment to offering these free seminars to staff, and Ron is really an effective and fun speaker and facilitator of discussions at all his seminars I’ve been to in the past years.

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