Posted by: Liz Massey | June 4, 2011

Surf’s Up, Condensed: Top Creativity Links for June 4, 2011

Illustration courtesy of SXC. 

12 Examples Of Why Doubt Is Innovation’s Secret Ally

A FastCompany.com slideshow that shares excerpts from “Doubt: Unconventional Wisdom From The World’s Greatest Shit Disturber” by Paul Lavoie, the cofounder and chair of ad agency TAXI.

Successful Innovation Means Managing the Losers

Carl Cullotta, writing on the UK project management resource site ProjectSmart, argues that having a system to manage ideas that don’t make it to the production/execution phase in a business is as important as knowing what to do with ideas that have a high probability of being profitable.

Improvisation, Part 1: Addition by Subtraction | Being musical. Being human.

Dr. Robert Woody, a professor of music at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, highlights one of the more fascinating aspects of recent brain research on the process of musical improvisation – that the brain shuts down certain areas (mostly related to self-monitoring or self-censoring) even as other areas (related to self-expression and communication) “light up” with activity. A great explanation of a complex process!

Improvisation, Part 2: Not as Spontaneous as You Might Think | Being musical. Being human.

A follow-up post by Robert Woody that compactly describes what REALLY happens when a musician (or anyone else) improvises. I love it because he deconstructs the myth that improvisers just do “whatever” in the moment and the accidental result is greatness.

Here’s one of my favorite passages in his post:

How do musicians come up with ideas that sound good in the moment? The ability to generate such ideas comes from much exposure to the style of music they’re playing or singing in. Musical improvising is necessarily preceded by much music listening. There are some great books out there about improvisation, and some great music teachers who can lead you through some great exercises. But these things are merely supplements to the requirement of doing lots and lots of listening.

(Many thanks to Patrick Ross at The Artist’s Road for leading me to Dr. Woody’s blog!!)

12 Sparks for Heads-Up Creativity | Forbes

Robyn McMaster presents a lovely survey of creativity experts, who provide excellent tips for sparking greater creative thought. Some of my favorites: a funky environment energizes creativity, make the most of change, creative geniuses don’t add, they take away, and tap into novelty.

The Heart of Innovation: How to Increase Your Odds of Getting a Big AHA!

Mitch Ditkoff of the consulting and training firm Idea Champions recounts the stories of a variety of creative and scientific leaders throughout the ages who received their breakthroughs via dreams or subconscious insights after a period of conscious struggle.

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