Posted by: Liz Massey | July 11, 2012

Surf’s Up, Condensed: Top Creativity Links for July 11, 2012

Photo courtesy SXC.

Cultivating Your Creatively Unique Calling – An Intentional Practice | The Fertile Unknown
A wonderful post by Michelle James on exploring and following a call to creative vocation. She emphasizes getting past “can I do it/is this possible thinking” and encourages readers to journey in the direction of their dreams! I particularly love this paragraph on jumping into the journey now, and not waiting for clarity to begin:

Unlike with conventional planning or goal setting, you can’t see the end when you get started cultivating a calling. When you are called to into your truly alive work – your inspired vision and mission – asking if it is possible is no longer a relevant question. The daily whats and hows – in doing and being – are what’s relevant. As is learning the discernment of what’s not yours to do. With every healthy yes, there is a series of healthy no‘s.

The Relationship Between Creativity and Dishonesty
Tough, fascinating post by Maria Popova about Dan Ariely’s new book, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty. It turns out that many of the same cognitive dynamics that make us creative can also make us better liars. Here’s how Ariely explains that uncomfortable truth!

“The link between creativity and dishonesty seems related to the ability to tell ourselves stories about how we are doing the right thing, even when we are not. The more creative we are, the more we are able to come up with good stories that help us justify our selfish interests.”

While the assertion is unpleasant to many of us, the science behind why this seems to be so is very interesting. And as Popova quotes Ariely as saying, “Once we more clearly understand the forces that really drive us, we discover that we are not helpless in the face of our human follies (dishonesty included), that we can restructure our environment, and that by doing so we can achieve better behaviors and outcomes.”

16 Ways to Jump-Start Your Organization’s Creativity | The Creativity Post
Author Michael Michalko offers up more than a dozen good ideas for sparking innovation and creative improvement in a corporate setting. My favorites from his collection include: holding an idea lottery, arming employees with a “bright ideas notebook,” making a new idea the price of admission to every meeting, celebrating “stupid ideas week,” and asking employees to come up with three ways to make “impossible” tasks or assignments turn out successfully.

Demystifying the Creative Process | Productive Flourishing
Writer, speaker and business coach Charlie Gilkey does a nice job of summarizing the basics of the creative process (or at least one credible take on the topic). He mentions the classic preparation-incubation-illumination-implementation framework for the birth of creative ideas, and discusses where many people get stuck. I have to find myself agreeing with his assertion of where the process breaks down for many would-be creative folk:

“In my experience and work with others, the two areas most people mess up their creative process is in the first two steps (preparation and incubation). Part of preparation is working on things that interest you, and most people haven’t really sat down and figured out what interests and motivates them. This is especially true since our culture both exalts creatives and hates them at the same time and a lot of people haven’t found their creative outlet. They either think they’re not creative or that creative pursuits are a waste of time.”

Storytelling & Creative Process Tips From the 100 Most Creative People in Business 2012
Mike Brown from the Kansas City-based innovation consultancy Brainzooming offers a summary of storytelling and creative process tips culled from the 100 Most Creative People in Business 2012 list published by Fast Company. I really appreciated this post, since the FC list is so vast and deep it’s hard to get through the entire thing in a timely fashion, and Brown has given us the added bonus of serving us highlights from the best posts in the form of quotes and links.

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