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January 28, 2016
25 Awesome Quotes on Creativity
"The things we fear most in organizations -- fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances -- are the primary sources of creativity." - Alfred North Whitehead
"The chief enemy of creativity is 'good sense.'" - Pablo Picasso
"Everyone who's ever taken a shower has had an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference." - Nolan Bushnell
"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones." - John Cage
"As competition intensifies, the need for creative thinking increases. It is no longer enough to do the same thing better . . . no longer enough to be efficient and solve problems." - Edward de Bono
"I make more mistakes than anyone else I know, and sooner or later, I patent most of them." - Thomas Edison
"Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things." - Theodore Levitt
"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources." - Albert Einstein
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." - Scott Adams
"Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things." - Ray Bradbury
"Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity." - Edwin Land
"There's room for everybody on the planet to be creative and conscious if you are your own person. If you're trying to be like somebody else, then there isn't." - Tori Amos
"The key question isn't 'What fosters creativity?' But it is why in God's name isn't everyone creative? Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? I think therefore a good question might be not why do people create, but why do people not create." - Abraham Maslow
"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." - Joseph Chilton Pierce
"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." - Maya Angelou
"By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The non-existent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired." - Nikos Kazantzakis
"Creativity is discontent translated into arts." - Eric Hoffer
"A truly creative person rids him or herself of all self-imposed limitations." - Gerald Jampolsky
"Things are only impossible until they're not." - Jean-Luc Picard
"Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity." - T.S. Eliot
"Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous." - Bill Moyers
"The new meaning of soul is creativity and mysticism. These will become the foundation of the new psychological type and with him or her will come the new civilization." - Otto Rank
"The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards."
- Arthur Koestler
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
- Henry David Thoreau
"If you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself." - Carl Jung
Dear Peeps: One of this blog's readers brought to my attention (thank you!), yesterday, that only two of the 25 quotes on this list were by women and she was very passionate about me offering a better balance of male/female quotes on the subject of creativity which, by the way, I am in the process of researching. Curiously, when I returned to the sources of quotes from which I culled this list, I discovered that the preponderance of quotes are also from men. Hmmm... So I've either got to find new sources of great quotes by women on this topic or the Directors of all the quote websites need to provide a better balance of quotes fir people like me to select from OR more women need to step up and start speaking their truth about this very important topic. Methinks a balance of the three is what is needed. That being said, if any of my readers have favorite quotes on creativity spoken or written by women, please note those quotes in the comments box below. I will reissue this post with a better balance of quotes just as soon as I source them or YOU make some suggestions. Gracias! We are all in this together. MDJanuary 27, 2016
Picasso on the Act of Creation
If you are trying to create something new, reinvent yourself, or accomplish a seemingly impossible goal, know that "things" may get worse before they get better. Indeed, what you already know and already do may need to disintegrate in order for the next form of your expression to be born. This does not mean you are doing anything "wrong" or have misconceived your dream. All it means it that you are deeply immersed in the often very challenging process of creating something new.January 26, 2016
Story as a Leadership Tool
Here's a lovely animated intro to why STORYTELLING is such a powerful communication and business tool -- by the author of Circle of the 9 Muses.The Art of Self-Acknowledgment
If you're a creative person regularly involved with starting new projects -- the kind unlikely to get results overnight -- here is a simple practice that will keep you in a positive frame of mind and save you from the all-too-familiar phenomenon of depressing yourself by focusing on the cup (or your life) being half empty.
At the end of each work day, acknowledge yourself for all of your accomplishments, small, medium, and large. But not just silently, in your head, verbally -- aloud.
Most cultural creatives, no matter how inspired they are at the beginning of a project, eventually end up feeling down in the dumps. They start focusing on everything they haven't done and everything that hasn't happened instead of focusing on their progress and the fact that they are actually getting closer to their goal.
What I do at the end of each work day that works like a charm, whether I'm in my car, walking the dog, or just laying around, is SPEAK OUT, to myself, everything I've done that moved my project forward that day -- whether it was a phone call made, research done, task accomplished, proposal accepted, or whatever.
Almost always, I'm surprised at the ground I've covered and I feel my mood changing from dread and impossibility to a buoyant sense of victory and "I'm on my way."
I'm not suggesting you BS yourself, just acknowledge what you've done, no matter how small. And announce it to yourself so you get to HEAR it, not just THINK it.
This simple self-acknowledgment-process establishes a sense of closure for the day, so you can let go of "work mode" and transition to an evening of rest, renewal, and incubation -- an actual night off without having to carry that heavy load of incompletes that not only weigh YOU down, but weigh down all those wonderful people around you who can FEEL your low grade virus of "not good enough."
Drop it. It's useless. You don't need it anymore. And the simplest way to get rid of it is to simply announce, in the pleasure of your own company, the progress you've made that day -- a nice little gift you can give yourself and everyone else who shares your home or life.
Three minutes. That's all it takes. Try it.January 22, 2016
The Five Regrets of the Dying
Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives.
Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom.
"When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."
THE FIVE REGRETS OF THE DYING
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
"This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it."
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
"This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
"Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying."
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."January 21, 2016
One Stop Shopping for Great Links on the Art & Science of Storytelling
If you are interested in the power of storytelling to engage, inspire, and spark the transfer of insight, knowledge, and wisdom you have come to the right place. Below are links to a variety of recent articles of mine and other story-mavens who inspire me on this most important topic.
Awesome quotes on storytelling
Storytelling is the trojan horse of wisdom
How to use storytelling to foster employee engagement
How to spark massive employee engagement in 90 minutes or less
The irresistible power of storytelling as a strategic business tool
Harnessing the power of storytelling
Jean Houston on the urgent need for transformative storytelling
Why your brain likes a good story
What stories will you tell?
How to tell a good story
Why create a culture of storytelling?
Radio interview: Storytelling as a way to change a culture
New storytelling blog
My recently published book on storytelling
The roots of fairy tales go waaaaay back
Why did I write my book on storytelling?
How to Use Storytelling to Foster Genuine Employee Engagement
Let's assume, for the moment, that you are a forward-thinking business leader charged with the responsibility of accomplishing extraordinary results. Although your strategy may not yet be completely clear to you, one thing most definitely is: You cannot do this alone. You know, in your bones, that if you want to achieve extraordinary results, you will need the full participation of a highly engaged, focused, and collaborative workforce.
The sobering reality? It's unlikely that your company's workforce has reached this lofty realm yet -- closer, in profile, probably, to the staggering 62% of American workers (according to the US Department of Labor) who are dissatisfied and disengaged.
In other words, corporate slackers.
Yes, they have potential, but it is not potential you need. You need kinetic -- the full throttle expression of the very best of what your people have to offer. You've tried carrots. You've tried sticks. You've given pep talks until you're blue in the face, but nothing seems to work. It's time for something else. But what?
Enter Idea Champions' ALL HANDS ON DECK workshop.
Based on 27 years of research and in-the-trenches experience with hundreds of savvy organizations, Mitch Ditkoff, internationally recognized innovation provocateur and author of the groundbreaking book, Storytelling at Work, has distilled down the essence of what he's learned about employee engagement and the transfer of tacit knowledge into a highly effective, one-day learning experience.
His premise is a simple one: Participants don't need to learn anything new. They don't need to be trained, transformed, or tricked into mastering new skills. Instead, they need to tune into -- and express -- what they already know -- their collective insight, wisdom, and know how that is hiding in a place few of them ever dare to explore -- their own stories.
Bottom line, storytelling is the most universal, time-tested, cost-effective way for people to share what is truly meaningful to them, what they know in their bones but rarely get a chance to communicate -- your organization's most valuable human resource, the DNA of its future business success: Purpose. Passion. Risk taking. Resilience. Adaptability. Creativity. Clarity. Collaboration. Commitment. And perseverance.
You want full engagement? You want to spark a mindset of innovation? Then find a way to unlock these qualities in your people.
The key? Storytelling, well done.
HOW DOES THE WORKSHOP WORK?
There are three reasons why an ALL HANDS ON DECK workshop works: 1) What we do before the session; 2) What we do during the session; 3) And what we do after.
At least 30 days before a workshop, we will interview you and a cross-section of participants to find out what the predominant story is in the organization -- the cultural narrative that will need to change if employee engagement and innovation is going to flourish. We also ask everyone to respond to our culture of innovation poll -- yet another way to prime the pump.
The workshop, itself, is a mix of five elements: culture building, action learning, storytelling tutorials, ideation, and opportunities for participants to share their own stories with each other.
Post-workshop, we train selected participants, online, to facilitate company-specific Wisdom Circles -- small group gatherings that build trust, increase collaboration, transfer tacit knowledge, spark innovation and continue building a culture of storytelling.
Intrigued? Call us at 845.679.1066 or email email@example.comJanuary 13, 2016
What You Can Learn From a Priest, on His Lunch Break, Checking His Smart Phone
I'm not sure if this Turkish priest, on his lunch break, is reading a Kindle version of my new book, Storytelling at Work, or the new, glowing review of the book just published on Innovation Excellence, the most popular innovation web portal in the world. It really doesn't matter. What matters is that you click on the two links above and find out WHY storytelling in the workplace is such a big deal.January 12, 2016
How Storytelling Shapes Culture and Humanizes the Workplace
More goes on in the modern-day workplace than meets the eye. Indeed, it's often the stuff that meets the ear that makes all the difference. Click here to listen to Mitch Ditkoff's 60-minute VoiceAmerica interview on the power of personal storytelling in the workplace.