I’ve just finished delivering a ZIG ZAG workshop at the “Convene LIVE” annual event, hosted by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) in beautiful Ottawa, Canada. The theme of this year’s event was “Executing on Creativity.” In addition to my workshop today, Todd Henry delivered yesterday’s workshop on the theme of his 2011 book, The Accidental Creative.
I arrived a day early so I could watch Todd’s workshop; he does great stuff and I was eager to see him in action. His title was “Harnessing creativity: Concepts and processes that lead to everyday brilliance.” His session closely followed the messages from his book. For example, the second half of his session was about the “five elements of rhythm”:
Focus (staying focused on business priorities, vision, and what’s important)
Relationships (interacting with people who will help you get great ideas)
Energy (how to sustain a high energy level)
Stimuli (make sure you expose yourself constantly to new and interesting stimuli)
Hours (time management)
My overall take-home from Todd’s talk: great advice about productivity, work effectiveness, and time management, but with a particular focus on creative professionals. Todd’s message reminded me of Scott Belsky (the author of Making Ideas Happen). I had a chance to watch Scott’s awesome keynote when he and I both gave keynotes at the Creativity World Forum in Belgium in 2011.
My workshop today was four hours, giving me plenty of time to engage the audience with hands-on activities from all eight steps of the creative process (each step has one chapter in Zig Zag):
ASK: Find and formulate the problem
LEARN: Acquire knowledge relevant to the problem
LOOK: Gather a broad range of potentially related information
PLAY: Take time off for incubation
THINK: Generate a large variety of ideas
FUSE: Combine ideas in unexpected ways
CHOOSE: Select the best ideas
MAKE: Externalize your ideas
Here are some photos of the attendees, using the “Affinity Diagram” technique to develop creative solutions for planning their next meeting.
And I learned a lot about event planning! Thanks to Kelly Peacy of PCMA for doing such a great job organizing the event.
You should really take a look at the free “creativity sampler” containing excerpts from some of the best-selling creativity advice books. And guess what: It’s completely legit; the publisher of all of these books (Wiley) is putting this out for free:
Ken Robinson’s Out Of Our Minds. Sir Ken’s TedX talk continues to be the most watched of all TedX talks. This book, published even before he was invited to TedX, describes how to transform schools to foster greater creativity.
Where else can you find so much free creativity advice, from five leading experts? Of course, we all hope you’ll read this and then want to buy the books 🙂