• JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with id: 48

WAAL09: Tapping the Creative Spirit to Spur Innovation

Posted by on Thursday, April 23, 2009 in WLA Blog Archive

"Tapping the Creative Spirit to Spur Innovation"
Kathryn Deiss, ACRL Content Strategist

  • - presentation posted

  • How do you develop a creative environment?

  • New stuff - how do we get it? Depend on creative part of the mind - how tap it?

Who's creative?

  • Audience: everyone, (usually people say: musicians, artists, writers)

  • "Creative Inventions" lightning round (60 seconds) - create an invention using your card and someone else's (items like: ping pong balls, wind chimes, empty 35mm film canister, thermos, bubble-blowing kit, milk crate, waffle iron, gerbil wheel, whistling tea kettle, cassette tape player, cell phone, water pitcher, bicycle helmet, corkscrew, wallet, measuring spoons, compass, slinky, cupcake liners, camera, mousetrap, spray paint, ice cube tray, mickey mouse ears, bandana, zipper, skateboard)

  • Everyone is creative - process of generating novel ideas that are likely to be useful

Creative process:

  • Difficulty = we don't know where we are:

  • problem/opportunity > divergent thinking > convergent thinking > decision point

  • Most people truncate early part, and don't generate enough ideas

  • Problem/opportunity identification - generate ideas - analyze options - choose - implement prototypes - incubate and get feedback - revise and reintroduce

  • We say "but if we put out a prototype and then take it away, patrons will get mad" - not a good reason not to do it

Tools & practices - creative spaces - attitudes & frames of mind

  • Tools:

  • Precise observation - ex: some libraries doing "ethnographic research" of students like they're tribes - U. Rochester Research Project published "Studying Students"

  • Penetrating questions - why do we think this? what happens when we do this?

  • Absence of judgment - suspend in idea-generation period - not "it didn't work last time" or "that won't work"

  • Faith in your resources - group's creativity can do it

  • Stages:

  • Preparation - sitting, waiting, being open, groundwork of processes to bring people together for sparks

  • Time off - don't jump into decision; incubate inside

  • The spark! - leap on it

  • Selection

  • Elaboration - what could idea look like? brainstorm on the one idea

  • Brainstorming rules:

  • Someone records it all

  • Rapid

  • No Voice of Judgment

  • Quantity over quality

  • Wilder the better

  • Build on the ideas of others

  • Other ways:

  • Silent brainstorming (individual, on piece of paper; round robin sharing - get more ideas because introverted people participate)

  • Visual brainstorming

  • Brainwriting - circulate pieces of paper with ideas among participants

  • Bodystorming

  • Mindmapping - there are software programs to help, or can do manually

  • Think of something at work you'd like to change or understand better - Being in this situation is like [add metaphor] - spin off - feelings associated - how affect communication

  • Changing perspective:

  • Can we put to other use? adapt? modify? rearrange? substitute? reverse? combine? ...

  • Effective group creativity requires diverse points of view - not nasty conflict, but multiple perspectives

  • Incubation - like seeds in the soil, like eggs in a nest, like bread rising - "you know, I was thinking..."

  • Scott Adams (Dilbert) went to work for IDEO - to improve "the cubicle" - modular, fun, customizable - (photos) which would you rather work in? - IDEO carves furniture out of styrofoam and says "how's this?"

  • (photo of big conference table room) - what's wrong with this? - (alternative: what looks like my old housing co-op living rooms)

  • Zephyr Innovation Incubator - Illinois - lots of little toys for customers/staff to play with while brainstorming

  • Imagine a place that stimulates you (art gallery) - qualities/characteristics: changes periodically, thought-provoking, sometimes beautiful, emotion-provoking - how can your work place better reflect that space?

  • Creativity is messy! - we don't have patience for "fooling around" - but you have to, to get the new!

  • Have to be willing to break the rules!

  • Use unexpected detours to your advantage - others may think that you're distracted and not doing "work"


  • we can't

  • it won't work

  • we tried that before

  • we don't have the money

  • they won't let us

  • what if it's too successful
Comment disabled by author.