Created with Sketch.
SuperCreativity Podcast with James Taylor | Creativity, Innovation and Inspiring Ideas
29 minutes | a day ago
Creativity VS Innovation – #301
The Difference Between Creativity And Innovation Instead of shooting for a $10 billion IPO or a Nobel Prize, the most prolific innovators focus instead on Big Little Breakthroughs – small creative acts that unlock massive rewards over time. By building a daily habit of creativity, organizations not only enjoy a high volume of small wins, but the daily practice of micro-innovations is the fastest route to discover the massive breakthroughs we seek. In his new book ‘Big Little Breakthroughs’, innovation keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling author Josh Linkner shows how ordinary ideas can fuel extraordinary results. Josh is a Creative Troublemaker who passionately believes that we all have incredible creative capacity. He has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million. Today, he serves as Chairman and co-founder of Platypus Labs, innovation research, training, and consulting firm. Josh is also a passionate Detroiter and a great jazz guitarist. Josh and I discuss the difference between creativity and innovation, how the creative process works, creative problem solving, and the three types of innovation. Enjoy the show. For More of SuperCreativity Podcast By James Taylor James Taylor 0:00 I’m James Taylor, and you’re listening to the super creativity podcast show dedicated to inspiring creative minds like yours. Instead of shooting for a $10 billion IPO or a Nobel Prize, the most prolific innovators focus instead on big metal breakthroughs, small creative acts that unlock massive rewards over time. By building a daily habit of creativity organizations not only enjoy a high volume of small wins, but the daily practice of micro innovations is the fastest route to discover the massive breakthroughs we seek his new book, big little breakthroughs. Innovation keynote speaker, a New York Times bestselling author Josh Linkner, shows how ordinary ideas can feel extraordinary results. Josh is a creative troublemaker who passionately believes that we all have incredible creative capacity. He has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million. Today, he serves as chairman and co-founder of platypus labs, Innovation Research, training and consulting firm. Josh is also a passionate Detroiter, and a great jazz guitarist, Josh and I discussed the difference between creativity and innovation, how the creative process works, creative problem solving, and the three types of innovation. Enjoy the show. So Josh, link, no Welcome to the super creativity podcast. Great to have you with us today. Josh Linkner 1:24 It’s always a pleasure to be with you, my friend. James Taylor 1:26 Now you have a new book out. And it’s a stonker. Our book, as we will see here in the UK, is called Little breakthroughs. And you start off by having a quote at the start of an angle go quote, which is great things are done by a series of small things brought together. So tell us about this. Tell us what the inception of the idea was why, why this book now? Josh Linkner 1:50 Yeah, so the book is called Big Little breakthroughs, how small everyday innovations drive oversized results, and it sort of flips the traditional view of innovation upside down. Instead of shooting for like this giant, wildly risky swings for the fences, transformations. It’s more about cultivating small daily habits, daily acts are micro innovations, which are far more accessible to more people, they’re less risky, they add up to great things, and they build skill at the same time. So I wanted to make this book like innovation for the rest of us. You know, it’s kind of like helping everyday people become everyday innovation innovators. So it’s not only for the Elon Musk’s of the world but more importantly for normal people trying to harness creativity to make a meaningful impact and the things that they care about the most in their lives. James Taylor 2:32 Now, the first chapter, the opening part of the book is fantastic, you really you’re immediately pulled into the story, and I’m not going to give anything away. But it’s a great story about cigarette butts, I will leave that people have to get a copy of the book to read it. But the character in that book, he said an interesting thing he said, he always felt that all the creative people were in the creative industries. So I’m guessing in writing this book, that was maybe one of the myths you were looking to bust. Josh Linkner 3:00 Yeah, you’re exactly right. And I always cringe when someone says, oh, the creatives they sit on the second floor, you know, as opposed to why shouldn’t we all be creative. And that is a myth. And I think it’s important that we tackle and that creativity is not relegated to somebody who can paint or play music. And it’s certainly not only for people that write code, or invent stuff in a lab or are the CEO, really all of us and you know this too, but we all as human beings have huge reservoirs of great creative capacity. we’re hardwired to be creative. That’s our natural state. And in fact, we can deploy those skills in any job function. I’d say, Well, people in finance should be creative. And I’m often met with well, but then they break the law. Of course, we’re not telling people to break the law. But why couldn’t you be creative in finance, you could you could interpret insights between inside the numbers better, you can compile reports better. I mean, if you’re trying a case to a jury, you absolutely should be creative. If you’re in sales, you should be creative. If you’re in customer service, you can be creative. So the notion of, you have to be wearing a hoodie or a lab coat to be creative. I’m trying to bust that myth. And say, really, creativity is something that is accessible to us all. It can be helpful and useful to us all. James Taylor 4:05 One of the stats that you shared, which I never seem to start, was that from a Harvard professor, a university professor called Stephen Tomkey, global nickname, right? He said that 77% of economic growth is attributed to small creative advances, not radical information. You speak all over the world and virtual for the biggest companies in the world as well. It seems to want a business they often feel a bit more comfortable talking about innovation rather than creativity. So do you think this is maybe starting to change now? Innovation VS Creativity Josh Linkner 4:35 Well, yeah, I think there are actually two points that you’re raising. They’re both excellent points. One is that, you know, we think of creativity, or we think of innovation as these giant breakthroughs, you know, Ilan Musk, or Richard Branson, but that innovation is outside the grasp of most of us. And in fact, well, that grabs the headlines. That doesn’t really what isn’t really what fuels the economy. And as you point out, this Harvard professor is talking about 77% of economic progress doesn’t come from those sets. attention-grabbing, you know giant breakthroughs. It comes from the everyday breakthroughs, that how you run your Monday morning meeting better, how you engage with the client better, a slight tweak in your product to make it more serving a better serving to a customer. So, again, I think there’s so much that we can, as human beings gain and leverage and grow from creativity without having to be a billionaire investor. But the second thing you point out really quickly is the difference between creativity and innovation. And James, I’m really curious to hear your definition of this too. Because you and I, we’re both, you know, passionate devotees of this. We’ve devoted our life’s work to creativity and innovation, the way I think of it. And again, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts. I think of creativity as somebody who’s using imagination to come up with something that has intrinsic value but may not have utility or commercial value. So if I write a song, you might say, well, that that’s creative. But unless it’s, you know, top 10 hits, I probably don’t make any money from it, maybe it doesn’t change the world. So it might be an act of creativity, and that I invented something new, but it doesn’t have utility value. When I think about innovation, I think of innovation as a subset of creativity, so it certainly requires creativity. But to me, innovation is adding on the extra benefit of having utility value. So if I do not, instead of just creating a bad song that no one wanted to hear, but I invented a new instrument that lots of people bought, and it became a new part of the musical genre, that would be more of an innovation. But I’m curious, does that align with how you think about those two words? James Taylor 6:18 It’s funny because obviously, we both speak on creativity, innovation is one of the questions we get asked a lot. And so often, we have to kind of raise it right at the start of a presentation, we can say what the difference, the way, the way I’ve always thought about it was that creativity and innovation and just different sides of the same coin. So creativity, I think, is the engine of innovation. Creativity is about bringing new ideas to the mind. Innovation is about bringing new ideas to the world. But without creativity, there isn’t innovation. But that’s just my personal take on it. But one of the things I really thought you did really nicely in this book was broken apart that word of innovation. And you actually refer to like, talking about innovation three different ways. And could you just tell us about it? I think it’s a really nice distinction that you’ve made there. Josh Linkner 7:06 Yeah. So again, we often hear words like innovation, it feels so big and so overwhelming. It’s so scary, so risky, that it’s easy to gravitate to doing nothing. And so I think that there are different levels or magnitudes for lack of a better term of innovation, yet, they’re all innovation. Just like if you have a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, which would level a city, or a 2.4 magnitude earthquake, which can barely be felt, there’s still both seismic events like this to both counts. So here’s how I think about it. Again, I’d love to hear your thoughts, James. But think about innovation in all capital letters, innovation, and that, yeah, that’s Tesla. That’s the printed printing press. That’s the internet, that’s penicillin. And these are the, you know, once every handful of years breakthroughs that make history. But again, there’s that’s a small, perhaps reach a number of innovations. Let’s click on that once and say okay, now but the second flavor, innovation, which is a capital I so capitalized the rest of it lowercase. And these might be innovations that rather than taking, you know, a superhero to discover, any one of us might find two or three of these a year, maybe you come up with a new way to better serve clients or you in your speaking business, come up with a new speaker video that that really, you drive drives more demand. So these are meaningful, juicy innovations that matter, they count, they ring the register. But again, they may not make the cover of a magazine, they’re not going to be you know, known 300 years from now for that particular thing. Nonetheless, it’s still really valuable and still something we should absolutely strive for. But my favorite is one more double click on that word, all lowercase innovation, or I also call them big little breakthroughs, which are those micro innovations. And while you might have two or three of, you know, innovations with a capital in a year, you might have two or three lowercase innovations every morning, you might have five or six of them a day. And I love thinking of creativity and innovation this way. Because if we cultivate those little ones, we can always be testing little stuff out. And we know full well that they’re not all going to work, they’re not all going to be productive. But when you get in the habit, when we make that part of who we are, when we’re always looking for those little baby innovations, lowercase innovations, it just first of all liberating it’s like so within our grasp. But then again, those little wins add up in a big way, and ultimately can help us achieve the things that we care about the most. James Taylor 9:14 It feels like the way that the book goes, it feels much more accessible. I think when you talk about innovation in this way as well. It’s I mean, obviously you’re a jazz musician, as well. So we have this common interest in jazz music. And sometimes I find if I would be if I was in context with people that weren’t into jazz music, let’s say if I use the word improvisation that was like, Oh, that’s a bit that sounds that sounds really hard. And we’re going to stay away from that word. But if you just said the theme and variation, then it feels a little bit more approachable. It’s a little bit so just sometimes kind of shifting that word brings a lightness to it. I think that’s what you’ve done in this. You’ve kind of just brought a lightness to this idea of innovation. Josh Linkner 9:56 Well, thank you for speaking of jazz, so yeah, for those that don’t know, you know, ginger, your father is an app. Brilliant jazz guitarists like off the crazy like the top of the field. And your wife is a fabulous jazz vocalist. So you are very lucky to be surrounded, James Taylor 10:08 surrounded by all this talent. Yes. Well, The Creative Process Josh Linkner 10:11 you are certainly contributing as well, my friend. But you know, I’m sure you’ve seen this many times. But you know, we think of jazz musicians as these like, you know, legendary mythical creative people. But I would argue that the culture of a jazz combo really is optimally set up. In other words, I don’t think that jazz musicians are any more inherently creative than anybody else. But by being in that situation where you’re encouraged to take responsible risks, that is the culture actually drives more creativity. In other words, if your dad or I were in right on the stage playing a jazz gig, and we played it safe, we might get laughed off the stage. But if we played it took a risk and played a terrible clunker. Note, well played twice more, call it art, everything is fine. No kidding aside, that it’s just a very supportive collaborative process. You know, the other thing that’s neat about jazz, which, you know, is like you and I didn’t script our conversation today, we just got on, you know, we’re playing off of each other. And for those that don’t know, that’s really what jazz is, if we were in a jazz combo that played the same song every night for 10 years, every night, it would be different, because it’s really a conversation among the musicians and certainly with the audience as well. And I think there’s a real parallel to creativity that we think of creativity often has this, you know, the lone wolf writing in a log cabin writing this, you know, a great novel or something. And there are instances of that, but I like this notion of jazz riffing and collaboration better. Whereas, let’s say we’re playing a jazz gig and, and I play some not so great on the guitar, and then the bass player picks it up and then takes a little bit next app, and then the drummer grabs it and grabs the rhythm on assemble, and then the sax player hears something in it and rips the solo to the delight of the crowd, who invented that like it was a collaborative process. And I think that we can learn so much from those jazz combos and that it’s not only about being a great listener or being a great soloist, but it’s also about passing the baton back and forth and letting those sparks fly and co-creating together. James Taylor 11:51 And one of the words you used was that word riffing, I saw a quote the other day by Andy Jassy who is going to be taken over from Jeff Bezos at Amazon at the end of the year. And he was saying the plan is to really come back to more office, bring people back into the offices in a very soon, you know, I’ve post kind of post-pandemic, and he just said, one of the reasons we want to do this is we’re just finding in his words, we’re not riffing in the same way. We’re finding innovation as being kind of productive, but not necessarily as innovative as we could be. So I’m interested in your, your kind of creative process, your own work as well. Have you found this period of maybe self-imposed kind of isolation? For a few months? Has this been a creative time for you? Or have you? Do you kind of Thrive a lot more on having those improvisations and having conversations? Three Types Of Innovation Josh Linkner 12:41 Well, there are actually a couple of different things in there. So it actually hasn’t been a creative time for me, because I’ve had more time and space to be creative. You know, one of the things that is very difficult, as you know, being creative, as if you’re trying to squeeze creativity in between calls and meetings, and you have 11 minutes, and darn it be creative, right now, it’s hard to do that like your creativity needs a little bit of room. So in that regard, it’s been very productive for me creatively. But I wouldn’t say this. I was thinking about it, maybe I get, I’m curious to hear your thoughts to James. But think about two types of work, heads-down work, and heads-up work. And there are times that we need to head down, we need to get our job done, we need to be productive, we need to finish the memo or finish the report or whatever. And I think that time, heads-down work absolutely is great to be done if you know, separately doesn’t have to be in the same office because it’s lone, solitary work. But there’s another part of the job. Most jobs are heads-up work, which is collaborating with others imagining the possibilities, noticing the world around you instead of being buried into your to-do list. And that part is really difficult to do isolated. And so I think when we what may happen in the future of work as we think about, alright, spend your heads downtime work at home, remote, but when it’s time for a little bit heads uptime, that’s the time to be together. Yeah, there’s no point in doing a 90-minute commute to your office door and lock yourself in a room while I do that might as well stay at home. But that’s something you can do. Unless you’re with others. That’s the time to be in the office. That’s that heads-up time. And are you right, I fully believe that. We’re going to need more of that. That’s why I don’t think offices are entirely going away. James Taylor 14:07 I’m James Taylor, business creativity and innovation keynote speaker and this is the super creativity podcast. If you enjoy listening to conversations with creative thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, authors, educators and performers, then you’ve come to the right place. Each week we discuss their ideas, life, work, successes, failures, creative process, and much more. You’ll find show notes for today’s episode as well as free creativity training at Jamestaylor.me. If you enjoyed learning about Josh Linkner, then check out my interview with author and marketing guru Seth Godin, where we discuss his creative process, the potential impact of artificial intelligence on human creativity and vodka making. Here my conversation with Seth Godin at Jamestaylor.me. After the break, we returned to my interview with Josh Linkner where we discussed heads down heads up creative work This week’s episode is sponsored by SpeakersU the online community for international speakers, speakers, you helped you launch, grow, and monetize your speaking business faster than you thought possible. If you want to share your message as a highly paid speaker, then speakers you will teach you how just go to SpeakersU.com to access their free speaker business training, as you were mentioning that I was selling remember the back of my mind, there was a Bill Evans, the big great jazz pianist story where he built this career as a musician, you can really in demand, he’s working with all these amazing musicians. And then he kind of went on like an almost like a self-imposed sabbatical, I guess, or I went back into his garage for I think it was for a long time as but nearly a year. And he broke everything that he was doing, he broke it all down. And when he came out of it, he’d always found more of his voice in that process by going a little bit quieter. During that time taking things back to basics. You’re working on some of those core kinds of fundamentals as well. So I guess, I hope that maybe lots of people have kind of used this time, you know, I know you’re writing books, and you’re doing things to kind of maybe get back some of those fundamentals. Think of what that voice is? What do I want to say, what do I want to kind of work on? Creative Problem Solving Josh Linkner 16:15 Yeah, I mean, really, there’s not a right or wrong here. And I think there’s really probably a combination of both. I mean, sometimes I need to marinate on an idea alone and have the time and space to do that. And you’re right, sometimes that self-reflection can be very deliberative, as it relates to creativity, because you’re not just relying on the patterns that you already know, giving you some time and space to invent new ones. But I also think that the co-creation process can be effective, too. I think the real trap isn’t so much, which is the optimal place to be creative. It’s recognizing what are the things that drain our creativity, and also prioritizing and making this a core part of our lives. And I think maybe in the past in the workforce, creativity was a nice to have when we live in a different era where you could do what you’re told and follow the rules and retire with a gold watch. But today, we live in a world of mind-numbing speed and change in technology and competition. And I don’t think we have that luxury anymore. And in fact, many of those hard skills of the past to become commoditized or outsourced or automated, whereas the real value is his creative problem solving and inventive thinking. And I think that, you know, well, we’ve been taught in school, that that’s what we should focus on those hard skills, I think we need to really change that script a bit, and focus on cultivating our own gift of human creativity, which all of us have, and not all of us fully develop. And it’s almost like I don’t mind if someone’s alone, or if they’re together as long as they’re being creative. And I think the core message that you and I both share is that let’s bring more creativity to our lives into our work to enjoy more productive outcomes. James Taylor 17:35 Absolutely. And in big little breakthroughs. The first part of the book is really kind of demystifying creativity taking people through your view on the creative process. And then it moves into the second part of the book, which really provides a framework for inventive thinking, more creative problem-solving. And I think there’s like there’s kind of eight key things, we don’t have time to kind of go through some of them. But one of my there was one that I saw, which I really, really love. And it’s this concept of playing offense and defense with creativity. Can you explain that to the audience? Josh Linkner 18:11 Sure. So we often think of innovation in a very limited way, we think of it as growing sales or inventing a new product, or maybe it’s marketing. But there’s really a role. And so I think about offense-based creativity or offense-based innovation. In other words, you’re trying to put points on the board and grow and win and all that. But I think it’s also important to look at, you know, you mentioned the other side of the coin, the other side of the coin here, I would loosely call it defense-oriented creativity, which might be how can you use your creativity to save costs, or to reduce errors in a manufacturing process or to boost safety at a construction site. And so it’s not that one is worse than the other, it’s just offense-based creativity that tends to get all the focus and attention. But there’s so much opportunity for all of us to apply the superpower of creativity to not just growth, but also cost savings and safety and other things that are maybe less sexy, but ultimately do still create value. James Taylor 19:03 Now I don’t know if you saw it, there was a thing this week, I thought was quite interesting. I’m not sure who the university was, it did the research. But they looked at when people are trying to solve, or companies trying to solve problems. Only 17% of people are trying to solve problems, actually look to reduce things, reduce the number of inputs, make things leaner, simplify, the vast majority kind of go and try to add features and make things more complicated. I’m just wanting to in the book, you’re talking too much about that about you. The second part of the book is really talking about creative problem-solving. What are some of the things that we can do that maybe aren’t necessarily about adding new things, but maybe potentially subtracting making things a little bit simpler, a bit more of a minimalist essentialist view of life? Josh Linkner 19:55 Yeah, so you’re right that so the back half of the book, you know, through the book was I spent over $1,000 in research And interviews with CEOs and billionaires and celebrity entrepreneurs and Grammy Award-winning artists. And I tried to understand what is the connective tissue, and the back half of the book covers the eight what I call obsessions or mindsets of everyday innovators. And these really transcend geography and industry etc. But so there are these core mindsets that are, by the way, very easy to embrace, they don’t require years of study or millions of dollars of investment, there are ways of thinking and approaching our work to really elevate our creativity and create better results. And so but one of them that, you know, answers your question, I think, is kind of a funny term, but I call it using every drop of toothpaste, which is essentially being scrappy, and doing more with less being, you know, to your point being reductionist and as streamlined as opposed to just throwing resources at it. Now, very often, we think that to solve a problem, we have to throw resources, more money, more, more equipment, more materials, more, more, more. But think about this, if the number of external resources that you had equaled the level of creativity that you had, the federal government would be the most creative organization on the planet, and startups would be the least. But we know the exact opposite is true. So is I actually back to music for a second. No, I was studying music in college, I had a professor, I played jazz guitar, and you know that that would force me to remove strings from the instrument. So he would make me take off one, two, sometimes three strings from the guitar. And intuitively, you’d say, Well, now my resources are cut in half, my creativity is going to really suffer. But the surprising and counterintuitive thing happened when I was resource-constrained, I can no longer rely on the patterns that I need. In other words, I solve musical problems in a totally fresh and new way. And actually, it was a boost to my creative ability. So you’re exactly right, James, that we don’t always need to add stuff. Sometimes by removing stuff actually, by streamlining, we can find more clever, more inventive, more imaginative ways forward. James Taylor 21:50 It’s almost like there’s the Japanese or there are haikus where you’ve got this very limited form in which you need to create and so it really pushes you to try like how I’ve got to try and create in this form as well. One of the things that are really nice about the book is it does feel very much like everyday innovations. And you know, people can really get started doing some of these and one of the first phrases or the little things you mentioned in the book is dinner minutes. So, this is if you haven’t read the book, you could after the read the book, because there’s lots of little great little thing that they just that little mind hooks, I know, I’m going to be thinking over the next week. So tell us about dinner men’s and its impact upon our innovation. Josh Linkner 22:34 Yeah, so when we think about and I’ve talked to so many companies around the world, and I’m like, Well, what, what really separates you from the competition, like, Oh, we have really good customer service, or our products are reliable and look, nothing wrong with that. But that today, that’s just the ante to play. That’s not a differentiator, that’s just a basic minimum level of competence. And so the principle that you’re describing is called Don’t forget the dinner mint. And here’s, here’s the concept behind it. I’m sure James, you and your wife have been to a nice restaurant, perhaps in London, and you’re waiting for the check. And then all of a sudden, there’s a little extra chocolate compliments of the chef. And because it’s something unexpected, that surprise and delight, it completely transforms your experience. And as a proportionate to the overall meal or like the cost structure of that restaurant, it was negligible, but a little extra, something that little extra flourish, completely elevated the meal. And so the concept of a dinner meant isn’t so much a piece of food, but it’s the idea of plussing up whatever your work product is by 5% or less. In other words, what’s that little extra twist that little extra creative flourish that you can once before you hit send, like before you’re about to deliver your work? Could you add a little extra creative, something to make yours otherworldly to make it really stand out from the competitive set? There are all kinds of fun examples, but one that comes to mind. There was this woman named Melissa tabs. And Melissa, her family was from Italy. They were ice cream and gelato makers and such. So she moved to New York and she wants to be in the ice cream business. But how do you possibly compete in such a competitive market? And nobody wants another commodity, even if it’s good vanilla ice cream. Who cares? And she was worried like how is she going to stand out? And so she said, I have to embrace this dinner mint philosophy. She started thinking What else can I add, like a little extra something so that my ice cream is different than everybody else’s?” And one day she was having a glass of wine or something and she says wait a minute, what if I fused alcohol. And so she worked and tinkered around and she figured out a way to make booze-infused ice cream for a brand called a tipsy scoop. And she has brands like ice cream like chocolate limoncello and, and cake batter Martini ice cream, and proportionally against less than 5% of the overall weight of the ice cream, not to mention her cost structure. But in a highly competitive commoditized market. She has flourished and she has two wildly successful retail stores. She has a best-selling cookbook. She does corporate catering, she ships all over the world. And it was because this dinner meant strategy. So the takeaway I think for each of us is to say okay, before we just deliver with excellence and competence, could we add a little extra something to enjoy a disciplined Passionate reward. James Taylor 25:02 And there’re so many wonderful little vignettes like that little examples, one that reminds me of healthy gum. So people are gonna have to get their copy of the book to understand what healthy gum Josh Linkner 25:13 means. But James Taylor 25:15 there are so many great now you’re, you are a great advocate and a promoter of the city in which you live in Detroit. And I got the opportunity, my wife and I got options to come and visit with you and Detroit. And you are a host. And it was just a wonderful, wonderful time on my first visit to the city. So how are you feeling just now with all the changes that have been going on going on? It feels like there’s maybe a little bit of a new roaring 20s starting if you’re starting to feel that in Detroit yet. Josh Linkner 25:43 I’m really excited about Detroit’s future, as you probably know. And Funny enough, 100 years ago, Detroit was sort of the Silicon Valley of our country. And then we kind of lost our way instead of doing what you and I love being creative and innovative. We started administering bureaucratic corporations. And, and I think a lot of the problems that we’ve had, we’re a direct result of our are drifting away from our creative roots. But this is a city with a soul. And I and when you were here, you saw a little bit of it, but this one’s Broken City is now bouncing back and a new life is taking root. And there are art galleries and museums, and music and food, and it’s a really cool town. And look, we still have some work to do. It’s not utopia yet, but it’s definitely on the rise. And I believe this, this 10 year period or so will be studied for decades to come as one of the great turnaround stories of our generation. So I’m really optimistic. I mean, it’s a place with gritty, scrappy people that know how to make stuff. It’s a place with wild levels of creativity and passion. And I’m very optimistic about my hometown. You know, I’ve had the chance to leave many times. But I always wanted to stay. You know, I was born in the city as my parents, as were my grandparents. So I’m a proud Detroiter, James Taylor 26:47 well, if anyone listening to this, if you’re not from the US, or maybe if you are from the US, and when we get to travel again, try and get to Detroit, I was really blown away, I thought it was a fascinating place to somewhere I definitely want to go back to as well. I want to know, where’s the best place for people to go to learn about, get a copy of their book and also learn about your other books, and they’ve got other books and you’ve got your keynote speaking and other programs? Where should they be going to do that? Josh Linkner 27:14 Probably the easiest place. And thanks again, James, for the conversation, FI always enjoy speaking with you. It’s just going to BigLittlebreakthroughs.com you certainly can buy the book. But even if you don’t, there’s a free assessment tool there. There are all kinds of downloads, there are worksheets, there’s a fast start guide. So I really hope that you look at this as a toolkit to help your listener to really, you know, build your creative skills and to take everyday innovation to the next level. Um, you can find all about me and my other work there too. But just yeah, just check out big little breakthroughs. By the way, if anyone likes audiobooks, James, I did a fun thing. I read the book myself. But in between the chapters, I play a little jazz guitar and each chapter. So I added a little bit of creative flourish I determent, if you will, to the audio recording, James Taylor 27:56 That is nice. I’m definitely gonna go and get a copy of go and download that it could be my daily walk that could be my soundtrack, your voice, and some nice jazz. That’s why I like the sound of that. That’s great. Well Josh Linkner 28:06 just be clear, though. It’s nowhere near as good as your data. And for those again, listening to jazz guitar, so please forgive my sloppiness, though. James Taylor 28:14 So, Josh Linkner, thank you so much for coming on today. On the super creativity podcast. I wish you great success with the book and everything else you’ve got happening for the rest of the year. Josh Linkner 28:22 Thanks so much to you as well. Stay safe and James Taylor 28:24 stay creative. You can subscribe to the SuperCreativity podcast on Spotify, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcast while you’re there. Please leave us a review. I would really, really appreciate it. I’m James Taylor, and you’re been listening to the SuperCreativity podcast. The post Creativity VS Innovation – #301 appeared first on James Taylor.
4 minutes | 2 days ago
Brainstorming Technique: Random Words
Brainstorming Technique Using Random Words ? I want to share with you a very simple yet powerful technique for improving your brainstorming sessions. NEWS & DEALS! Free Course! FULL TRANSCRIPT Hey there, it’s James Taylor here, keynote speaker on creativity and innovation and the founder of SuperCreativityU today, I want to share with you a very simple yet powerful technique for improving your brainstorming sessions. Brainstorming Technique: Random Words Hey there, James Taylor here to speak on creativity, innovation, and the founder of SuperCreativityU. Now, something I’m often brought in to help organizations with is improving their brainstorming or their ideation sessions, whether that’s in person, or whether that’s virtual. And as well as different techniques you can use if you’re trying to do brainstorming ideation sessions, I want to share one with you just now it’s very simple. It’s existed for a long, long time. But it’s so equally powerful. And it’s actually something you can really use very well in a virtual environment if you’re not actually in the same physical space. Random Words And I first kind of got this idea of this technique from an exhibition I visited by the German Nobel Prize-winning German poet Herta Muller to do something very interesting. As she was working on her poetry, she was maybe creating some poems you were devising thinking about this, in order to just kind of push yourself out of her comfort zone and maybe come at the sentence or the line from a different perspective, she would have this collection of bits of people with random words, they might be a noun, they might be a verb. And then what she would do is she would use that word as a jumping-off point to think about, okay, well, how does that word reflect on this, what I’m trying to say here, and sometimes it didn’t reflect at all, but what it did is it just moved her out of maybe a sliver stuck place on a sentence, to moving into a different place. Another very famous user of this idea of random words, and as a brainstorming technique was David Bowie. Now, in David Bowie’s case, initially, what he would do is you would get newspapers, and he would cut out words from the newspapers. And they actually just put them in a drawer in a bag. And as he was working on a lyric for us a new song, what he would do is he would occasionally just reach into that bag, pick out a word, and his random word to look at it and think, Okay, what does that mean? How does that relate to this song? How can I use this word? How can this inspire me maybe to take a different direction with this sentence, or this line I’m writing just now. Now, as time went on, he was able to make it a little bit kind of fancy, you actually got a computer, which generated random words, to allow him to do that. And I think this is actually very useful. If you’re in the world of marketing, especially, I see that you use a lot in marketing or innovation labs. So this is what I would encourage you to do. If you’re working on an idea for a campaign, you’re thinking about the problem, the challenge you’re trying to solve, the campaign you want to design, maybe design is often very useful just to go and grab a random word. And there’s a couple of ways that you can do this. So what I’m going to suggest you do are websites and random word generators, if you just Google random word generators, that’s one way of doing it. And it will just generate random words, and you can just use those. And the point is, they are random, you’ve not thought about these words you’ve not, but they’re just kind of random coming to you. Other ways you can do it, you can pick up bits of paper, you can, you know, have a whole bunch of different words on or post notes and use those. So for example, what will sometimes happen is I was doing an event the other day. And we use this one brainstorming technique, this random words technique. And they were in this case, it was a bank, and it was stuck on a particular challenge, you’re unsure really where to go with this particular product that they’re working on. So we use a random word, I think the word was river River. Okay, river. So what if we made this product like a river? What do we think of what the component parts of river water are flowing, there’s no, there are no impediments. It flows as water goes around, goes up, goes under. And from there, I wouldn’t see what their client was and what the end result was from that. But they use that word as a jumping-off point. And it allowed them to create a little innovation in this particular product they were wanting to offer, and just slightly reposition how they were doing and how they were trying to tell the story about this product to their target market. So that’s just one little example. And I can give you lots more. I’ve used this kind of random word with your financial services with technology companies, with big pharma companies, fast-moving consumer product companies, where I tend to find works best, especially in the marketing function. Or if you have a new product that you’re working on, or you have a new challenge, want to take a different approach to it. Using this random word concept is very useful for that. Increases Flexibility Of The Mind So this is what I’d like you to do. Think about maybe a challenge that you’ve got just now, maybe you got a new product or a new service. You think you are thinking about launching, and I want you to go online, search for a random word generator, pull up a random word. And over the course of the next few days, I want you to think about how that word can apply to whatever is challenge that you’re trying to solve. Now, I’m going to get you some maybe some pretty mad ideas from that. And at first, it might be a little bit of a struggle, because you’re gonna have to use a little bit more imagination in your thinking. But what it will allow you to do is it will allow you to move from being a fixed state moving stuck on a problem, just to create some movement, maybe that word is never the thing you end up using in that particular product or that campaign. And it’s the ideas that come from that word and not the ones you end up using. But what is important is that it increases that flexibility of mind and gets you to open up your mind to new possibilities. So that’s the random words technique for brainstorming sessions and ideation sessions. And if you’d like me, maybe I can come in and work with some of your team. We could do a great virtual workshop and we can teach you some of these different techniques, then, head over to my website, Jamestaylor.me. It would be great if you want to ensure that you subscribe to this channel because you get lots of new little tips like this every week. My name is James Taylor. Thanks for watching. The post Brainstorming Technique: Random Words appeared first on James Taylor.
42 minutes | 8 days ago
The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. – #300
Creativity And Peak Performance What does it take to accomplish the impossible? What does it take to shatter our limitations, exceed our expectations, and turn our biggest dreams into our most recent achievements? These are the questions that our guest today has sought to answer in his new book The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. Steven Kotler is a New York Times-bestselling author, an award-winning journalist, Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective, and one of the world’s leading experts on human performance. He is the author of nine bestsellers including The Future is Faster Than You Think, Stealing Fire, The Rise of Superman and Bold and Abundance which were co-authored with Peter Diamandis. His work has been nominated for two Pulitzer Prizes, translated into over 40 languages, and has appeared in over 100 publications, including the New York Times Magazine, Wired, Atlantic Monthly, Wall Street Journal, TIME and the Harvard Business Review. Steven and I discuss extreme innovation and the role that motivation, learning, creativity and flow play in it. He also shares his perspective on the ROI of reading books and his Five Not-So-Easy Steps for Learning Almost Anything. Enjoy the show. For More of SuperCreativity Podcast By James Taylor James Taylor 0:00 So Steven, welcome. Great to have you with us here at the super creativity podcast. Steven Kotler 1:17 Great to be with you. Thanks for having me. James Taylor 1:19 Now, I first heard about you because I was doing a keynote somewhere and one of your co writers, Peter Diamandis was speaking and we were given a copy of abundance. I thought, wow, I really like this. I really like this right. And then you got me into getting bold as a result of that. And then I checked that one, you read more recently, raise a Superman, and your latest book, which I just finished reading the art of the impossible, which is a phenomenal peak performance primer. So before we get into talking about the book itself, and some of the ideas in the book, as I was doing my little kind of research on you, I found something interesting that can fascinate before we talk about creativity and peak performance and all that stuff. Rancho that our nervous Ranger ketola langtree. Tell us about that. How did that come about? Steven Kotler 2:07 So I’m a lifelong animal geek. I’ve been since I was a little little kid really interested in animals. When I first started my career, I started as a journalist, I predominantly covered neuroscience and action sports Don’t even ask, but those were the two things I was deeply interested in. There were also super geeky animals. So I use journalism as a way to like sort of run around the world and hang out with scientists who were hanging out with animals. I learned a lot about ethology and evolutionary biology, all that stuff along the way. And it was it was amazing. And I loved it. But when you work in the wild with animals, you’re not there’s no contact allowed, right? Like if you’re working in a wildlife sanctuary, you don’t want them habituated to humans. That’s bad. And what I started to realize is, Hey, wait a minute, I want more intimate relationships with the animals I’m around, not this, like really standoffish thing, met my wife, she was doing dog rescue, and we decided, because we’re morons, we would do all the terrible things in dog rescue all at once. So we started Rancho de Chihuahua, which was, for 14 years, we’ve since moved, but for 14 years, until a year ago, we ran a hospice and special needs Animal Sanctuary in the second poorest county in America with eyes instead of animal cruelty. So we just basically put ourselves on the front lines and stayed there for 14 years, and did a lot of great work there. And then we have since moved to Utah, we’re still like lining up our sanctuary license to this legalities, that have slowed us down a little bit. But we’re going to take the work we were doing what we really did is develop a healing protocol, we can take a dog, we like late stage cancer, heart disease, and three legs, one eye, you know, our kind of dog and get 234 more years out of them using a union protocol that is based on good diet, evolutionary biology, just a bunch of stuff that is sort of been in the canine field for a while, but we put it together in a really neat way. And it’s working. So we’re now going to try to take that out to the world. -The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. James Taylor 4:08 Well find that when you’re finally able to open up I look forward to going to visit and supporting the sanctuary as well, you know, Steven Kotler 4:14 so if you read a small furry prayer, which was the first book I wrote that got nominated for a Pulitzer, that’s about Ranch, well, it’s about the relationship between humans and animals in the work we did. And it’s also about the evolution of flow, because flow may have evolved to allow us to cohabitate with dogs. One of the theories that’s out there, James Taylor 4:33 fantastic. So we’ll definitely put that on the show notes here, people can check out that that relationship between dogs and humans is a really fascinating one. In the art of the impossible, you’re really talking about peak performance, you’re talking about the impossible. You talk about motivation, learning creativity and flow right at the start, and then you can come back you circle back at that at the end, you can bring everything together. So how do you see those things as being Connected when it comes to what you call it can extreme innovation. So Steven Kotler 5:06 the way I think about it, is this peak performance, we use that term. It’s a really fancy term people hear peak performance that no way not me, man, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, that’s like, and performance really like, what it actually means is nothing more or less, I guess, than getting our biology to work for us rather than against us. And if you’re looking at mental performance, cognitive performance, which is most of what the book focuses on, there’s some physical stuff in there, but is mostly cognitive peak performance. Well, while there’s a lot of biology, it’s actually a limited set of skills, in a sense, and the way so thus, the four parts of the book, the way to think about the biology of peak performance is there are a series of motivational skills, that’s a catch all term, it’s not adopt just talking about the energy required for action to catch all term, their motivation skills that get us into the game, there are learning skills that allow us to continue to play creativity skills that allow us to steer and flow, which is the state of optimal performance is all humans are sort of hardwired for is how you turbo boost the results, kind of beyond all reasonable expectations. And the way I explained in terms of extreme challenges, the last part of the question you asked, answered the book is called the art impossible because I have spent my career studying people in pretty much every domain sports science, art, technology, business doesn’t matter who have accomplished what I call capital, I impossible that which has never been done. The book is written for people who are interested in going after what I call small I impossible, the stuff that you think is impossible for yourself, right. And, you know, we all know what these impossibles are to overcoming trauma rising out of poverty, getting paid for what you love becoming a successful artist, or writer, or creative or world class or whatever you do, etc. Small ly impossible. That said, here’s the cool thing. Because if you’re listening to this, you’re like, dude, I’m just trying to get through Monday mad like whatever right? capital, I bought a little small I bought while I’m just trying to try to get through Monday, man, the good news is because peak performance is nothing more or less than getting our biology to work for us rather than against us. The same biology that gets us to capitalize impossible is the same biology that gets us to small if possible, is the same biology that you know, makes Monday better. So it’s the same toolkit. It’s all hardwired into all of us. So all this stuff is available to all of us, we’re willing to put in the work. And I think that’s how I think about it and frame up the book out that helps. -The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. James Taylor 7:38 Now, one of the other things I think you did really interesting in the book, I’ve never seen it set out like this before, as you talked about the ROI of reading and the value of a book. And so I’m a big read. I love reading. But can you take us through that? Because I think it’s actually quite powerful. We’re living in there, you have lots of grazing on information, Steven Kotler 7:59 yeah. information, but James Taylor 8:01 you talk about really why people shouldn’t be investing their time in reading a book is the investment of time, you know, we are spending time on a book and I’ve really enjoyed and I kind of got a sense of flow, because I love reading and like probably many of our listeners do. But can you talk about this ROI piece? ROI Of Reading Steven Kotler 8:18 Yeah, for sure. So side note two and the most common form of flow on earth is the flow we get into while reading. It’s really common. So you’re not alone in that happens to me, I think, all of us anyways, um, thanks for asking this question. Because it’s a cool point. And on. What people don’t realize about books is they’re the most information dense source of information on the planet. And the way I explain it is, when I write a blog, and I, you know, wrote a blog for a very long time for Psychology Today, I wrote a blog for a very long time for Forbes. And these were, you know, these are serious people running serious magazines. You know what I mean? You do the work, I would spend that a half day prepping for the blog, doing interviews, reading a couple of things, probably get, you know, a couple hours of writing out of me day one, and then I come back and I polished day two, you know, and maybe a little bit of work on day three if I don’t quite like it. And all in all, you can read a blog average person reads about 250 words a minute, two words a minute right in there. So you can I read an 800 word blog, and it takes me about I don’t know eight hours right roughly, I don’t know what the number exactly our numbers i given the book are so um, takes about eight hours. So your ROI is you’re giving me buddy minutes, and you’re getting eight hours of my life and my brain and my craft in return. Cool trade. Okay, let’s say you read a magazine article I wrote for the New York Times or wired or did a lot of work for Wired on average is about 5000 word articles. Now how much time you get in exchange 5000 words can take About 2025 minutes to read. So what are you getting back? What’s the ROI for your 25 minutes? Well, excuse me, the first blog is like three minutes, right? like three minutes to read, not eight minutes to read. But anyways, what are you getting for your, you know, I 5000 word article, well, I’m gonna spend a month, even before I pitched the article, just doing research on the front end, I’m going to pitch it. So me and my editor are gonna bang it around, you’re gonna get two smart people hammer on the idea for a little while, I’m then going to go report the article, three months to six months, depending on the story. And then I’m going to write it, that’s another three months and attorney, my editor is going to bang on it for a while, he’s going to turn over to the fact checker who is going to beat the shit out of it for a while. And then the publisher is going to chime in and say, Hey, this, this, this and this, right, our readers care. And I’m going to do that. So you’re going to get at least four really smart people. And you’re going to get roughly nine months of my life for 25 minutes with your time plus some other brains on it. Okay, cool. You held up rise as Superman rise as Superman is literally 15 years of research. That’s how long that book took to research. And then another year to write out a bunch of other smart people, and you know, etc, etc. So the book is 70,000 words, it takes on average, about five, six hours. So here’s their rr, give me about three minutes. And what do you get, you get three days, that’s kind of cool. You give me 20 minutes, and you’re going to get eight, nine months. better deal better ROI for a little bit more time, you give me five to six hours, you’re going to get 15 years, and you’re going to get every single smart person I could literally get my hands on in the past 15 years, you could weigh in on the topic, you’re going to get their ideas to write. So it’s a massive, massive return on investment. People often say okay, books, blog, whatever, I listen to audiobooks, I listen to speeches, I watch, and all that’s fair. But I give those speeches, I write those speeches, I’m known as one of the better speakers in the world, like I’m the guy doing that work. And I can tell you that there was nothing I could talk to you for five or six hours. And I couldn’t give you the information that was in rises, Superman books in the most informationally dense source of information on the planet. So if this is in the learning section, right, so the question, one of the meta skills around learning is, what do you learn from what’s your source material? Right? That’s a really important question. You’re trying to accelerate learning. And by looking at the ROI on reading you it’s not a question. You read books. Or to be really blunt. But there’s a joke. I like that I heard years ago here, which is, what do you call people who don’t? What does smart people call people who don’t read books? I don’t know. Dom. -The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. James Taylor 12:57 Yeah, right. I mean, but but you hear this all the time, it just seems to be a lot of it in our culture is pushing us more towards those little snackable stackable bits of content, but it’s it’s self defeating, in some ways, Steven Kotler 13:12 as well, self defeating in two big ways. One, we just talked about the information density, but this is the creativity podcast. This is the I think the more important one for creatives. So neurobiologically creativity at a really simple level, it’s always recombinant Tory, so it’s the brain taking in novel information, combining with older stuff and using the results to make something startling new shorthand definition of creativity from a neurobiological level when you’re reading the same shit as everybody else, because everybody wants the bite size digestible, right? If you’re reading all the same stuff as everybody else, you’re gonna essentially, at most likely get to the same ideas as everybody else. Right now, if we know that creativity is the most important skill for thriving in the 21st century, right? creatives are making so much more money than not creatives have better quality of life wellbeing lives that we can go on and on and on about the benefits of creativity in the 21st century. But are you kidding? Like if you don’t get those benefits, if your creativity is telling you the same place everybody else is going then you’ve done then you’ve done nothing but like just taught yourself to think like everybody else, and that’s not the goal. James Taylor 14:29 I’m James Taylor, business, creativity and innovation keynote speaker, and this is the SuperCreativity podcast. If you enjoy listening to conversations with creative thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, authors, educators, and performers, then you’ve come to the right place. Each week we discuss their ideas, their life works, successes, failures, creative process, and much more. You’ll find show notes for today’s episode as well as free creativity training at Jamestaylor.me. If you enjoyed learning about Steven Kotler, then please check out my interview with author and marketing guru Seth Godin where we discuss his creative process the potential impact of artificial intelligence on human creativity and vodka making. Here my conversation with Seth Godin at James taylor.me. After the break, we returned to my interview with Steven Kotler and why anxiety blocked our creativity. This week’s episode is sponsored by speakers, you the online community for international speakers, speakers, you helps you launch grow and monetize your speaking business faster than you thought possible. If you want to share your message as a highly paid speaker, then SpeakersU will show you how just go to speakersu.com to access their free speaker business training. I think what you’re also kind of touching on there is we had a guest on recently Marcus du Sautoy, from pressive, mathematics Oxford University, he just said wrote a great book called the creativity code. And he talked about something I think was, Margaret Mead said a long time ago, which talks about these three types of creativity, exploratory, which is like everyday creativity most of us are doing looking a little bit deeper on a topic. And then you kind of get the kind of the collaborative, where you maybe take something from a slightly different area, maybe at a site like a similar kind of boundary where maybe a physicist takes something from mathematics or something like that. But then you get this transfer, which usually goes transformational creativity, which is the kind of 1% stuff, it’s and to do that you have to push way out of, often your comfort zones. And the next part in your book, you said probably one of the best chapters I’ve ever read about learning, which is five not so easy steps to learning almost anything. I thought this was brilliant because most people do step one when they tell us about it but then some people do step two, but very few people do step 3 4 5. So I’d love to maybe just have a good shot just to kind of tell us what those steps are kind of a high level, because I think it really and this is the learning, anything is not obviously we talk about creativity. But this is really for learning on any Five Not-So-Easy Steps for Learning Almost Anything Steven Kotler 16:59 Yeah, so I’m caveat, right warning, I try really hard to make everything as science based, and research based as possible. This is not based on my personal experience. And what it came out of is, I was a freelance writer, freelance journalist for a very long time. And the point in freelance journalism is you have to sort of like exploit your curiosity, and write about anything you possibly can to make a living write as many articles as you can well, back in the 90s, especially when I started out magazines, as I jokingly pointed out a second ago that fact checkers who literally were ruthless, like their job was to prove me wrong, and make sure that I didn’t work for the magazine ever again, right? Like That was really what they set out to do is prove that the writers weren’t worthy of the magazine. And so like they, I would write an article, and they wouldn’t just call like every expert and confirm the quotes, they would call the enemies of the experts I interviewed to try to prove me wrong. I mean, it was, it was this really weird, ruthless game, but it produced really high quality work. And that was sort of the goal. And it was a standard. It was sort of set by the economist and the New Yorker, both of those publications. And I worked for editors who came out of both of those trees a lot. So that was the standard. And that was, you know, that was the game. And so I would have to learn things very, very quickly. And how did I do it? I developed a system that I call the five knots, so easy steps for learning absolutely anything and I’m going to get all the steps wrong, you probably have them in front of you, I may have to open up the book to figure out what all the steps are. But it’s start, the most important thing to know about these steps is your brain has a foundational learning software, like we’re built to learn. And you there’s a certain way to use that software to your advantage. And so there are things I tell you, for example, the step one is the five books, what I call the five books of stupid, right, and it’s a series of AI when you’re trying to learn a subject. Start with the simplest, most popular, most fun read possible. Why? First thing is terminology. In any technical subject, most of the subject or a large portion of the subject has actually talked within the terminology. So jargon, while annoying, it’s annoyingly price. precise, right? Homo sapiens versus humans. Less ABMs is annoying, but it tells you genus species. And it tells you that at some point in history, somebody thought we humans were wise apes, to get genus species and commentary versus humans, which just gives you a thing. So you want to pay attention to new terms. The way I think about that is if a term shows up five times, I look it up and then every time I bump into it, I just say the definition out loud until it’s locked. Second thing you want to pay attention to a little bit is the history of an idea, any thing you’re trying to learn. And by the way, we’re talking about a way to learn subjects not skills, different stuff for skill acquisition. This is about subjects knowledge acquisition. But anything you want to learn is simply nothing more or less than a voyage of discovery. Somebody had a question answered, the question led to another question led to another and if your brain is a meaning machine, meaning it’s a narrative engine, it loves to link cause with effect to what it does automatically, it happens automatically in the brain, have you pay a little bit of attention to history histories, the brain starts to go, Oh, this happened first, this happened. Second, this happened. Third, cool, this is the narrative Oh, look. And what you end up with is like this big giant Christmas tree, that all the little facts that start showing up are the ornaments. And because you have the big tree in place, the arms just stick better when your brain has a place to slot things, especially when it’s sort of like a map, which is sort of what a timeline is humans, we have really foundational map making software in our brain, our brain is really good at it to go along with our meaning making software. So your brain will start to map these things out, and the facts will stick and you won’t have to work as hard. The third thing that you really want to care about are what I call emotional wows. The real this is the thing that people this is the biggest mistake people make when trying to learn from books, is they think they’re trying to learn all this subject stuff in the book. And maybe if you’re in college, you’re taking incredibly complicated notes, and going really slowly and writing everything down and you’re gonna read, regurgitate it for an exam, but you’re gonna forget it after the exam, it’s gonna go away, unless you’re using on a regular basis, but the stuff that’s going to stick is stuff that naturally lights you up and makes you curious when your brain goes, whoa, holy shit, I didn’t know that. That’s the stuff you take notes on. Because your brain is going to remember it any ways. What you want to do is like write down what the note is that you’re taking what you learned and all the things you’re thinking off of it. So you have a little bit of a record of those are the things to pay attention to. And the five books is stupid. Start with the most popular book you can go to next easiest you nonfiction usually right? second book would be a slightly harder fiction book. So let’s say you want to learn about intuition. Right? second book might be Malcolm Gladwell is blink book on intuition. It’s very popular, it’s really simple to read. It’s not done a super technical book, but it’s a good introduction of get a feel for some of the language, the next book up like third level. Now you might want to read something like Dan economists Thinking Fast and Slow, right? That would be next level up little harder. But now you’ve got some of the language from your first book, and then blank. And then and then economists book. Now it’s starting to lay in a little bit more your fourth book, this is the first time I read a super hard technical book. This is usually I’ll breed it textbook on intuition, or I’ll read, you know, this is what I’ll read the Oxford book of imagination, which by the way, is fantastic if you’ve never read, it’s amazing. The Oxford Handbook of imagination is really cool. But that could be -The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. Steven Kotler 23:12 your your fourth book, in the fifth book, I try to find a book that is either a giant overarching history of the field from the beginning of time to now or find a book that’s about the very cutting edge of the field. And the reason is on the fifth one, what I want to know is where’s the edge of crazy, right? Like, where’s the boundary where to scientists and researchers think the boundary of knowledge is I’m not saying as you pointed out, sometimes you got to go way past your comfort zone to get to new ideas. So I’m not saying don’t go past that boundary in your own thinking, but know where other people think the boundary is know that if you step beyond that, people are gonna think you’re crazy. And you better have really good reasons, and kind of twice as much proof once you enter that arena. And what is this get you what is the five books, this is step one, it gets you the ability to do step two, which is start talking to experts, right? Step two is talk to experts. That’s when you take your ideas out for a spin. And I always say that, like, you know, you’ve talked to enough people, when the experts start saying, Oh, that’s a really good question. We don’t know. But that’s a really good question. When you start getting the point of I’ve learned everything and I’m asking questions, the right questions, the ones the experts, that gets used to through step two. Step three is look those questions are going to show you where the gaps are, right now get into the gaps between fields between knowledge is in play around there for a while. Most real information is stuck between fields, right? That’s where that and that’s where kind of real expertise starts to emerge. And then I’m a I’m be getting this one out or out of order. By the way, if you’re looking at me funny because I’m mixing up the order, I haven’t bothered to look them up and I can’t find a PDF which which order I’m -The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. James Taylor 25:07 gonna have to go get the book to figure out the Steven Kotler 25:11 apologize people, this is not a question I get asked all the time, and the neck, you then you want to start playing with the ideas and, and going out and having like, public successes with the ideas. And what I’m talking about here is I don’t mean you want to go do a TED people hear this? And they’re like, Oh, I gotta go do a TED talk. No, no, no, no, you don’t want to go to a TED talk yet. Now you just want to go talk to people, talk to strangers, I, what I do is, I try to summarize the ideas I’ve been learning for, there’s two goals. One is find somebody who is really sick of listening to me, like my mom, or my dad, or my brothers or a friend who and you know, try to tell them about this and see if it holds their attention all the way through when I’m learning. That way. I know I’ve taken the learning and I’ve turned into a story and I can hold on to it. And then I try to do it with an absolute stranger ago, like, you know, pre COVID I’ll go sit in the bar and try to like, you know, Hey, how are you? How are you? What are you doing? What are you doing? Oh, well, I’m studying this thing. And I’ll try to like, and if I can hold the attention of a total stranger, then then then then then I’m far and then I might try to tell it to an expert and see, you know, right at that at that point, there’s another step I left out. I think -The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. James Taylor 26:25 the ones that we missed that there was just the finding contrarians and Tim Ferriss talks. Oh, yeah. Steven Kotler 26:31 Well, James Taylor 26:32 finding people that like, okay, all they have to do this, this, this, this this, but who are the ones that don’t do any of that stuff, they still achieve success and Steven Kotler 26:42 naturally happens in step two between Step three, because step two, is you’ll, when you talk to experts, one of the easiest ways to do it, or you learn as a journalist is when you’re done talking to your experts say that was awesome. Who else should I talk to about? Yeah, they give you three or four names. And what happens is everybody knows everybody, and but by the time you usually get down to the fifth person, right, and you and you’re like four research experts, and they tend you’ve like sort of exhausted that tree, and they tend to start giving you either, they will tell you something that totally discredits every single thing everybody else has said before, or they’ll start to give you experts names, who will. And until I get turned around once on a subject completely like oh, my God, everything I thought I knew was wrong. And then I have to refine my footing. I don’t feel comfortable that I’ve learned the subject, because you’ve gotta be challenged. -The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. James Taylor 27:38 Yeah, I guess also, I mean, you mentioned this in the book as well, it brings things also back to first principles of what is true, what can be said to be true. I am interested in which obviously, we’re kind of going. We’ve been talking a lot about this kind of learning, which is really important and really powerful. I wonder like as we can talk about resources, big sections in the book about creativity. And I obviously loved reading those if someone is passionate about the topic. And there was part of the book you were talking about. Long Haul creativity, which people really I don’t have ever really heard someone define and kind of talk about it in that way to talk to Ken Robinson before he passed away about this topic. So I’d love for you to kind of define what you mean by long haul credit. I Long Haul Creativity Steven Kotler 28:24 tell you the Ken Robinson story, because it’s so funny. I got interested in this question of what is the take not just as you looked at all the creativity textbooks or science and stuff, and it was always about like, how do you get more creative for like a project or a thing? Or how do you get creative for a book or a painting or a like or whatever. And I was like, Christ, that’s not like, first of all, as a creative I want a creative career, right? I want to be creative from like 23 when I entered the workforce to like 80 or 90 when I die. And first of all, in writing, I’ve had to like my industry itself has morphed and gone away and come back. And like three or four different times, I’ve had to reinvent myself and you start talking to other people who have had kind of lifelong creativity, and you start to realize, wait a minute, they’re always reinventing. And the rules are different. And when you start doing research into long haul creativity, you start to realize that a bunch of the stuff that you need for the short haul is going to really screw you up for the long haul. And the rules are different, and etc, etc, etc. So I, um, I’ve been studying this and there’s very little written on the subject almost nothing. There’s a really interesting book called The creative age that sort of spun out of the Harvard adult development project that looked at people sort of trying to rebirth their creativity in their later years. But there’s very little work that’s been done on this subject other than sort of like historical You know what? Anyways, so I just started, I’ve been interviewing people on the topic for about a decade now. And what you got in the book is, I think 11 best bits of advice that I’ve uncovered along the way. And the stuff that I’ve used and all the people around me so well, there’s not real research on it. The good news is that at the flow research collective, which is the organization I run, where we started the neurobiology of peak performance, and we do this in conjunction with bureau college and London, USC and Stanford, a bunch of other colleges. We train out, we also train 1000 people a month. So while this stuff does not hard sciences, big data we’ve done we put lots of people through this stuff. So it seems to work fairly consistently is what I can say with confidence. But a camera Ken Robinson with this story is funny, because it’s one of these like counterintuitive examples. And we were talking about, you know, what, what do you need to sustain creativity over over a lifetime? And he said, I think you need frustration. And I said, What are you talking about? You need frustration, like, seriously? Turns out, there’s like, 17 different ways. He’s actually right. But he I was like, What are you talking about? He’s like, let me tell you a story about George Lucas. And I said, Okay, and he said, I, you know, I met him. And I know, I wasn’t supposed to do this. But I had to pop the question. And I was like the question, like, what the hell did you ask George Lucas, he’s, like, I said, George, what else? Do you keep remaking all those Star Wars movies? George said, Well, -The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. Steven Kotler 31:43 In this particular universe, I’m God, and God isn’t satisfied. And that’s what he was talking about that little itch. And that you know, what I like about that I you know, since he said that, one of the things that I’ve been joking about, but it’s, I think it’s very true. I don’t know if this is other authors experience, but my experience, when I write a book, I write I, you know, edit what I wrote the day before, and then I add like, 1000 words a day, then I come back tomorrow, and I edit what I wrote the day before, and I add 1000 words. And I want to say like, 95% of the experience of writing book is thinking that the 1000 words I added was strong, coming back the next morning and discover and I have failed miserably, trying to fix it, tried to add another few 100 words, maybe it goes well, and I think I’ll victory again is mine. Or maybe it just goes terribly. And then I know I got my ass kicked that next big comeback. And I found out how the stuff that I wrote yesterday, even though it was taller, was actually worse. And I have to rewrite it and it’s a failure, like 90 95% of the time. That’s what you encounter. You’re like, I screwed that sentence up. I screwed that sentence up, right? Sure you got all these right, but you can’t even notice that because this is the stuff you’ve got to work on. And I think the reason you keep going is that that little frustration is irksome. But solving it is very deeply satisfying. And going right at frustration, which is an experience we often respond to as courage is one of our favorite feelings we love sort of, like when you allow humans to self stimulate the brain, they’ll still stimulate the off in the fight response, which when we feel it, when you stimulate it feels like frustration. But in the real world, it’s the frustration that leads to courage. So we love it. James Taylor 33:32 So probably the time we’re living through just now there’s probably a lot of a frustrated creatives out there because many of not being able to be together performers to perform to know you do a lot of retreats to be you know, be with other people bounce ideas off other people in a in we can up close and personal in that way. Do you think you in the book you’re to talk about sometimes, having limits can drive creativity? Do you think that I’m not gonna say the self imposed but the imposed limits that we’ve currently been living through? Do you think it’s been good for our creativity as a species over the past year or do you think it’s gonna be detrimental? You -The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. Limits Can Drive Creativity Steven Kotler 34:10 know, what I’m thinking about the Orson Welles quote about creativity where he’s talking about cultural creativity, he says, Look at Switzerland 500 years of peace and prosperity and what do you get the cuckoo clock and the Renaissance you’ve got the bloody cheese and whereas you’ve got death and murder and rape and may have and what do you get Leonardo and Michelangelo Bertolucci, so what there is that side of this right, I don’t know if he’s right or wrong. What I think are two things. One, you have a difficulty and that anxiety blocks creativity. So the more anxious we are a little bit of anxiety is as good as sort of primes learning gets us moving but then when we produce anxiety, which is really cortisol and norepinephrine and predominantly norepinephrine is the issue here. That’s a little bit of curiosity, a little bit more excitement but then too much anxiety. And the problem is that when the brain gets anxious, we get logical and linear, the part of the brain, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex tends to find remote associations between ideas, right, Link things together for us. The more frightened you are, the more it says, Hey, whoa, whoa, let’s find something that works every time that’s tried. That’s true. That’s logical. The extreme example is big danger, you get Fight, fight or flee, freeze, right? Those are three options, we’re not giving you any more, you can’t be trusted, right. But what people don’t realize is, it’s not just during, you know, acute high risk dangers, like there’s a tiger coming at you, it’s any kind of fear. So too much fear blocks anxiety. So if you can get past the anxiety of today, and there’s a lot of different techniques for that. Some of them are talked about an impossible bunch more elsewhere. But if you can lower the anxiety, I do think, limits. First of all, drive creativity. We know this, right? The worst thing a writer could ever face is a blank page, but give them just, here’s where you got to start, here’s where you got to, and now you’re off and running. Right? It’s this sort of the same thing with everything we don’t, it’s really hard when you don’t have parameters around things. This is a tough lesson to learn. But it there’s a lot to be learned from being creative instead of other people’s limits as well like forcing yourself to do that, which is what happens when you this is one of the other difficulties, long haul creativity so that if you most creatives get famous or known or paid in their 20s for that thing they can do right then you get to your 30s or part to your career were actually a name and now you’re being hired. So for example, I got known as a stylish kind of fancy writer in my 20s working for magazines like GQ and details and you know fun magazines good good magazines and writing my first book and then I got to talk to your magazines, The New York Times Magazine wired and I was reading for a while they give a damn about a span see Steven Kotler story, they one of the best day of wired story I could write like, Who the hell is Steven Kotler, we’ve got all these people on our masthead, right. And what happens to create is as you like, build up your ego in your 20s, and you get hit a lot, right, you can get creativity, you’re gonna get knocked down all the time. So if you survive your 20s, and you’re actually sort of like winning, you’ve cleared stage one, you’ve got a really healthy ego, and you’re sort of ready to get into the boxing ring. And you have to check that whole thing at the door and spend 10 years roughly for most people being creative inside other people’s boxes. And a lot of creatives, whatever the field, this is very common in almost every creative field, however you come up, unless you’re some kind of, you know, crazy superstar, where you’re the first thing you produce is just unbelievable. And then that’s its own kind of burden and weight. But besides the point, most a lot of creators get derailed right there because they’ve like they’ve developed this super healthy ego to survive as a creative which you need because it’s rough. And then you get to the second portion of your career and people are like, I don’t care about you Be creative inside my box, my box is bigger and I’m more important than their right. Right and you’re like if you want to get paid make a living, you’re going to spend 10 years inside of their box and I always tell people don’t think you get free once you get like your own fans, cuz like you think publishers or you know producers or take your picker difficult way to you have fans, they like they’re very, very particular. -The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. James Taylor 39:00 And often they want the same thing that you did in the previous over and over and over you want and you want, you want to branch out, you wanna move to a new place. Steve, we could focus on it on because I love the book, The Art of the impossible. We’re gonna put links here to people can get their copy of the book, in terms of the the flow research collective and the other work you do. where’s the best place for people to go to learn more about about these The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. Steven Kotler 39:21 Perfect, thanks for asking. So flowresearchcollective.com will tell you about the organization. And there’s a video page and there are I don’t know how many hours of like 20 4050 like, you can find more videos of me and a bunch of the really brilliant neuroscientists and psychologists who I get to work with blah, blah, blah, ad infinitum. Steven Kotler calm, we’ll also get you that if this just because it’s this great. I do a class called flow for writers, where we take a lot. It’s really, really focused on writing, you can’t get that through the flow research collective that’s through Stevenkotler.com. So if people are interested in that, it’s everything I know about flow. It’s everything I know about writing on every level, this neuroscience of creativity, it’s really, it’s, it’s sort of it doesn’t really, people take it to learn how to write books, but you know, we songwriters take it and, you know, advertising, right, and copywriters take it and whatever. And it’s proved incredibly, incredibly useful. Lots of books have come out of that class. So -The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. James Taylor 40:30 Fantastic. Fantastic. We’re gonna put all of these links here, Stephen, thank you so much for talking about some of the ideas in the book. And also, thank you so much for the work you’ve done with with animals as well. And with dogs in particular, I think it’s great to see someone kind of putting back into other species that not necessarily the human species, Steven Kotler 40:48 I just want to say, because I do this a lot. I talked to a lot of people in one conversation without being over the top you’ve got in Hemingway, Margaret Mead, and like four or five others very impressive. I just I’m walking away impressed. That’s all I’m saying. Walking away for us, -The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. James Taylor 41:09 Stephen, all the best. And good luck with all the new projects you’ve got going to end this book as well. Steven Kotler 41:13 Thanks, Ben. It’s super fun hanging out. But like, James Taylor 41:15 you can subscribe to the speakers you podcast on Spotify, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts while you’re there. leave us a review. I really appreciate it. I’m James Taylor, and you’ve been listening to the speakers. You podcast. -The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. The post The Art of the Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. – #300 appeared first on James Taylor.
4 minutes | 12 days ago
Hybrid Workplace And Collaboration Spaces
The Future Of Hybrid Workplace And Collaboration Spaces ? Hi, James Taylor here keynote speaker on creativity, innovation on artificial intelligence, and the founder of SuperCreativityU. today, I want to talk to you about the future of the hybrid workplace, collaboration spaces, and what we call the third place for improving team creativity and innovation NEWS & DEALS! Free Course! FULL TRANSCRIPT Hi, James Taylor here keynote speaker on creativity, innovation on artificial intelligence, and the founder of SuperCreativityU. today, I want to talk to you about the future of hybrid offices, collaboration, and what we call the third place for improving team creativity and innovation -Hybrid Workplace And Collaboration Spaces Hybrid Workplace Hey, it’s James Taylor here, keynote speaker on creativity, innovation, and artificial intelligence and the founder of SuperCreativityU. Many of my clients just now I’m having to make decisions about how they’re going to be using their office spaces. As we start to return to work, I saw something here, the HSBC, the bank, they’ve decided to take the top couple of floors or one of their major buildings in London, and turn it from what previously was executive offices, to collaboration spaces. And this is a trend we’re going to be seeing more and more now, as we start to move towards a more kind of hybrid style of working, where many people will be working from home the majority of the week, and in for certain numbers of days, they’ll be coming into a central office space, or, or a kind of what we call a hub and spoke type of office space, the role of collaboration is going to become more important. So you’re going to have to physically change some of those office spaces so that they can really foster collaboration and do it in a safe way. This idea of places designed for collaboration, for conversation, for creativity, is not particularly new. We call this creativity. The third place and third place is somewhere that’s not your home, but not really your office as well. It’s a middle place of possibilities, where you debate, discuss, challenge each other’s ideas. And it’s also a place that is not just for those people within an organization. But also you can bring in people outside other kinds of thought leaders, other thinkers. So if we go back in history a little bit around the time of the ancient Greeks, you’d had something called de symposiums and symposium ages a word, it just means in Greek it means to drink together. So what they would do is you’d be in a room like that in a space like that, leading thinkers and merchants and philosophers and poets would come together to debate, discuss, challenge each other’s ideas, and have deep conversations. And from those conversations, ideas like democracy, Justice really started to evolve. So that was these kinds of third spaces, then we moved on. And if you look at places in the Middle East, like Mecca, for example, you had the first coffee houses, and coffee houses, coffee shops, also fulfill that function of a third space. So it’s where you’d get together, maybe merchants would get together and recover coffee, they would talk about the latest deals with maybe the latest ideas that were coming in from the Silk Road along with the silk and the spices, like how do these ideas affect what we’re doing and affect our business? How do we affect our society, our culture, these are all the things that have been discussed. So the coffee shop in about the 15th century was really starting to be that kind of third place. And then from there, it moved up to Istanbul, in Turkey, then it moved from there over to places like Vienna, in Austria, and in the 18th century, 19th century, you had lots of coffee shops, like cafe central in the center of Vienna. And these created these third spaces for collaboration and for collaboration of ideas. Now, in this case, you might have victim Stein in one corner, Freud and another, Joseph Stalin and another. People get together with different perspectives, to debate, discuss, challenge each other’s ideas and have very deep conversations and try to solve problems together. And then from there, we moved over to Paris in the 1920s, and the roaring 1920s in Paris, and there was a woman called Gertrude Stein. And what she would do is she would organize something called salons and a salon where you would bring together different thinkers, artists, actors, philosophers, business people, investors for all different kinds of bank politicians. And you’d bring them together into space and it would be over maybe glasses of wine, you’d have conversations, people can show their work. There’s a little bit of a competitive edge sometimes in that as well. But it raised things and it got people thinking and discussing ideas. And it enabled a lot of new collaborations because people would meet people and say, hey, you’ve got you’re working on an idea and I’m working on this other idea. What if we did something together and we collaborated, so those were those types of third spaces that the Cylons of 1920s. -Hybrid Workplace And Collaboration Spaces Collaboration Spaces And then we moved over to America. And in America, they had coffee shops, and in fact, I was talking the other day to Steve Wozniak, who is one of the cofounders of apple. And for them, their clubs were things like the homebrew computing club. This is where Steve Jobs and, and, and Bill Gates and, and all these kinds of people would get together engineers, techies geeks, they would get together to show off the latest things that they built. debate, discuss top ideas, share plans leave a little bit of a competitive spirit in there as well. But this created this kind of third place dynamic for sometimes for collaboration. But in America, this idea of the club really kind of moved on. And now you get clubs for lots of different things. And I think now, as we move into this workspace today, where it used to be very much the separation of you either at home, or you were in your office, in your cubicle, or in your little space, your little office kind of area in the building in which you worked, I think we’re gonna see a little bit of a kind of blending of these a hybridization of these, which is why you’re seeing lots of organizations like HSBC is of this world. Now design more collaboration spaces. I was doing a talk the other day for the Association of our briefing program managers, ABPM, and this organization brings together the people that run all the innovation, and the briefing programs, some of the biggest companies in the world. And with them, you will really start to see how many of these huge organizations really start to rethink their physical spaces, their virtual spaces, the hybrid spaces, to add more of these collaboration elements and lots of different ways that you can do that as one of the things that companies bring me in to talk to them, I can help them think through some of these things and workshop some of these things, but part of it is a little bit about the physical, the environment, you know, the actual space. And there’s, we use things like circles and colors and, and different ways of engineering that space. So it increases levels of collaboration. But then there are other things you can do in terms of how you design, the way that you go through the content in that space, how conversations are set up. You know, what I love about this organization I was speaking about the other day. ABPM is really the creators and curators of conversations. So they’re bringing together senior salespeople within organizations with some of the top prospective clients in C suite, senior vice presidents, and they’re bringing them and they’re kind of curating these conversations. And they bring in discussion leaders, different thought leaders from different areas, different experts from different leaders. And it’s a guided conversation as a customized individualized conversation. And so that’s where I start to see now is where we’re going from many of these offices that you look at these big skyscrapers, you if you go around cities, many of those top floors now will not necessarily be the executive floors anymore. They will be the new collaboration spaces. These will be the new third places for the 21st century. My name is James Taylor. Thanks so much for watching, and I’d love to get your comments here below. -Hybrid Workplace And Collaboration Spaces The post Hybrid Workplace And Collaboration Spaces appeared first on James Taylor.
35 minutes | 15 days ago
Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity – #299
The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity When in their lives do artists produce their greatest creative work? By examining the careers of great painters, poets, novelists, and movie directors my guest today offers a profound new understanding of creativity. Using a wide range of evidence, Professor David Galenson shows in his book ‘Old Masters and Young Geniuses’ that there are actually two fundamentally different approaches to innovation; experimental innovators and conceptual innovators. David W. Galenson is Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago; Academic Director of the Center for Creativity Economics at the Universidad del CEMA, Buenos Aires; and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. David and I discuss why some creative artists achieve success early in their lives while for others it requires decades of painstaking frustration and experimentation. We also learn how your most creative work may be ahead of you. Enjoy the show. – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity For More of SuperCreativity Podcast By James Taylor James Taylor 0:00 David, it’s an absolute pleasure to have you here with us today. So I’ve I mentioned your book was on my favorite books I read last-year-old masters and young geniuses. In the book, you set out to consider how the quality of an artist’s work varies with their age. What got you interested in this topic in the first place? Age Was Irrelevant For Artists David Galenson 0:18 Yeah, let me just say, I mean, it’s a pleasure to be with you. I love this work, I find it fascinating. And it’s just always a pleasure for me to talk to people who are interested in it. And, you know, this is sort of a typical story of what I call experimental innovation. Because I started this work almost by accident. I have always loved art, I collect on a modest scale. And this is a couple of decades ago, I was buying a small drawing by a contemporary artist I like named Sol Lewitt. And I called this agent who was an old friend of my cousin in New York to check the price. And she I described the picture to her and she said, Well, we’re selling that size for less. And I said, Yeah, but you’re selling new works that he’s making. Now. This one is 10 years old. And she said That doesn’t matter. Well, I mean, I’m startled. Economists have done hundreds, possibly 1000s of studies of the effect of age on productivity in dozens of industries. And I had done these myself in economic history, the effect of age, on the contracts of indentured servants on the price of slaves. And here, this very knowledgeable person in the art world was saying that age was irrelevant for artists. But this made me realize that no one had ever studied this relationship for artists. And I knew that there was an enormous amount of data in the form of auction records. And so this is exactly the kind of empirical study I had always done in my field of economic history. So I got started. – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity James Taylor 1:51 And as fastly because there are so many books, obviously, on art history, and art and creativity and innovation, but I think I’ve read a few books that take that more than economists’ view of things as things are actually supported by real data, and not just people seeing what they think. David Galenson 2:10 No, it’s never been done. And it’s very sad. And the fact that art historians, you know, they say we hate generalization, lead gen is constantly just not systematically. And in this particular case, you know, when we got the data into the computer, we started looking at the relationship, the empirical results from the auction data were the most surprising I have ever seen. I’ve been in this business a long time because I found that some important artists did their most expensive work late in their lives. Now that was consistent, generally with other Economic Studies, that people’s productivity increases as they age. But many very important artists did their most expensive work very early, that no economist had ever seen a result like this for intellectual activity. I mean, we’re not talking about Olympic swimmers, you know, we’re talking about painters. Nor did the existing work on creativity by psychologists help me. The psychologists had made an assumption at the very beginning, and they’ve never deviated from it. Namely, they’ve assumed homogeneity within every activity. So they measure the life cycles of novelists or poets, and they’ll say, okay, poets speak at an earlier age, an earlier age, the novelist, but they never considered variation within a discipline. And that was exactly my issue. And it was a very dramatic question. You know, for example, say someone who was the greatest painter of his generation, did his best work at the age of 67. And then another great painter, Pablo Picasso, who was the greatest painter of the next generation did his 26. That’s a radical difference. The psychologists had nothing to say about this. And that is what I had to understand. – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity Experimental VS Conceptual Artists. The key theory in the book is this differentiation between experimental versus conceptual artists. Can you explain the difference? And actually why is this distinction important? Well, let me start with why it’s important. Because if you ask the psychologists, they will say, creativity is restricted to the young. That’s a widespread belief in our society, that only young people are creative. And again, it’s a very widespread popular belief. But again, it’s also a scholarly belief. And I understand in one sense, if you haven’t done systematic studies, I understand why you might believe that concept, what I call conceptual innovation is more sudden, it’s more dramatic, it’s more conspicuous. We have the image of Einstein or Picasso making these radical new discoveries and the personality type. conceptual innovators are typically more flamboyant. They get more attention. They are certain of their results. They say I’m a genius, right? So people say yes, creativity is for the young. But it’s what I call experimental innovation, an experimental sense of trial by error. These are people who are much more modest, they work much more grad usually much more, much more, excuse me slowly. And you say, why are these differences and they are overlooked very often. And very often this is their fault because they’re saying, Well, I haven’t really accomplished anything, even when they are making major discoveries because these are inductive people. And of course, you could never prove inductive propositions. But the problem is, you say, why is this important to say that creativity is only for the young is adjust. Now, it’s not only false, but it’s damaging. Right? We reject in our society sexism, we reject racism, because they’re not only unfair, but they’re damaging, they’re wrong. And the same thing is true of ageism, in this case, why is ageism damaging? Well, in this case, it’s discouraging, discouraging to older artists, older scholars, and it’s wrong. You know, if you tell people you can’t do anything important, you’re too old. Often people are going to get discouraged. But it also discourages investment in these older artists and scholars. So that many research funds many prizes are restricted to young people, very few are restricted to the elderly. Again, this is not only bad for individuals, this is bad for our society. You have, we lose this whole form of creativity. If people say don’t have independently the means to pursue the word Charles Darwin was from a very wealthy family had no problem never working for a living. He published the origin of species at 50. But imagine if he had to take a day job when he was 25 and never had time to do that research. Dusty Offski published The Brothers Karamazov at 59. Twain published Mark Twain published Huck Finn at 50 Marcel Proust finished in search of times last at 56 Alfred Hitchcock directed vertigo at 59, lick core boozy eight, design Notre Dom duo in Russia at 63. And on and on and on, today, Hitchcock would have a great deal of trouble being funded by a studio, he was too old. That’s past vertigo. In the last sorry, in the last sentence sound poll. vertigo was voted the most important movie ever made. Sorry. – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity James Taylor 7:11 But this idea of ageism coming in? I think it’s really a really fascinating one, actually, you mentioned Charles Darwin there. I remember a few years ago going to what I think was a British Museum and seeing the origin of species, a copy of the origin of species. And it was actually saying the word evolution only made it into the by the eighth edition of that book. It wasn’t spoken of in the first seven editions. So you can see as he experimented even within those, those different editions that were kind of going in, in the tummy. understand these differences between the experimental and the conceptual, creative. How is their creative process different, especially in the planning or the execution of their ideas? David Galenson 7:55 They said that I started with this empirical result that some of these great painters did their most expensive work late in their lives, others early and then the interesting puzzle is what’s the difference. And the advantage of starting painters is there’s a tremendous amount of literature about when people have always been fascinated by them. So I just started reading about them individually. And what I noticed was that these young geniuses and the old masters made their paintings differently, they actually physically made the opinions differ. The young geniuses would plan their paintings very carefully in advance, they would make preparatory drawings, they would make sketches, they wouldn’t actually begin to apply paint to Canvas until they knew exactly what they wanted the final result to look like if you do an X-ray, of a Raphael or a Picasso, you usually find a very precise, prepared to a drawing underneath that was usually transferred mechanically from paper to the canvas, and then they basically painted inside the lines. But because there’s just one layer of paint, he knew what he was going to do. He did it. In contrast, the old masters specifically rejected preconceptions. They began painting without any preparation. Exactly, because they wanted to discover things as they worked. Very often great experimental artists will describe their process as a dialogue between the artist and the work. Right. And for example, Suzanne said, I seek in painting, and Picasso and the next generation said, I don’t see I find, – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity James Taylor 9:23 I love this quote because it just showed perfectly the differences in those two different approaches. David Galenson 9:29 Picasso understood this difference he worshiped says on and says on was his point of departure, but he also understood that his art was radically different. He had a different purpose from that season, and it had a different method. And so the interesting thing is, why is this important? Well, artists are important because they’re influential. So design is important because he influenced all the art of the next few generations. Picasso influenced Matisse, but it says I had seen it because it was art and he could if he was still alive when Picasso initiated bism but he was in isolation, basically an excellent Provence, we never saw it. If he’d seen it, he would have hated it. But in fact, it was Cubism, the most important innovation in the next generation that elevated him to his position as the most important artist of his time. – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity James Taylor 10:14 And as you’re saying, this, I’m also thinking of obviously, in the book, you talk about not just artists, you talk about film directors, you talk about novelist as well, immediately when you were just saying they’re about young geniuses, young genius, and you’re an old masters, I was always the way you describe in that creative process. I was immediately thinking in music, like Mozart and Bach, where Mozart was just like, it was like right on the page, it was always famous for making these little notes and and doing his notation over the course he was kind of costly experimenting in that way as well. One question I did have like at the start is, and this is maybe a controversial one. So within the economists, your current has what on Earth, you’re using views on? How do you measure the quality of an artist’s work? How do you quantify that? Great Artists Are Innovators David Galenson 11:03 Well, you know, as I said, great, great artists are innovators, right? So their best work is their most innovative. And as I said, You know, I started using price as the measure of the quality of work. But obviously, there are a lot of people who would say, well, prices, tell us nothing about artists, they tell us about investment bankers, you know, maybe some investment banker says, gee, you know, I like that painting, because the colors go with my couch. Right? So I needed to do what my teacher used to call sensitivity analysis, I needed to try to find other sources of data to test the relationships I found, that were generated by different people for other purposes. And there were several really ideal sources that were actually generated by art scholars. I mean, the art market is for you know, it’s for wealthy people, art scholars generally don’t participate. But textbooks of art history are written to introduce students to the most important work of the past the most innovative work of every generation. And they’re always illustrated. And so what we did was simply go through all of the textbooks we could find, and take out all of the illustrations by the artists, we were studying all the Picasso’s all the seasons, and so on. And we simply counted them and we distributed them by age. And the results were, again, very startling. So that, for example, in the textbooks we looked at, there were about 35, we’ve had been published in the last two decades, the peak of we felt, we had found again, that the peak of saisons h price profile was at age 67. Well, the single year in which his work is most frequently illustrated in textbooks with 67. Picasso’s h price, price, price profile, pt 26. Again, the peak year for his textbook illustrations was 26. And it was very funny. I, you know, I was in Paris presenting a paper and a French, you know, the scholar said, well, but you know, you’re looking at textbooks written in English by Americans and Englishman, they know nothing about French art. So I went to the people that I take that scan now. And we found about 40 textbooks, published in French within the last two decades, and take a guess, the age at which Suzanne’s work was most frequently illustrated with 67. The age at which Picasso’s was most frequently illustrated was 26. I’ve done this comparison for several 100 painters. And the results are almost always very, very close. There’s very little disagreement, essentially, over the artist’s most important work, the market and the art scholars virtually always agree. – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity James Taylor 13:35 You also mentioned in the book about the role that mentors or teachers or maybe, you know, funders, I guess maybe in the time, like Michelangelo, they had on the, on the lives of the artists that you studied, can you really just talk about that about the those the impact that different artists have on each other? And what you can have found in that process? David Galenson 13:58 Yeah, it turns out and this is not rocket science, it turns out that artists’ careers turn out to resemble those of scholars in many respects. And you know, people in any intellectual discipline, there are always exceptions to this, right. So I mean, no, no generalization about individuals is universal. But successful scholars usually study with important scholars of the generation before So scientists have done studies finding that Nobel laureates in physics or chemistry disproportionately have studied with an older Nobel laureate in the same discipline. And even more often, they almost always work early in their careers with other important scholars of their own age. Right. And this is really important. And the same is true of painters. So that in my modern era, the most important painters have generally emerged from groups of ambitious young artists. We think of the impressionist, the folks that Cubist, the abstract expressionist and so on, and they help each other learn, and they compete with each other and they provide challenges and let me just say, parents Theoretically, that each of those groups impressionists, the folks and so on there, they were all they were either all experimental or all conceptual. You work with people who work the way you do. – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity James Taylor 15:14 As they would say, in Silicon Valley, your vibe attracts your tribe. David Galenson 15:19 Yeah, and there are reasons for that. I mean, there’s a scientist named Michael Nielsen, who’s written about this, about the problem of, say, solving posing problems on the internet. And there are certain problems that get solved on the internet. And there are certain problems that don’t. And he talks about the fact that essentially, you have to agree with your collaborators on what constitutes a solution. An experimental and conceptual people do not agree they weren’t they make their work for different purposes. They weren’t, they made it differently. And that’s why again, the Impressionists were all trying to do a common thing, not exactly the same way. But it was the same problem. And they agreed on the means the cube is the same. And the cube is really Picasso, you know, radically disliked Impressionism. He had no interest in it, he thought it was a dead end. Right. So he would have had nothing to say it would have been if he tried to work with somebody who is following the Impressionists, they would have simply fought all day every day, there’s no point. James Taylor 16:16 I’m wondering as we can go, you talk about the importance of these, you know, these groupings, these ambitious young artists in that case. I’m wondering, did you get a sense, like, what the role of was a place in all of this as well, if that is, if both of us can experiment and conceptually, they all kind of gravitated towards being around other similar like minds? And also, you know, you’ll often hear things for example, in, you know, in the writers or Cylons of the 1920s, you know, the Gertrude Stein’s, they would bring together the thinkers and the artists, and they would kind of have those ideas. Did you get any sense, like what role plays has, in all of it’s enormously important, Places of Creativity David Galenson 16:59 but not because of any mystical properties of you know, the water or anything in the place, but rather, these are conjunctions of the best teachers in the best students. So that for painters, Paris was the center of the art world for the first century of modern art. And it was a magnet so that, you know, the young Picasso went to Paris. artists from all over Europe went to Paris, then after World War Two, New York emerged. And again, the most important modern movements came from those two cities. In the 1990s, the Y ba emerges in London, London, may be becoming I mean, I’m not up on the, you know, the exact, you know, the recent emergence of young painters, London, maybe a third center, but these are the great capitals of art, right? They have great museums, they have great schools, this is where the great minds come together. Again, it’s important to be in an art center, because nobody innovates in a vacuum. There’s this idea of the isolated, you know, great innovator, but to contribute to any intellectual discipline, you need to know where the frontier of that discipline is. And you do this by studying and working with its leaders. I was amused, didn’t you raise that question? – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity James Taylor 18:11 Yeah, it was this thing, because, you know, we often think of this idea of the, you know, the lone, creative genius, and then it’s contrasted with, like an Andy Warhol with a factory. One of the things that you mentioned in the book, there was an I can’t remember who the artist was that you mentioned, who would, would sell in comedy, they have like the work of work in progress shows, were essential, if a comedian is working on a new live show, they’ll do lots of little shows beforehand, to collect, try out the material, see what works, and then gradually, they’ll get rid of things. One of the artists you had, you mentioned, was almost doing I think it was a son, he basically assigned a son to sell off these kind of smaller works, these work in progress, artworks, because he was an experimental artist, and he was creating these and, and it created like a little model or revenue stream of these, I guess you would call them Minimum Viable products and technology. David Galenson 19:10 I mean, there are a number of examples of that. I mean, a great example is Rembrandt was a great experimental painter. And we know that he made a series of states of his etchings and the scholars you know know when they were made, they know how they differ, they can show you how they differ. And Rembrandt was constantly revising his paintings, but he found with the etchings, it was lucrative to revise the states because he can actually sell every state to a particular collector, there were people who followed his work and they would buy seven or eight states of the same etching. And you know, Picasso never would have done that because it didn’t make more than one state. He made it. It was done. I don’t seek what I find. – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity James Taylor 19:51 Passenger. So did you have a sense in terms of it was there were any correlations you saw between the quantity you know, the just the person Did the pretentiousness of someone or an artist creating an impact upon value? David Galenson 20:06 Very little, you know, when I started this project, I kept thinking there should be some correlation between output and these categories. And to some extent areas. I mean, Andy Warhol has to be the most productive artist of the 20th century. And he had assistance. I mean, he made 1000s and 1000s of paintings. But you have some extremely important conceptual painters like Picasso, who made enormous numbers of paintings. And then one of you know, one of the other two or three most important painters of the 20th century conceptual was Marshall, Marcel Duchamp probably didn’t make more than 20 paintings. And the same thing is true of experimental painters. Cezanne made a relatively small number of paintings because he kept revising them, you wouldn’t sell them Monet was highly experimental. But he would sell a painting and then make another one like it and make another one like it he’d like, he’d like to make the money. So there’s no strong correlation there. It’s true that highly conceptual artists can turn out like Warhol, massive volumes of work, or Damien Hirst because they do have factories. – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity James Taylor 21:09 Now I know, but we have a lot of people listen to the show, who are authors and writers, you also looked at rotors, and how this kind of idea of these two conceptual experimental, you know, the young genius geniuses in the old masters, how that applied, what did you find in that process? David Galenson 21:27 Well, I began to realize, I mean, you know, after I had written the first book about this, I thought I was being realized this was General to other disciplines. I sort of thought after I published my first book, that English scholars would start to apply this to novelists and poets, and scientists would apply it to physicists. But I was dismayed and surprised to discover that nobody read my first book, I mean, who’s gonna read a book plan economist about art, and I had to do it myself. So I began applying it to other disciplines. And it became enormous fun, because there were these same differences. I mean, I mentioned earlier that I discovered that experimental and conceptual painters have different purposes. experimentalists basically want to present perceptions. This is the way I see the world. Right? Whereas conceptual is very often they have ideas they want to present, they have stories to tell, they may be moral stories. They may be, you know, there may be symbolism, they may be fantasy, but they’re fundamentally different purposes. And so for example, you know, this is when we look at novelists, experimental novelists, privileged characters and situations, they have trouble with planning, because they can’t plan. It’s not just they don’t want to plan they can’t plan. And whereas conceptual novelists, privilege plots, they plan them very carefully. But their characters tend not to be very realistic, right, because the characters have to fulfill the plot. So for example, Herman Melville was a great conceptual novelist, right, this great allegory of man against nature, good against evil, but these are not real people. Ahab speaks. I mean, they have would have been an illiterate captain of a ship in Nantucket. He speaks like a Shakespearean tyrant, right? He has this beautiful Elisabeth language, he would have come nowhere near that. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, these are not real people. But these are elegant plots. They have a beginning they have a development, they have an end, very neatly composed. And these are young geniuses. Melville wrote Moby Dick at 32. Fitzgerald Gatsby at 29. Ernest Hemingway Farewell to Arms at 30. Whereas in contrast, if we think about great experimentalists, the character is important. These are real people. These are people we think, could actually be doing these things. Marcel Proust completed in search of times past. At the age of 56. Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations at 49. Mark Twain wrote Huck Finn at 50, Virginia Woolf finished to the White House when she was 45. And a week before she finished the book, she wrote in her diary, I don’t know how to finish this book. I don’t know the ending, right? Whereas Ernest Hemingway knew the ending of farewell norm 20 began to write James Joyce knew the ending of Ulysses, when he began to write the first two chapters that Joyce wrote of Ulysses were the first one the last, Virginia Woolf couldn’t possibly write the last chapter until she had written all the others because she didn’t know how it was going to come out. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a great experimental writer, real people real suffering, you know, we feel when the cancer award he wrote that at 48. So again, different kinds of artists and mature at different ages, because it’s a completely different process of production. – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity James Taylor 24:43 One thing I was wondering is, I kept looking as I was going, I’ve tried to think of examples that didn’t conform to your do your own thing. Okay. Who can I think of that didn’t kind of work and the novelist one, the one I was thinking of was john le Carre. The spy crime rate at a British reaction just passed away. Recently. His criticism often is put towards using credible writers, prolific writers, but it’s something that’s often said of him is that the characters are not fully formed, the plotting is amazing. I mean, it’s a very complex plot, and you really have to be with it the whole time to carry it through the plots. And his writing. His successes certainly were in the early part of his career. But as he got older, his tone and his writing changed. And it became actually deeper and deeper in some ways as well. So I kind of wanted like is for those young geniuses that have maybe, maybe the center that kind of look through the book and think I’m, I’m probably a young genius, maybe it’s too late for me, what would you say to Young Genius David Galenson 25:48 young geniuses do change as they get older, and that’s why they lose their power. Because your experience of the world increases, your sense of realism increases. So Young geniuses, conceptual people are at their best, when they’re new to a discipline, they learn the rules, they say, I don’t like that rule. I’m going to break it, I’m going to do something basically different. And I see I would contend that Macquarie actually does. He conforms very closely to my model of a conceptual innovator, right, so that as he grew older, the characters did become more realistic. But I suspect that if we came up with a metric, we would find that his single most important novel was the first book. Yeah, I first came in from the cold. Yeah, I mean, I still remember I’m old enough to remember when that book was published, and it made an enormous impact. – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity James Taylor 26:36 Yeah, I can, it goes back to the thing you mentioned. The start is the work that informs other artists that influences other artists, that’s where a lot of that power comes from. David Galenson 26:48 Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, this is not about how much we enjoy the words or how you know, how we feel about them, but rather the, as you say, the impact on the discipline. And I think it was in that first book if even if we went back and reread the obituaries for Kerry, I suspect we would find his greatest contribution was presenting a whole new view of the Cold War. where there were not so many good guys and bad guys, but shades of much more complexity. You know, it wasn’t simply good against evil. I think that was a book about ideas. And you get you to see, it’s sort of interesting when you know when people are skeptical about this analysis, I say, let’s imagine that you are writing for The New York Times, or if you prefer the London Times, right? And this person dies, and they’re going to you’re going to write their obituary, what would you put in the obituary? And I suspect, you know, again, I haven’t done this. But I suspect if we went back and looked at Kerry’s obituaries, many of them would mention the spy who came in from the cold. – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity James Taylor 27:44 Yeah, that’d be the one. And for that, it’s actually a very hopeful book. For those of us who may be getting on in age, you may be getting midlife and on as well, where you can have really I think, actually, you know, maybe my greatest creative work and endeavors are ahead of me. So for those who probably conform a little more towards those, hopefully, old masters, how can they play to that strength? What were the things that you shouldn’t be thinking about? Old Masters David Galenson 28:14 Well, you have to be disciplined, I think experimentalists should recognize that they are long-distance runners. And you know, there are obvious penalties to that early in your career, but they should not try to compete with conceptual sprinters. In many, many activities, particularly our society really privileges rapid innovation, we have very short attention spans, we use the internet, if there you know, if a story is developing slowly, we hit a link, we go somewhere else, we want instant gratification. And so in many disciplines, now there’s pressure to get very quick results to change frequently from one problem to another. But the advantage of experimentalists is in the long run, it’s in developing expertise, depth in one area, one kind of analysis, always trying to improve your work in that area and recognize that marathoners can’t compete with sprinters. But in the end, that doesn’t mean that they can’t produce important work. So again, successful experimental innovators have judgment, they have wisdom. They don’t have this pyrotechnic genius. And I think it’s important that they recognize that and not try to compete on uneven terms with their conceptual peers. – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity James Taylor 29:24 Well, I think it’s a very hopeful book, and I hope people go and get it the book is called Old Masters and young geniuses ought to tell you to know, for some of the other books, maybe if people have read this book, and maybe interested in some of the other what maybe what other of your works, you think they should be, should be checking out and going online and having a look at Old Masters And Young Geniuses David Galenson 29:42 the book that I most enjoyed was a very detailed book I wrote applying this to 20th-century art. It’s called conceptual revolutions in 20th-century art because I argue that there were changes in the structure of the art market in 19th century Paris, that that went from essentially a monopoly, you know, the state or The church governs the purchase of art to competition and, and competition in an economic sense, you know, perfect competition, privileges conceptual innovation because people want novelty. And so the 20th century, not completely, but by and large, was dominated by young conceptual innovators who could make rapid innovations, but then you rapidly gave way to the next generation. – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity James Taylor 30:25 It does certainly feel that we were maybe in a little bit of that just now maybe it’s the maybe in this time that we’re in just now there’s a lot of novelty that seems to be the gets the most attention. At the moment. David Galenson 30:35 I have argued that we have an excessive emphasis on novelty and that it helps conceptualists but it hurts experimentalists. And so we’re missing these sort of deep, complex things like The Brothers Karamazov, like the origin of species. People don’t have time, there’s pressure to do work immediately. And these long research projects and these long artistic projects, you know, when I give talks about this to groups of artists, the people who come up afterward, they’re not conceptual if they already know this. And they understand they’ve already done their best work. But they’re always experimental people. They said, you know, you told the story of my life, but I can’t develop my art because I have to teach, I have to teach high school, I teach college, right, St. John’s father was independently wealthy, like Darwin’s. And so Suzanne always said, My father was a genius. His father scorned his career choice, but he provided him with enough funds in the end that he didn’t have to work for a living. And so it says he had decades and decades to develop his art very, very slowly, very, very gradually. Lots of people don’t have that. Yeah, we may be losing experimental artists who are unable who are not infinitely wealthy. – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity James Taylor 31:46 So wonderful lessons were in this book. David Johnson, thank you so much for coming. And joining us today talking about the book. And if people want to learn more about this book, other books, and also your research work, where’s the best place for them to go and do that? David Galenson 32:00 You know, a number of I mean, all of my articles are available online. And my books, of course, are available on Amazon. James Taylor 32:09 We’re gonna have all the links here for you. David, thank you so much for joining us today. David Galenson 32:12 Thank you very much. – Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity The post Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity – #299 appeared first on James Taylor.
4 minutes | 19 days ago
Overcoming Creative Blocks
How can we overcome creative blocks in our work? ? How can we overcome creative blocks in our work? How can we get unstuck? That’s what we’re gonna be talking about today. NEWS & DEALS! Free Course! FULL TRANSCRIPT Creative Blocks Now, have you ever had that experience of getting stuck in your creative work, were you feeling blocked in some way in a creative endeavor that you’re pursuing? Something that could be quite useful when thinking about this is the differentiation between craft and art, they’re quite different things. But together, they combine in order to do our finest creative work. So let me give an example. In 1954, the jazz pianist Bill Evans, has been playing for a number of years, he was a professional pianist, by this point, actually very successful and what he was doing, but he just felt a little bit blocked in the creative work, he wasn’t really developing as a musician. So what he decided to do was to spend just over a year in his garage, stripping everything back, getting back down to basics, in order to help him find his voice as a player, and how to really break out some of the limitations are holding him back. Craft And Artistry You see, in any type of creative work that you do, we have these two things that are going side by side, there is the craft of what we do your skill. And then there’s the artistry or your ideas. Now, when things are going really well, those two things are in alignment, they’re kind of building together and allowing you to take your work to a new level. But what I often find is those who are experiencing some type of block in their work is because these things have got out of alignment. Let me give you an example. If you’re learning a musical instrument, for example, you may have fantastic ideas, great art, you know, in your heads, this kind of creative ideas, but you don’t have the craft, you don’t have the skills to execute on them. So you can feel frustrated because these ideas are in your head, but you just can’t play them on the instrument. Likewise, you can also flip weight, where you have really great technique in what you do, really great skills and what you do, but you just don’t have the ideas, you’re not seeing anything particularly new. So where we get that real powerful combination is when we can advance these things together so that they’re in alignment. And there they’re in sync synchronicity with each other. So craft, and art. So your technique, your skills are at the same level as your idea. Now, they’re never going to be in perfect alignment. In fact, in an ideal world, you always want to have maybe the art and the ideas slightly further ahead than the craft because this is always trying to push you up to learn new things. And this is what Bill Evans did. He realized that in order to develop his voice, as a musician, he had to strip things back. So he went to solitude, he went into his garage for over a year. And he went back to basics, he stripped it all back. And this allowed him after that period of a year’s reflection and trying new things and going back to those basics, to develop his own voice, a distinct voice in his area of expertise. Open For New Possibilities So think about this for yourself. If you’re maybe stuck in the creative work you’re doing is it because your technique, your craft, has not developed and maybe you need to upskill in some ways. Or perhaps you have great skills, great technique. But your ideas have got a little bit lacks, they’re maybe a little bit dated in what you’re thinking. And you need to open your mind and think about new possibilities. And maybe now is a perfect time to go into that garage, mental or otherwise, to strip things back. To get back to basics, then understand what it means to do great creative work with your unique voice. I hope you found that useful thinking about the difference between art and craft. Now there are two things I would love if you didn’t. First of all, if you’re watching this just now you’re not already subscribed to the channel, please click on that subscribe so you can get notified of all the new episodes for the Supercreativity TV show. Secondly, I would love it if you head over to my website, jamestaylor.me We’re gonna have all the show notes for everything I’ve described here. Plus, we have some creativity, free creativity training there for you. So whichever way you go, I really wish you the greatest success in your creative work. My name is James Taylor. Thanks for watching. The post Overcoming Creative Blocks appeared first on James Taylor.
38 minutes | 22 days ago
The Power Of Smart Collaboration – #298
The Power of Smart Collaboration – with Heidi K. Gardner Studies show us that companies earn higher margins, inspire greater client loyalty, attract and retain the best talent, and gain a competitive edge when their people collaborate across functional boundaries. Yet most firms have carved up their highly specialized, professional experts into narrowly defined practice areas, and collaborating across these silos is often messy, risky, and expensive. These are just some of the challenges addressed by Harvard University Professor Heidi K. Gardner in her Washington Post bestseller Smart Collaboration – How Professionals And Their Firms Succeed By Breaking Down Silos. Heidi K. Gardner, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession and Faculty Chair of the school’s Accelerated Leadership Program and Sector Leadership Masterclass. Previously she was a professor of Organizational Behavior at Harvard Business School and has been named by Thinkers 50 as a Next-Generation Business Guru. Today we talk about the power of smart collaboration, complex problem solving, diversity and inclusion and the two types of trust. – The Power Of Smart Collaboration For More of SuperCreativity Podcast By James Taylor Definition Of Smart Collaboration. Heidi K. Gardner 1:15 Thanks for having me. James Taylor 1:17 Now, I’ve got to tell you the story about how your book came into my hands. My wife is an attorney. And she was attending the Law Society of Scotland’s annual conference a few years ago. And she picked me up a copy of your book, smart collaboration. And she gave it to me saying you bought this copy, and you gave it to me. And I wasn’t quite sure if it was because she just loved your presentation so much. Or she thought maybe I should be a better collaborator as a husband? I’m not quite sure. But I’m so glad she bought me because I’ve been really enjoying it. So you speak to a lot of professional services firms, a lot of lawyers, accounting firms? Heidi K. Gardner 1:52 I do I do. Absolutely. So I’m on the faculty at Harvard Law School. And I teach a lot of executives there people who have been practicing law for three decades for decades, oftentimes bringing lots of experience into the classroom. But I started teaching at Harvard at the business school, and I still teach executives there. So I’m teaching across a whole array of different kinds of organizations, professional service firms, and corporates and NGOs, lots of different kinds. – The Power Of Smart Collaboration James Taylor 2:19 Now, before we get into the kind of things within the book itself, within the smart collaboration book, tell me about the collaboration process of writing the book, what was that like? Heidi K. Gardner 2:31 tremendous, actually, I will be the first to admit that my best ideas are never my own. That the idea was the idea for the book as well, originally, I mean, 1000 years ago, when I was back working full time at McKinsey, I had this burning question about why some of the teams I was working on and leading were so much better than others at tapping into the full range of their members expertise. I mean, some of them had, you know, we all of them had this diverse array of people, astrophysicists, and concert pianists, and lots of different backgrounds. And some of them really harnessed that diversity and came up with something phenomenal. And then other teams were solid, but they weren’t phenomenal. And when I was working there, I didn’t have the capacity to say, Hmm, let me study this at the same time I was working. So I left and I did my PhD. And that’s what I started studying. And at Harvard University, lots of people would ask me tough, tough questions, these executives who would come back and say, I’m living and breathing this day in day out, what do I do differently tomorrow? So those questions sparked this line of research. And throughout the course of writing that first book, I involved the community, I would, I would have a new research finding I head into the classroom, or I’d go up on stage in front of, you know, 300 people, and I’d make myself vulnerable, I’d say, Okay, we have this new, you know, statistical equation, and it looks like it’s telling me this, what do you think, and then people would shoot it down, and they’d come up with all these counter arguments and, and I’d be like, wow, I could study that too. And it was an amazing process. And people were incredibly generous with their intellectual inputs. And even those who were toughest on me, and challenging me, were collaborating because they were taking their unique perspectives and throwing it into the mix. And together, we were able to come up with something that none of us could have developed on our own. And, frankly, that’s our definition of smart collaboration. – The Power Of Smart Collaboration James Taylor 4:31 Now, one of the things I liked about this book is that I can imagine Sal would probably work with some of the same law firms over the Hogan Lovells of this great international kind of law firms. And often when you deal with them, you deal with the, you know, the partners or associates, but then you also deal with the HR people kind of department as well. So this book was doing that kind of fine balance. They’re all being able to appeal to maybe very bottom line driven Partners, but also looking at the HR who are thinking about the next generation has millennial people coming into the firm as well. So first of all, let’s go to the numbers part. So that that hard bitten lawyer, that senior partner, they’re like, why should I bother about collaboration? Why can I, you know, what’s, what’s the value in it for our firm, this improving our collaboration? What would your argument and your database to that Study Of Collaboration Heidi K. Gardner 5:26 are very happy to get into that one, the Show Me The Money person, bring it on. It’s what I say because a lot of people talk about collaboration as a soft topic. And so we brought data and science and math and economics to the study of collaboration, we collected millions of data records, sometimes we would get the timesheet records day by day timesheet records, I mean, down to the six minute increment for lawyers. And we get 10 years worth of that data from a single law firm. And we marry it with their personnel files, and their compensation records and their billing data and their client satisfaction scores. And of course, all these were de-identified, so we were allowed to use them. But we would throw this all into these big statistical equations to measure not only who was collaborating with whom, on which clients on which deals for how long or how many years, but statistically, then we can measure the outcomes, we can say you have 600 partners. And here’s a collaboration score for each of them, and demonstrate that those who had better collaboration, better defined in lots of ways, produced higher revenues, higher profits, they had stronger client relationships, which were demonstrated through a client staying loyal to the firm, even when some of the key partners departed, we have all of the numbers here around the financial and strategic and innovation related outcomes. And that’s why we called chapter one of the book, the business case for collaboration, James Taylor 6:58 It was good putting that one right at the start. So I think that was a very smart move on your part as well. Now you do contrast, you know, the idea of cross selling, which a lot of professional services firms will be very familiar with, you have a client and they come to you, and you’re in the US to New York office and expanding abroad. So you try and then cross sell them to your international tax person in London or Paris. So we can, we can know this, but you’re kind of talking about slightly different things, not necessarily cross selling from one partner, one part of the business to another, but a much deeper form of collaboration. – The Power Of Smart Collaboration Heidi K. Gardner 7:34 James, I’m on a mission to eradicate the term cross selling from a professional vocabulary. And and I’ll tell you why it’s you know, as we’re doing all of this research, we’re not just studying the providers, we do equal amounts of research with the buyers of these services. So I’m out there all the time. I mean, I just wrote a book for general counsel in their legal teams, I’m out there all the time talking to the clients, of law firms of accounting firms of, you know, other kinds of professional providers, and let me let you in on a small secret, they all despise being crossed sold to, I mean, nobody likes that. And, you know, it’s the, as they say, the professional equivalent of Do you want fries with that, you know, it feels like they’ve come to order a burger, and then you’re trying to upsell them on a side dish, which might not even be good for them. And instead, what we’re talking about is not that crude. I’ve got a portfolio of products that I’m going to push at you, but rather a completely client centric view. Okay, client, let’s sit down together and understand, what are the existential, existential threats? What are the major opportunities? What are the business issues here, not the legal issues, or the tax issues or the audit issues? Not that kind of myopic one sided view of your problems, but rather, what’s the holistic, complex problem that you’re facing? Because guaranteed when somebody takes that point of view, which, frankly, is what the board’s expected their, you know, their employees, right, though the board’s expect that their general counsel or their, you know, a VP of strategy is going to have this business focused, interdependent perspective of what’s happening. And when, when you can take that bigger, wider lens on the business problem, inevitably, it cannot be solved by one person. Heidi K. Gardner 9:33 You know, think Heidi K. Gardner 9:34 about what’s on the mind of board members these days. You know, ESG is something that everyone’s talking about, well, that in and of itself is at least the E, the s and the G. I mean, there’s no one expert who’s in who’s in, you know, covered all of those bases, but there’s so many facets to it. And our problems these days are volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous. vuca is the acronym and because the Problems are so vuca, we really need these experts to come together in an integrated way to tackle those complex problems. It is not simply cross selling my undervalued partner over here so that they can book more time. I mean, that’s a pretty crude version. And that’s what cross selling often comes down to. – The Power Of Smart Collaboration James Taylor 10:21 I know people like Ed catmull, from Pixar talk about this a lot, that sometimes it’s not necessary having lots of star players, but it’s about it’s like making a cake where you having a really great combination of different ingredients that complement each other soul in the sour that those different things there. In the book, you talk about these different types of collaborators why it’s so important to have? So your your your income imbalance, I guess, can you talk about those different types of collaborators in a really kind of smart team? Heidi K. Gardner 10:50 Absolutely. And in fact, we have just launched a tool to help people understand this. And James, you were good enough to take this yourself this, what we call the smart collaboration accelerator. So what this tool is, it’s a, it’s a way to understand these different types of people, and why they’re important to collaboration. So for example, as you saw on the tool, there are these seven different behavioral dimensions that came out of the decade plus of our research, where we have a very fine grained understanding now of what are the kinds of behaviors people engage in, in the workplace that foster smart collaboration, and which ones tend to be blockers or obstacles. And we ran all of our statistics as we do, and we boiled it down to the seven different dimensions. So I observed on on your profile, that you were so kind enough to share that you are more hands off, than hands on. Right. And so that’s one of the medial dimensions. The research supports James that wherever you fall on that dimension, you can use it as a strength. Or you could overdo it or misuse it, and it would be a blocker of collaboration. So I’d love to ask you, when you think about working with other people, you’re pretty hands off on that scale. How do you think about that as a strength? You know, when is it helped you in a team that were pretty hands off? James Taylor 12:15 Yeah, I mean, it’s a hard one. I mean, I think in a in a, especially a small team, I’m always trying to go one level back. And whether that’s through culture, through training, through kind of inspiring people try and kind of pull that go go one level back to kind of show I’m not having to be so hands on and sometimes have to jump in get very tactical, very, very detailed, other times just trying to pull back. And I think it’s interesting, you know, as I was kind of going through this, a lot of my team are in, in the Philippines. And they tend to like, management style, maybe through the education system, they actually quite like quite like a hands on system, like a style of management. What me maybe in the West I class maybe is more authoritarian style of management, which is not unnecessarily, you know, particularly enjoy doing. So I’ve had to find people in my team who can almost take on a little bit of that role being a little bit more kind of hands on because it’s a weakness. And as I identify the weak I don’t personally want to be so hands on. But I need to have someone in that team who is across everything, as you mentioned them in your different types of collaborators. Someone has across all of that. – The Power Of Smart Collaboration Heidi K. Gardner 13:24 Yes, yes, absolutely. So bingo, you have just said, your natural tendency is to be pretty hands off. And that when it comes to collaboration, many places can be highly beneficial. It means you empower people, you bring people onto a team, and you really let them play with their strengths, you’re not going to try and get in there and meddle with what’s going on. But that same characteristic could be a weakness in certain contexts, right? where people are expecting more direction, more guidance, more input. And what’s interesting, James is you nailed it when it came to collaboration, you said, so I need somebody to do that. Now, a lot of times what people think is, therefore I need to change who I am. But that’s hard to do. Right? Going against your natural tendencies is pretty tough. And all the psychology over decades shows that when we’re under stress, and let’s face it, every press these days, when we’re under stress, it’s even harder to self regulate and be something that doesn’t come naturally. James Taylor 14:27 And you can feel it with you. I certainly feel it you know, I was looking through this and I was thinking in terms of energy levels, where do I get more energy? Where do I get SAP from energy and having to be hands on every single day on every single thing is exhausting for me. And so I very early on realize it’s not my strong suit. So I thought like, okay, who not how, who do I need to get to fill in fill in this this role? that’s and that’s not to say, What’s nice about in this this report that you’ve kind of put together it was it was good because I can also see it’s not Not, like, don’t do any of this be completely hands off, it’s like, here are the things that you need, you can do actionable things you can do to improve, but you don’t necessarily have to be a superstar being hands on. – The Power Of Smart Collaboration Heidi K. Gardner 15:11 That’s it exactly. And what we’re trying to get people to see through this tool is that they can play to their natural strengths. And this is really crucial when they let other people who are opposite them be their natural selves. It’s not just a nice thing to do. Like one of the dimensions is complex thinking versus concrete thinkers, the complex thinkers love to theorize and abstract and they make all of these connections across, you know, unusual things, what we might talk about innovation later. And they’re the ones who are great at the creativity part of innovation. Heidi K. Gardner 15:47 But a Heidi K. Gardner 15:49 A brilliant new crazy idea is only a brilliant new crazy idea unless you can do something with it. Right? So we need concrete thinkers, the opposite from complex, the concrete pragmatists, Heidi K. Gardner 16:01 who take those Heidi K. Gardner 16:02 big area ideas and say, how do we create an action plan? How do we roll that out? How do we make it happen? And what I found a lot of times is those two kinds of people are like oil and water, they Heidi K. Gardner 16:13 just want. Yeah, Heidi K. Gardner 16:17 fingers, you know, Heidi K. Gardner 16:17 they look down their nose at people Oh, they’re so mundane. They’re so boring. And the the concrete thinkers, you know, look at these other people, you know, when are they going to get their heads out of the clouds or get their head out of somewhere, right? And it’s like, okay, so these people are completely opposite. And there’s a risk that they simply get on each other’s nerves. But if we can help them understand that it is just as natural for this person to operate one way as it is for you to operate the opposite. When you when you buy into that, and the complex thinker, not only lets the concrete person be themselves, because it’s nice to them, or Oh, it’s politically correct to you know, have them show up authentically, blah, blah. If instead, you know, as a complex thinker, myself, I say, thank goodness, that concrete, mundane thinker is in the room, because they’ve got my back, right, don’t make sure that this conversation gets translated into action. Something really happens here. And then I can play to my strengths. And I can think about all these big, crazy theoretical ideas. And sometimes this is exactly what’s happening right now. Because I’m writing the follow up book to smart collaboration. And I take my own medicine, I brought on a co author, and he’s somebody from the FinTech world. He’s done a ton in, you know, started software companies and in banking, and I go off on these tangents about like, oh, when the research says, blah, blah, blah, and then he brings me down. He’s like, okay, how’s that going to work? How somebody’s going to use this? How are you going to write about that? And my first reaction is, Oh, come on, don’t you know, don’t drag me down. And then my next reaction is, thank God, you asked me that because you make me better. – The Power Of Smart Collaboration James Taylor 17:56 I’m James Taylor, business, creativity and innovation keynote speaker, and this is the super creativity podcast. If you enjoy listening to conversations with creative thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, authors, educators and performers, then you’ve certainly come to the right place. Each week we discuss their ideas, their life works, successes, failures, creative process, and much more. You’ll find show notes for today’s episode as well as free creativity training at James taylor.me. If you enjoyed listening to my conversation with Heidi Gardner, then check out my interview with Oxford University Professor Marcus du Sautoy, as we discuss art and innovation in the age of artificial intelligence, and a democratization of creative collaboration. Here is my conversation with Marcus du Sautoy, at James taylor.me. After the break, we returned to my interview with Heidi, to learn about the two types of trust. This week’s episode is sponsored by speakers, the online community for international speakers. Speakers help you launch, grow and monetize your speaking business faster than you thought possible. If you want to share your message as a highly paid speaker, then speakers you will teach you how just go to the speakers u.com to access their free speaker business training. – The Power Of Smart Collaboration Risk Management You said a word there which I think towards the end of the book, you start talking about it more and I actually wanted I don’t know if this is maybe a topic of your next book, but risk. So we spoke about risk there. In one of the things is risk seeker, risk spotter. And as I was looking for it, I was actually thinking all the research is coming out more recently about why in the last financial crash, it was so bad because we had a lot of people with the same boards, they would look the same. They were educated the same. So I actually thought this is quite an interesting tool from a risk and a diversity standpoint. And when I say diverse, I don’t just obviously mean gender or ethnicity. I’m also talking about intellectual diversity. So I thought this was really interesting thinking about, okay, this is a risk factor. There’s risk factors here that I need to be thinking about. In order to create a more sustainable type of business, – The Power Of Smart Collaboration Heidi K. Gardner 20:02 Absolutely, James, I’m so glad you brought up risk. So we were working with my business gardener and he was working with the top 35 leaders of a huge global technology company household name. And, of course, they’re all engineers. So they, you know, they love data. And when we put the data in front of them, and showed them that 33 of the 35 executives, top leaders in this company, we’re all pretty high risk seekers. And we put and they kind of knew this, but we put the data in front of them. And you know, I’ve got all of them arrayed on my zoom in front of me, and their faces were like, Whoa, and, and then, you know, that was kind of stunned silence for a minute. And then there was this sort of nervous laughter like, do you think that’s why we’ve had all these blow ups in the market? And the regulators are crawling all over us? And Hmm, and then one of the guys kind of raises his hand, he said, All right, I’ll out myself. I’m one of the two risk spotters, the one who always sees the downside, and you never effing listen to me. And there was some sort of again, you know, nervous laughter like, – The Power Of Smart Collaboration Heidi K. Gardner 21:14 oh, Haha, yeah. But Heidi K. Gardner 21:15 you know, we don’t like to listen to you. Because you’re always saying no to our grand ideas, and lots of back and forth, then about how do you give somebody voice? And it’s very much like what you’re saying in the financial crisis? How do you make Heidi K. Gardner 21:27 sure you have people Heidi K. Gardner 21:28 in the room who can preemptively identify the risks, and they have the space to bring it up? No, of course, it’s on them to be seen as constructive, right, they’ve got to be able to position those risks that they identify in a way that everyone understands that they’re pointing it out, for the good of the group, right, we want to pressure test this before it goes to market or whatever the case is. So it’s on them to show up constructively. But it’s crucial that the group has that mix that diversity of risk profiles in the group, – The Power Of Smart Collaboration Heidi K. Gardner 22:02 and that they use it. Diversity And Inclusion Heidi K. Gardner 22:04 And this is the difference, James between diversity and inclusion. diversity means you’ve got people with different mindsets on the board. Inclusion means you’re actually listening to all of them. They’re all contributing in a way that they get heard and used. Because diversity might not be helpful at all. It’s like having a bank account where you’ve lost your ATM card, if all you have is, you know, resources, as in diversity, different ways of thinking, but you don’t give those people a chance to contribute. It’s like, you know, having a juicy bank account, but not being able to get the money out of it, right? It’s just late, Henschel at that point. And so, you know, we are encouraging people to really be thoughtful and use tools like this, to understand the underlying diversity, the cognitive diversity, the intellectual diversity, the behavioral diversity on their teams, and then take it to the next level and say, are we using it to its fullest? So now, I’m back to the question, you know, that was eating away at me while I was at McKinsey, which is, why are some teams so much better than others that using the full complement of their members’ potential? And this is partly our answer to that it’s helping people become much more self aware, understanding where their strengths are, and how to play to them. Right, James, you had that already, you said, you know, I’m really a hands off person. But I know that sometimes that’s a weakness. So I complement myself with people who are the opposite. That level of self awareness and self understanding is crucial. The ability to admit that you can’t be everything to everyone, and that you’re better off teaming with somebody who’s opposite than trying to cover that whole spectrum yourself. You know, that is a journey that a lot of people need to go on. And then at the group level, you know, our team insights report helps to aggregate those individual insights at the level of the group so that those team members and the team leader understand you know, where there’s some blind spots? Or where do we have gaps, or Wow, nobody on our team is a concrete thinker, we’d better get somebody in here, when we’re doing our brainstorming meetings. – The Power Of Smart Collaboration James Taylor 24:11 complement that to be we have a little bit of a contrary in of that when I used to work in in the Silicon Valley. world. I would often speak to it could be VCs, or it could be small startups that may be under 100,000 startups. And they actually saw there, this is a sub saying even as I say this is mad, but they’re saying their lack of diversity they saw as a benefit to some of them, because they said we can get more stuff done more quickly because everyone thinks the same. So we can just move really quickly and execute. And I guess Obviously, we’ve seen that concept we work and you know, there’s there’s there’s challenges to that, that way of thinking. So what would you do for those, those people that may be listening to this just now and say, Okay, well yeah, in an ideal world, you want to have that diversity but for smaller staff And organizations and smaller teams actually is going to be better for innovation. If we have more people that think in a similar way, because we can get more stuff done more more quickly. Heidi K. Gardner 25:12 And I would absolutely agree you can get stuff done faster, you just can’t get good stuff done faster. James Taylor 25:18 Got it, Heidi K. Gardner 25:19 it will be easier. And it will certainly feel a lot more comfortable when you’re surrounded by people who think just like you do. And then, like that big tech company we’re talking about, everyone’s gunning it Yes, yes, yes. You know, over optimism, let’s go go go fight for the market, win, win win. And there’s, you know, some big step you’ve missed, because nobody put the brakes on it. Nobody actually called you out on your pricing strategy, or your compliance, or your product market fit, or all of those things that are essential for startups. And you get out there and you launch and you fall flat. Now you launched faster, but is that really what you wanted to do? – The Power Of Smart Collaboration Heidi K. Gardner 25:57 I don’t think so. Heidi K. Gardner 25:58 And it’s funny, you should mention startups, we use the accelerator with a 12 person startup team in Silicon Valley, a tech company. And we’re now working with their investors, a bunch of VCs and angel investors, because they believe so much in the power of this kind of diversity. And James Taylor 26:17 that makes total sense. Also, from an investor’s standpoint, you’re always looking to de-risk things as much as you can, you know, and reduce your risk. Heidi K. Gardner 26:26 Bingo. And so what they know, and these investors are super smart and experienced. What they know is that naive, inexperienced leaders make the mistake that you said, naive and inexperienced leaders say this doesn’t feel comfortable to me, I think I should have people around me who are similar, and therefore we can go faster. That’s a pretty Forgive me, but in mature way of thinking about teamwork. And these investors know that a lot of people who start companies are brilliant at what they do. But they lacked leadership training and a lot of leadership experience. And so these investors now are using the accelerator to help their portfolio companies and the leaders of the startups understand that it’s a little bit harder to do especially to you get the skills, but you will be so much more effective. And that’s what they’re after is effectiveness. It’s not just a rush to market. It’s brilliant products – The Power Of Smart Collaboration James Taylor 27:23 that meet some kind of a need that have been tested appropriately, and iterated. And that’s what comes from diversity. And in the world of professional services firms, whether that’s accountants, lawyers, engineers, consultants are there any where they actually don’t benefit from collaboration in the way that you’re talking about? Heidi K. Gardner 27:43 So there’s a couple of ways to think about that. Number one is I tend to think about collaboration for externally facing client problems, for example. And so if your business is predicated on doing repeat routine work at the lowest possible cost, and that’s how you make margin, then what you’re not trying to do is bring together a dynamic group of people who have different bases of expertise, because it will slow you down, it’s not efficient. And if you’re not solving a complex problem, where those different perspectives are important, then that’s not helpful in solving that problem. But what I would argue is and our data backs this up, is you need collaboration to make that efficient process happen. So you’re going to need process engineers and technicians and pricing experts and market experts. And and, and, and those, those diverse teams, those multidisciplinary teams will allow you to capture that commoditized market for a profit. So then you’re not collaborating, each time you’re delivering something, because that’s routine and commoditized. But what you’re doing is collaborating to get the best commoditized product possible at the cheapest rates and the fastest you can deliver. And you’re never going to get that unless you have diversity of thought. – The Power Of Smart Collaboration Virtual Collaboration James Taylor 29:06 Now, I don’t know whether this may be the topic of your next book. But we’ve obviously been living through a time where collaboration has gone from in person in the real world to virtual and we’re probably going to go to now have more of a hybrid model as we start getting back into the offices. So where what is your data showing you what is the conversations you’re having with clients as as to how they’ve been thinking about collaboration and how they’re thinking about collaboration as we we move into whatever is next? Heidi K. Gardner 29:34 Absolutely, it’s, it’s a real challenge. I will say that there are some winners and losers in this space. Let me tell you, a term called hum awfully hum awfully is this geeky psychology term. But it basically is a well known response for humans that we feel more comfortable with. We’re drawn to we trust implicitly people people whom we believe are similar to us our in group, right. And evolutionary psychologists will explain this as you know, tribal and long ago. But wherever the roots are, it’s it’s really prevalent that our perceived in group is whom we turn to most naturally. And think about the implications then for this virtual world. We’re not literally bumping into people in the office in the car park in the and so what it means is that those serendipitous accidental encounters aren’t happening, we have to be intentional about whom we’re interacting with. And so imagine that you’ve got a meeting that miraculously finishes five minutes early. And James, you say, Oh, you know, let me reach out to somebody on my team, let me just check in almost guaranteed unless you’re hyper aware, the first person that springs to mind is going to be somebody who’s pretty similar to you. And then the next person is going to be pretty similar. And it’s not until you kind of get to that fifth or sixth person, you’re like, oh, wow, I haven’t really talked to that person quite a while, let me check in with her that. And the problem is, many, many organizations are quite homogenous. So the first person that springs to everyone’s mind tends to be like most people, yeah, think about that. Those who started a year and a bit ago, the beginning of the pandemic, slightly on the margins of their organization, have gotten pushed further and further and further outside the core, so that they’re probably pretty isolated at this point. And if if organizations aren’t very thoughtful and deliberate about making those connections, the laissez faire, that you know, let’s just, you know, encourage people to reach out to others isn’t going to work, because some people are going to be left out of that. So it’s one of the critical factors that we have to think about is who hasn’t benefited from the virtual world? And that’s one kind of that’s one way to think about who might be left out of this is who already didn’t slightly for whatever reason, maybe they simply were new joiner to the organization, you know, how do they get baked in? And the point of new joiners is another one. – The Power Of Smart Collaboration James Taylor 32:10 I mean, that’s as you’re as you’re talking about this, that instinct of this, who I have in my head, I have that new new trainee into that law firm that you associate that’s just joining there maybe a company’s acquired another company they’re just coming in is completely different culture. I don’t think wow, how difficult is it for that person now to collaborate if they’ve not built up? I guess what I’m like Amy Edmondson, like a psychological safety in those relationships? – The Power Of Smart Collaboration Heidi K. Gardner 32:40 Absolutely. I mean, what is very common by at this point after a year plus is very, very common to find people working for an organization where they have never met a single colleague in person. And so the question is, you know, how do you get them integrated? You know, James, our research shows that those first 12 months are absolutely critical. What our data shows, and lots of other scholars have found this outside of the professional services arena, Heidi K. Gardner 33:07 is that if Heidi K. Gardner 33:08 two way collaboration isn’t happening in that first year, in other words, if I’m a new joiner to your company, and in that first 12 months, I don’t have first the experience of you or some new colleagues inviting me on to the to the core work of what you know, is already happening at the company. And I need the experience where, where I create some kind of work, it’s my project is the client work they brought with me or whatever, and I need to be able to have somebody supporting me in that work. If those sort of two way referrals or two way collaboration rests, reciprocal collaboration doesn’t happen in that first year, it gets harder and harder for that to happen. And what we see is that after about 18 months, if it still isn’t happening on a regular basis, there is a very, very, very high chance that the new joiner has left – The Power Of Smart Collaboration James Taylor 33:58 or been asked. And some of those two ways that could be quite informal as that is the annual company meeting is the getaway the retreat. I mean, I speak a lot about creativity, this idea of the third place the importance of whether it’s Ancient Greeks with the symposiums where they get together to drink and you have a merchant and a philosopher and an artist coming from different totally different perspectives and different life experiences and then debating discussing and challenging each other’s ideas. Then we had the coffee shops in Vienna and 1800s and 1900s and then no probably you know, got caught lol coffee shops and things now that can fulfill that function that feels like it’s lacking that and that almost feels like that can sometimes be that softer glue in the collaboration experience that I feel really sorry for a lot of new joiners that they’re not able to experience in the virtual and you say those those strange meetings you sometimes have with someone over a cup of coffee or when you’re in a line for getting the buffet. Sometimes those can transform your thinking and then have you seen Things or understand how another partner is approaching a problem? – The Power Of Smart Collaboration Heidi K. Gardner 35:03 Absolutely. I Heidi K. Gardner 35:04 mean, we see it all the time in these zoom meetings, you can’t turn to the person next to you, like you would if you were around a table, and you know, make eye contact with them when something funny happens, you know, and there’s that little bonding experience, you know, when you can actually make like, I’m making eye contact with you right now. But you don’t actually know that right? And so, you know, we don’t have that little sidebar conversation, that it’s the it’s those small encounters, it’s walking out of the meeting, when somebody says something, you think, wow, you know, like, Heidi K. Gardner 35:34 I have Competence Trust And Interpersonal Trust Heidi K. Gardner 35:35 no idea, you know, you and I were both thinking the same things in there. And that doesn’t happen, you have 15 people whose faces show up on these little boxes, and I can’t have a private conversation with you. I mean, maybe it happens a little bit in the chat. But you know, you and I can’t have that same kind of trust building. And, you know, our research for the first book, very much showed that two kinds of trust are both critically important for collaboration. One is competence trust. So if you’re going to ask me to join up with you to deliver a client project, for example, you have to believe that I’m going to deliver on time on budget, high quality work, I’m an expert in what I say I am. And you have to believe in a professional services arena, that my client handling skills are high quality, right? So you have to believe kind of the whole package in terms of my competence, but it’s not enough. You might think I’m the world’s greatest expert on smart collaboration. But if you think I’m a jerk, you still don’t want to work with me. Right? And there’s that interpersonal trust the what are her intentions? Is she high integrity is she going to take you know, take all the spotlight and not leave, you know, not leave any glow for anyone else. And there’s that kind of interpersonal trust that’s as important as competence trust. And and so, you know, each is necessary, but not sufficient. And I think they’re both hard to build. James Taylor 36:57 As you as you’re saying, I’m suddenly remembering someone we had on the show warm well, by Nick West, who’s the bass player was a bass player with Prince. And we were having this conversation about, like, she’s, she’s a great player, highly competent as a player, which gets so many bookings. And I said, Well, why do you think so many people book you and hire you and you join them? these famous these great bands? And she said, Yeah, as well as being able to absolutely, like, play gray and be great on the gig and really deliver that performance. What you tend to find is the people that get all the bookings, and this is her expression, they’ve got really good hang chops is the expression of the use of music. They’re a good hang that they’re on that tour bus when you’re on the road with someone for months and months and months there there’s you can just hang in there. There’s an integrity about them you enjoy that their company enjoy the movie have different perspective on things, but it adds to the variety of what you’re doing. So they’ve got the competence and you know, and the other side as well. So I don’t know what the technical the academic term is for this is the music temperatures, the hang chops, good hang jobs? – The Power Of Smart Collaboration Heidi K. Gardner 37:59 Absolutely. I guess, you know, I’m gonna come back to this some awfully point, though, you know, the the risk is that the people we automatically feel have those chops. Yeah, are the ones who are probably pretty similar to us. And so, you know, we might need to build some trust to go to go one step further. You know, if I feel like you’re really different from me, I might have a bit of an allergic reaction at first glance, and I have to make a small investment. This is where the risk comes in. I have to make a small investment in getting to know you to see Oh, my God, you are so much fun. Yeah, let me know, let James Taylor 38:34 me know. And it’s like we call it creative payors, where you’ll often have I was doing event recently with Steve Wozniak, and we were talking about the difference in personalities between them, like Steve is very, is an engineer really, where where Steve Jobs was obviously more of a sales person, great marketing, great mind as well, very different personalities. But they knew that there was a complement there, they knew that the total was greater than individual parts. And I guess that’s the, you know, when it comes to that collaboration, not everyone can deal with that sometimes. So having someone that has a very different perspective on the world, – The Power Of Smart Collaboration Heidi K. Gardner 39:10 I think it really does take a level of self awareness. It takes a level of humbleness, right to say I can’t be everything to everyone. And therefore, I’m going to define some areas of expertise and really, you know, charge forward on those with the comfort of saying, I don’t know or I don’t do that and bring somebody else on board. And it really takes, I think, a level of maturity. And some people never get there. Some people are never ever willing to say that they can share the limelight and still get at least as much out of it as if they were there on their own. – The Power Of Smart Collaboration James Taylor 39:51 Well, we can talk on and on about this. It is a fascinating topic about smart collaboration. I want to make sure that people are able to to learn more about Obviously the book smart collaboration, but also the great smart collaboration accelerator. And also whatever new books you’ve got coming up next new books in your academic research, where is the best place for someone to go to start finding out about them to maybe connect with you individually? Heidi K. Gardner 40:15 Well, their smart collaboration accelerator has a very clever website, smartcollaborationaccelerator.com. It’s a bit of an IQ test, if you can spell all you’re allowed to take it. Heidi K. Gardner 40:25 No, Heidi K. Gardner 40:26 but it has all the details on there, some of the geeky science stuff behind why it works as well as how to get in touch with us smartcollaborationaccelerator.com. We’ve also got a gardenerandco.co. And that’s for our advisory business and our research. And we have a whole archive of I don’t think it has all 84 publications that I’ve ever written or whatever it is, but it has a lot of them on there. And it gives people access to a lot of the research that we’ve got coming up as well. James Taylor 40:55 Well, Heidi’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the show today. And I absolutely know that all the clients I speak to what they’re saying as they start to get back together and people to meet in collaboration is like the thing that they want to train their people on as well. So your time has definitely come on this topic. So I wish you great success with the the new book as well put all these links here on the show notes. Heidi, thank you so much for all your all your great insights today. Heidi K. Gardner 41:18 My pleasure. Thanks for having me. It James Taylor 41:20 was really fun. You can subscribe to the super creativity podcast on Spotify, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcast while you’re there. Please leave us a review. I would really appreciate it. I’m James Taylor, and you’ve been listening to the super creativity podcast. – The Power Of Smart Collaboration The post The Power Of Smart Collaboration – #298 appeared first on James Taylor.
4 minutes | 23 days ago
Team Collaboration: High Performing Functional Unit.
Building Team Collaboration Today, I want to talk to you about why a top creative team is like a top surgical team, and how you can use the techniques of surgeons to improve the creative work that you do. NEWS & DEALS! Free Course! FULL TRANSCRIPT Team Collaboration: High Performing Functional Unit. Hi, this James Taylor here keynote speaker on creativity, innovation and artificial intelligence, and the founder of SuperCreativityU, I was recently interviewing Professor Roger Kneebone, he has been a top surgeon, and he’s now an academic in London. And we were talking about the role of improvisation in the work of top performers. – Team Collaboration: High Performing Functional Unit. Team Collaboration And when we talk about top performers, I mean, top sales performers, top performers, in the art, top performers in medicine, as well. And we were talking about that, across all of these, you will see amongst a really high functioning team is a level of improvisation with each other. So individuals in that team are able to improvise and develop their skills to such a level where they are not just doing things by templates, but they’re able to improvise at the moment in real-time. And he was talking to me about something a similarity you sometimes see between a jazz Group, a jazz band, and a top surgical team, you see with it with a top jazz group, if you’ve watched them on stage or watch a video, you’ll see that they’re improvising, they’re in the moment, they have a form, they have a structure, but they’re reacting to what everyone else is doing in real-time, as one musician goes down one place, the other person reacts, and they come in around them and come and bind. And they have this flow that goes on in the creative work they do. Likewise, Professor Kneebone was saying a top surgical team is very much like that as well. So the surgeon needs a test, the swab nice, they’re all working in this kind of improvisational way. So as that surgeon is cutting, and he finds it as a particular problem with this thing, and there’s excessive bleeding and this thing, the team is automatically responding and working, working around and supporting each other in their joint endeavor together. And he says beautiful to watch is almost like this one thing is going to move in sync with each other. – Team Collaboration: High Performing Functional Unit. Creative Collaboration Now, to get to this higher level of collaboration is the type of creative collaboration we’re looking at here. It requires a willingness, and a real keenness, and the ability to watch and to listen, and to respond at the moment. You know, in this case, surgeons, they’re watching, they’re listening to the beeps, listening to the machines that are kind of going on. They’re watching the patient, they’re watching each other, the hands, the movements that are kind of going on, they’re feeling that sense in the room. And they’re responding in real-time, like with a musician in a jazz group, where one player plays something. And they’re responding, whether it’s in terms of call and response, or whether they could almost instinctively feel that movement that they’re going on together, they’re going on the journey together as well. – Team Collaboration: High Performing Functional Unit. High Performing Functional unit. So have a think about it. In the case of your own creative team, have you developed that ability as a team to have that type of flow in the work you do? Now, by doing it doesn’t mean that we have to have all members a team or exactly alike. In fact, some of the greatest jazz music involves personalities who are wildly different from each other, completely different life experiences, different backgrounds. But they come together in an improvisational context in this one. Likewise, in top surgical teams, you have solos, very skilled as a surgeon might have someone who’s very skilled as a nice to someone very skilled as a nurse, but they come together, and they work as a unit, there are a high performing and functional unit. So ask yourself in the team that you work with just now, can you all improvise as a team? Do you have those skills? Do you have the abilities? If not, there’s a couple of things I would suggest you do here. First of all, think about the actual composition of the team as well. Do you have enough diversity in the team with complementary skills, skills that can match and they can work together not the same skills, but they have a complementary nature to what they’re doing? Secondly, sometimes you just need to do other things outside of the operating room, outside of the bandstand. In order to build that trust that you have to have, which is sometimes called psychological safety. Dr. Amy Edmondson from Harvard University, you have to build this level of trust and empathy of simpatico with your team, not to the level that you can collaborate and improvise together at the moment at the right time. Let me know what your thoughts are on this idea of improvisation being able to improvise as Maybe Tell me a story that you had a team. In your case where you’re able to kind of get to this higher level of collaboration, leave it in the comments below. – Team Collaboration: High Performing Functional Unit. The post Team Collaboration: High Performing Functional Unit. appeared first on James Taylor.
38 minutes | a month ago
The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence.
The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. Technology has always allowed us to extend our understanding of being human. But will artificial intelligence actually enable us to create in different ways? And could recent developments in machine learning also mean that it is no longer just human beings who can create art? Marcus du Sautoy and I discuss this and more. For More of SuperCreativity Podcast By James Taylor What does it mean to be creative? Is creativity uniquely human or artificial intelligence be considered creative? These are just some of the topics explored by Marcus du Sautoy in his new book The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. Marcus du Sautoy is the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the Oxford University, a chair he holds jointly at the Department of Continuing Education and the Mathematical Institute. He is also a Professor of Mathematics and a Fellow of New College. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016 and Esquire Magazine chose him as one of the 100 most influential people under 40 in Britain. In 2009 he was awarded the Royal Society’s Faraday Prize, the UK’s premier award for excellence in communicating science, and in 2010 he received an OBE for services to science. Technology has always allowed us to extend our understanding of being human. But will artificial intelligence actually enable us to create in different ways? And could recent developments in machine learning also mean that it is no longer just human beings who can create art? Marcus du Sautoy and I discuss this and more. Artificial Intelligence Generated TranscriptBelow is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors. James Taylor 1:28 I’ve been loving reading your new book, The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. as it’s just such a fascinating topic about whether creativity is something that’s uniquely human or artificial intelligence can be trained or even teach yourself to be creative. Very early on in the book, you talk about you share Elizabeth Bowden’s framework for the three types of creativity, I would love to just start if you could just share those frameworks, I think it’d be quite useful as we get into the conversation, to be able to can navigate themselves. – The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. Marcus du Sautoy 2:00 Yes, Margaret Bowden, cognitive scientist, will thira there are two parts of this one is her definition of creativity, which is quite interesting, which is that something should be new, surprising and have value, which I think, I use as my kind of starting definition. And I think creativity is one of these words, actually, which is quite hard to pin down. It’s a bit like consciousness, What is consciousness. And I think actually, the two are highly related. As I explore in the book, I think creativity is our tool for examining our consciousness. But I thought that was quite a good sort of working definition that she came up with, which has these three components, you know, novelty is something that, well, we can judge objectively whether something is new or not. And I think you know, machines can easily make things that are new, if those two other elements, which I think are really fascinating, the element of surprise, which is about engaging our emotions, making us look at things in new ways, because we sort of getting jumped out of are kind of rather a machine-like way of living. And then the last one value as well. That’s very tricky because that’s very fluid changes over time over geographies from one person to another. So, that’s her definition of creativity. But then she has another exploration of three different sorts of creativity, which I think is really interesting, because partly, this book is as much about human creativity and trying to understand what it is we do, as much as can a machine be creative, you know, ultimately, the books about AI, and creativity. But I think throughout the book, I learned a lot about my own human creativity and her sort of three different sorts of creativity. And three, I think, are really fascinating. She has what she calls exploratory creativity, which is sort of taking the rules of the game, and just pushing them to the extremes. You know, so I think somebody like a bar, for example, is working within the Baroque period and is, is really just pushing those broad rules to the absolute extreme, then you have what she calls combinational creativity, which is sort of taking ideas from one area, and bringing those to a completely different area to give a, perhaps a new way of looking at the world. So a simple example is a kind of fusion cooking, you know, taking the ingredients from the east, but putting it through a sort of French cuisine filter. And then the third one, which is somehow the most exciting, the most challenging is transformational creativity, which is where something seems to appear out of nothing, that it’s really a breaking of the system, those moments when we just see a sudden transition, a phase change. So I suppose if you think about Picasso, Picasso is that moment when suddenly things look totally different and seem like that transformational creativity. – The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. Lovelace Test James Taylor 4:57 And I gotta say as I was reading the book, I almost kind of felt your highs and lows as someone who’s an expert in their field early on in the book, you start with a great story obviously about AlphaGo. And about the game of Go and that famous, you know, Lisi doll match and suddenly thinking, do mathematicians even have a job, you know? And so I can, I can almost feel your pain as you’re going through the book thinking, what is our future. And you, we’ve all probably heard of the Turing test. But you actually mentioned something else, which I hadn’t heard of this phrase, which is the Lovelace test as well. So what is that? Because I think I got a sense at different points you were going, is it passing is AI surpassing it now? Marcus du Sautoy 5:40 Yes. So I think, you know, creativity is a word that we’ve clung to is something that surely a machine can never do because it’s sort of an expression to be human. And, you know, I’ve always used this word as a kind of protective shield against Why think machines can’t do mathematics because mathematics isn’t about just turning a handle on the axioms and journeying out of proof. There are a lot of choices involved. There’s a lot of emotions about twists and turns and surprises. And so there is a huge amount of creativity. So this word for me has been key to saying, you know, okay, it sounds like something a computer could do mathematics. But actually, mathematics is much more human than most people realize. So part of the book is sort of that journey of just showing people that mathematics is much closer to creative arts than people might expect. So I thought I was safe until I saw this moment. And that’s sort of the spark for the book is this match against Lisa doll of a, an algorithm that not only beats a human, and we got used to machines doing things faster, better than humans, chess in the 90s, Deep Blue beat Kasparov. But this game of Go is one that has been notoriously difficult to get a computer to play. Because it’s very intuitive. It’s a lot about patterns building up on this board is black and white stones, trying to surround each other. But it was more than just the computer managed to achieve, you know, an ability to play this game very well. It did something which I believe passes these three tests that Margaret Bowden set have value, surprise, and novelty. And so seeing this piece of code, do something, which was, I believe creative was what set me off on the book. But a lot of people will counter and say, Hey, hold on. But that’s the humans who wrote the code, isn’t it? So it’s really the humans who are the creative ones. And this Lovelace test, named after Ada Lovelace who we credit as the first computer coder. She saw the machine that Charles Babbage had made to do, sort of boring calculations. And she started to creatively imagine what the machine might be able to do more. And she speculates in some notes, she wrote about how the machine might be able to play music. But she has a word of caution, she says, but we can’t say that the machine is really being creative, because it’s the human who told the machine what to do. So this thing the Lovelace test is kind of a bit like the Turing test, you know, can a computer create a piece of art, in whatever form music, visual art mathematics. But the key thing here is that the human who originally wrote the program cannot explain how the piece of code produced the art. – The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. Marcus du Sautoy 8:34 Now, with Marcus du Sautoy 8:36 code in the past, which was written in a very top-down manner, we were writing the instructions, which are just implemented by the machine. So I think the creativity of Ada Lovelace is right and really belongs still with the human who’s writing those instructions, the machine is just implementing the thoughts of the human. But we’ve seen a real phase change in the way code is written, it’s now being written in a very bottom-up manner, this thing people might have heard of called machine learning or deep learning. And this is where the code is allowed to change and mutate to rewrite itself, because of its interaction with the world around it, the digital world around it. So this means the codes are starting to separate themselves from the original human who coded it a bit like giving birth to a child, you know, first of all, the child is a combination of the DNA of the parents, but its environment quickly takes it off on an on its own track and creativity of the child. We wouldn’t say oh, that’s the creativity of the human. And so that’s what I think is so fascinating. This line, this move that was made now famous, this creative move in this game moved 37 games to where the code suggested a move that all the humans thought was terrible at the time. But ultimately, the code managed to use this very early move to win the game. So there was the surprise that what a terrible movie, and then the value from oh my gosh, it’s one AlphaGo the games Though, so, but the exciting thing is that move was considered such a bad move by humans that if any human had seen that line of code, they would have deleted it. It’s really a line of code that appeared out of the learning process and therefore belongs to the code and not to the humans who originally coded it. So for me, this is a moment which kind of passes that Lovelace test, you know, something creative, okay? Not a work of art yet, but something that passes those Margaret Bowden tests, but which you can’t really credit to the humans who started the code off. – The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. James Taylor 10:34 Now I can imagine all people hearing this, and I almost said that with you there was this. It’s like having someone, maybe a competitor that’s better at you than something that you can do a little bit, but I don’t know, surely, surely I can. I can outpace them. But you I guess in two games further, after that, things get into a game for movie 70. At least he thought he played a movie that was so kind of creative, so innovative. And he was called God’s touch or the God or the hand of God or something, they called it in the end. And it pushed the game of Go a human helping also pushed the game of Go. And in the book, you show a graph, which I diagram, which I haven’t seen before. And it was a little bit of a lot of parts. In the book, I kind of got those that kind of like lightbulb moments and, and for me, it was the most optimistic part of the book. It was maybe some people have heard me that Hans Moravec, the landscape of human skills, that we’re seeing AI slowly flooding this landscape and all the maybe more simple skills like arithmetic, they all went 50 years ago, machines were doing those and more recently chess, you know, logic, and then we’re humans, we’re trying to get to this higher ground of creativity, collaboration, those things. But in the diagram, and I’d like to explain that, as you call it, it’s the local maximum graph. You said, actually, what these machines actually chose to do, where it’s not necessary, we’re not climbing just Everest, now, it’s going to help us to see that there are even bigger mountains to climb, and it’s going to open us up to even a new possibility, we can’t even contemplate it. For me, that was the most optimistic part of the book, Collaborator Narrative Marcus du Sautoy 12:14 I’m so glad you pick that up. Because ultimately, I wanted this book to be a positive take on AI, despite all of my own personal fears and society’s fears. And I think, you know, too much this sort of story is the Hollywood Story of a dystopian view of AI that’s going to wipe us out of talks of singularity, the moment that AI becomes more intelligent than us and then leaves us in its wake. And my feeling is that we should change the narrative that this isn’t about a competitor narrative, but a collaborator narrative. And actually, I try, and I actually prefer to translate AI, not as artificial intelligence, which was always Turing’s idea was, by trying to create our own intelligence in a machine will understand our intelligence that much better. So he was trying to replicate. And that’s the Turing test is, can you make an intelligence artificial, that you can’t tell the difference between a human but I think much more interesting is trying to create an augmented intelligence, something additional to us additional intelligence and alternative intelligence? And so I think the, you know, we have too, too much of a one-dimensional view of this where, you know, when is AI more intelligent than us? That’s not the right way to look at it. I think the better way to look at it is to think well, they can do things better than some things better than us. And we can do some things better than they can. And it’s the collaboration together. That means that we can go much further. And I think, what’s that diagram? Absolutely, I’m glad you picked it up. I mean, what it is, is basically the idea that if you climb a hill and there’s a fog around the hill, you might think that’s the highest point in your landscape. But what the AI is helping us to do in a way is to clear the fog, and to show us that there’s an even higher mountain and that what we thought was this, the peak of our performance, what I call this local maximum is not a global maximum. There’s another Hill higher. So yeah, but you have to take the risk of going down the valley, the adaptive Valley, and up the other side. And this for me was an image that I kept on seeing throughout the book. And weirdly, you know, because we’ve reached that local maximum in different performative elements. We don’t try anything new. And actually, weirdly, I think humans, once they find something that works, especially creatives actually, is that they just repeat the behavior because it’s been successful in the past. Once you find one thing, it’s a big risk to throw it away and try something completely different. So weirdly, I think that we end up quite often as humans behaving like machines, just repeating behavior. And so many stories in the book are examples of the AI showing us as humans, new ways to do things, stopping us from behaving like machines, and actually opening up our human creativity again. So that’s why I see this as a really wonderful catalyst for human creativity, as much as AI creativity. – The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. Future Ready James Taylor 15:20 Now, I know when you do your radio programs, and you speak a common question you must get at the end when you mean when we used to do events when it was in person, but maybe virtual now as well, is people will come up to you that maybe have children, or you’ve got two twin daughters, as well, and they can’t do so what should my kids be studying? What skill should we be developing to be kind of future-ready? So what? What advice for any parents listening just now with these very changing places? Should they all be studying very much the STEM subjects? Or art? Or what? Or maybe something else? What should you be thinking? Marcus du Sautoy 15:58 Well, I think the key here is to learn about learning, not so much to learn a subject because everything is so fast-changing, you know, people talk about this as a Third Industrial Revolution. And I think they’re good comparisons. But you know, the industrial revolution in the 19th century, really happened over a generation. So it was the, as you say, it was the children of the families that had to readapt. And the jobs that their parents did, were not the jobs that we’re there for them as children, I think this thing is so fast-changing that a job you might have today, in 10 years will not be there. So I think the speed of this revolution is so fast that it’s not only the children that need to get this message, I think it’s the adults that we need to be prepared to retrain and to have the flexibility to not get stuck in just one particular discipline. So So I think the emphasis should be on developing in not just the things that you know or can do, but the ability to be fleet of foot and to retrain to relearn, and that’s quite a difficult skill, but after Well, I think that was always what education should have been about. It’s not so much the subject material, it’s about ways of thinking. And certainly, you know, I think mathematics is a fantastic training ground for giving you that sort of flexibility of mind to be able to take a new problem and to apply tools to kind of overcome this new challenge rather than just and that’s why I think, you know, mathematics often suffers from being taught in a rote way. And that’s not the point. It’s about ways of thinking not about being able to follow rules. So I would say, Yeah, absolutely. I think the arts are actually a fantastic tool for developing this ability to be fleet of foot and change so and you talk to so many scientists, they will talk about the impact of creative arts, in their upbringing and the importance of being a musician or a painter or writing poetry. So many scientists have that part of their lives. And for me, I think it’s one of the tragedies of the UK education system or fear. It’s quite a lot of places that the creative arts are really being marginalized as kind of a fluffy subject which isn’t needed. And that’s why I like the idea that the STEM stem is fantastic and so important. But I like this idea of STEAM where the a is all about the arts and the importance of the arts actually to making a scientist feel creative and take leaps into the unknown and take risks, that without that side, I think they become rather impotent. – The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. James Taylor 18:45 I’m James Taylor, business, creativity, and innovation keynote speaker and this is the super creativity podcast. If you enjoy listening to conversations with creative thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, authors, educators, and performers, then you’ve come to the right place. Each week we discussed their ideas, life works, successes, failures, creative process, and much more. You’ll find show notes for today’s episode, as well as free creativity training at Jamestaylor.me. If you enjoyed listening to my conversation with Marcus du Sautoy, then please check out my interview with Rutger Bregman Dutch wunderkind of new ideas as we discussed the case for universal basic income in the age of artificial intelligence. Here my conversation with Rutger Bregman at the Jamestaylor.me. After the break, we returned to my interview with Marcus du Sautoy, learn about the democratization of creative collaboration. This week’s episode is sponsored by SpeakersU the online community for international speakers, SpeakersU helps you launch, grow and monetize your speaking business faster than you thought possible. If you want to share your message as a highly paid speaker, then speakers will teach you how just go to speakersU.com to access their free speaker business training. Democratization Of Creative Collaboration. I remember visiting a Nobel Prize Museum in Stockholm and had the list of Polling exhibits there. And they have a French brewery because Barry always kept a French berry on his table. Because even though he wanted two Nobel prizes, and completed them in very different areas, he always wanted to remind himself that he was also an artist. He was a man of science, but he was also an artist as a combination. Originally, you’re talking about the augmenting side. And as I was reading your book, and, and you mentioned that you have with your twin daughters as well. And I’ve got a friend who has twin daughters. And she said, when they started growing up, they kind of started speaking their own language with each other. And that which I’m told is quite common with twins. And in the world of technology. In aerospace, for example, we’re now seeing this thing that the digital twin, you have the technology, essentially the algorithm on the ground of an engine, and they can make the changes there. And then when they find it works correctly, and they get a little bit more productivity than they’ll send out to the main and the real engine. And it will do that. I’m wondering with the augmentation, do you see maybe a future that each of us as individuals in the same way that we have very simple versions, like Alexa, maybe at home, that we will have a digital twin, someone that will know as something that will know us so intimately, they can maybe take away some of the decisions we don’t necessarily have to make? – The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. Digital Twin Marcus du Sautoy 21:18 That’s really fascinating, because, in a way, it’s the theme of Ishiguro, his new book, Clara and the sun. I mean, I’m going to give it way too much for people who haven’t read the book. But, you know, I think, here again, we see the importance of the arts and exploring, you know, what you’ve raised is an incredibly challenging philosophical idea. First of all, you know, what sort of replicate? Can you get it yourself? What, what are the moral implications of that about sort of experimenting with different versions of your life, to see which one is best? I mean, I think that it’s, I mean, really, sort of fascinating challenges that that raises. But it also raises the fact I think that often what’s important here is that just a very small change in your sort of surrounding conditions can concern what looks like the same person off in a completely different direction. And it’s very interesting with twins because we see, then again, you know, with my twins, I’ve got this whole nature-nurture experiment going on. And you can see that although they have the same genetic sort of kit to start with their different life experiences are taking them in very different directions. And one of the stories I talked about in the book is an art project that was done at the serpentine Gallery in London, where an artist wanted to explore this kind of idea. And he created six, kind of virtual, what he call Bobs, and then the interaction in each gallery, they placed in six different galleries, and the audience coming in and viewing and interacting with these digital identities, which transform code, the code would update itself in this machine learning way, such that although the whole thing was still deterministic, in a way, you know, that you could follow through what the implications were, it didn’t sort of some random number generator, it was deterministic, but the six Bobs that ended up at the end of that exhibition, what’s so different? Yeah, they all started with the same code. And I think this is actually, I think, rather an optimistic discovery, because it means that, although our lives are being totally kicked around by algorithms, and I think one of the right theory is that these algorithms are just going to all funnel humanity into one direction, you know, recommend us all the same books, to read the same films to watch such that we really narrow the, what’s available to us, what I’m seeing is actually the opposite that a small change in my likes compared to say, your likes on a recommender algorithm will send me into completely different bits of the sort of digital library. And so I think, this sort of chaotic nature in a technical mathematical sense, something that is very sensitive to small changes going off in very different directions, is one of the things which is making sort of algorithms actually quite interesting as kind of almost individuals and very unpredictable. Because even though this is deterministic, our point is a small change in the data that it learns from can result in it becoming very different and, and that’s sort of quite exciting and frightening. – The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. Creating Better Questions James Taylor 24:35 It’s almost like computer DNA where you know, your DNA is part of your makeup in terms of what you end up becoming, but it’s not it’s not everything, necessarily not sufficient. You know, me You mentioned that art there as well. But you know, Picasso was famously quite critical of computers. He’s, I think he said, he said, he said, computers are stupid or something along those lines, because they only give us answers. So do you think machines can actually help us create better questions and generate better questions that maybe will take us to new places, whether it’s in mathematics or the arts or other fields? Marcus du Sautoy 25:08 I think that’s a very interesting point. Because I think asking a question is often the most creative part of the whole process. I mean, that’s often why I work with other creative artists benefits my own mathematical work because even though they can’t produce an answer, they’re not going to prove a theorem, they will quite often ask a question that is sort of so left field for me, and I like, Oh, that’s really fun. I never thought of that before. So I think the creativity of question raising is really interesting. And you can get an AI to sort of learning from a particular database, and then make suggestions of things which can be very stimulating for the human. So one of the real challenges for AI in creativity I seen is that, although it’s very good at visual arts, one of the big breakthroughs of machine learning has been about vision and computers, music as well. I mean, Lovelace I think will be quite impressed to see what music is being produced. It’s the written word, where, weirdly, it’s having a lot of difficulties. And I think that’s because the written word is actually not just simply words in a dictionary or words in a book, it’s so informed by culture through history for everything like this. But I have seen an interesting project called whim the whatever machine, which is sort of it’s it’s an algorithm, which is trying to raise interesting narrative suggestions for an author, what if you combine this and this, and it’s sort of playing a bit on that combinational creativity that I talked about at the beginning, that I’m taking ideas and blending them mixing them? So it sort of learns what sort of things we like, you know, horses with wings, for example, that took over our cell phone an interesting journey with Pegasus. And so it’s the whim it takes whatever genre you’re kind of interested in and sort of makes suggestions. So it’s a bit like question raising and what if this thing and it’s clever enough that it doesn’t just randomly meld things together? You know, a bit like, I used to love those picture books as a kid where you could put a random head and a middle and legs on, it would really think about you what this person is going to be interested in considering as a combination? Given that I’ve seen what they’re interested in already, but which they haven’t considered already? So? So I think that’s that there is the ability of some algorithms to play that role of asking questions, even if not finishing the stories. So we’ll set the person off in a new direction. – The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. Impact Of Pandemic On Creativity James Taylor 27:43 Somebody also mentioned the book has lots of things I never heard of before, which is always great when you read a book or underline. One of them was the wind curve, I think it was very good. And it got me thinking. In my own work, I talk a lot about this idea of the third place, about the genius loci that places themselves can have their own ability to inspire creativity and obviously the machines. Isn’t that a little bit more difficult, I guess. And I do wonder, I mean, so many the recent I speak to you and they say oh, but no, we’ll the lockdowns we’ve been having during the pandemic, but look at all the innovations that have happened, then I can add my retort to that is sometimes Well, those vaccines are often the initial conversation that has come about from maybe a series of scientists symposium, going having a drink together in the bar or the pub afterward, and it can start we’re just seeing the productivity of it just now. So I wondered, what do you think is the impact of this pandemic, especially the lockdowns of people, not physically being able to be in the same space to collaborate is having on creativity? Marcus du Sautoy 28:50 Yes, I mean, I think there’s an interesting sort of component that the lockdowns had, which is democratizing things in a way that has given people access to that common room or to the conversations that were being held very much of you had to be in Oxford or something to be able to attend that conference and be together. So I think there’s something quite exciting about giving access to people that normally wouldn’t have been able to drop in on those conversations. But the downside is that it’s all quite performative. We’re, we’re in this space where you know, it’s that downtime. How do we simulate the downtime? That is often the most important moment of, Oh, can I have work? That was really interesting what you said in the meeting, and you want to have it offline. And somehow, when we press leave on our zoom call, often I wish that I could just go and tap somebody on the shoulder that was in that zoom call and say, really fascinating what you said there, but I didn’t want to take a risk in front of everybody else. So I think we’re Where, although I think there’s a really positive side that many more people have been brought into the conversation. I mean, I’m, I’m part of many organizations, for example, a hay Festival, which, you know, traditionally you would have to go to this tiny little village on the Welsh English border, in order to be able to hear older writers. And we’re very excited by the fact that now we can put the things online, and so many more people can come. But the downside is that the conversations that are had, even in the hall itself with a writer are always so exciting. And we just, we haven’t quite understood how to create that. Yeah, the common room. Yeah, coffee. – The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. James Taylor 30:45 I mean, it’s, it’s, I think it’s also the function of video, I guess, as well, we’re on video just now. But if people probably listen to this as audio, I think things like clubhouse have been very interesting, because people are having a lot of the ones that go in, especially like AI machine learning groups, people have been quite deep conversations. And the ability to be able to have a conversation with maybe someone at DeepMind or Google or who’s a real specialist, and maybe you’re not necessarily a specialist, is that it does feel like democratization of that, which I agree is pretty amazing. While you’re talking to my hay Festival, which is a great Literary Festival, one thing I did want to how you thought about this was in the book, you’re obviously mentioning different tools, different technologies, it must be as a writer, how you get that balance between mentioning certain technical tools are very net at that point now, and how you create something that’s going to live a little bit longer. So I mean, I’m thinking just now, there wasn’t obviously any mention of something GPT three in the book, because it just got published, probably knowing the publishing schedule, like probably written in 2018, published in 2019, or 2020. So how did you come to peace with that? Marcus du Sautoy 31:56 I think it was a real issue with this book, which, for example, my first book about prime numbers, you know, that’s a topic we’ve been thinking about for 2000 years. So it’s really going to survive a couple of decades. And I think that I think I was quite lucky, actually, because I even thought GPT three has come out, which is an incredible text generation. I’m already talking about text generator algorithms. And I, I haven’t seen anything that really has made me think oh, my gosh, that’s so different from anything that I’ve written in the book, I, I think I chose a sweet spot for writing this book where many of the kinds of ideas had started to bubble. And I’ve given accounts of sometimes early versions, but I haven’t seen anything that really has been that isn’t in the book. And that for me is kind of intriguing, because why is that there was such an explosion of stuff. And I think that weirdly, I think there’s been a slight plateau that’s happened that, yeah, we’re taking different datasets and putting them in. And so I did an event with a Munich jewelry festival, looking at jewelry being morphed by AI. But it wasn’t so different from things that I’d seen in the kind of visual arts realm. So I think I was quite lucky in just choosing a sweet spot where a lot of the kind of things have been tried out. And waiting, I just think we’re seeing slightly more of the same sometimes better. GPT three is certainly a very good writer, but it still doesn’t get over what I challenge writing algorithms in the book, which is, although it’s producing the locally, very cogent paragraphs, globally, this thing just is meandering and boring. I mean, there’s a book written with Kendrick, just recently a human artist and GPT. Three, and they sort of having a dialogue together. Absolutely fascinating, sort of stream of consciousness on both artists and AI is part but by the end of it, I was still although I had some stimulating thoughts throughout each paragraph in the end, and I didn’t feel like I had an overarching narrative. So you had that you James Taylor 34:06 had the Miles Davis question of so what Marcus du Sautoy 34:08 he said at the very end, so you picked up on jazz because, you know, I talk about jazz improviser and I think that suffered the same thing locally, it was producing very convincing improvisation. But after five minutes, the music was becoming boring. – The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. About Our Future James Taylor 34:21 So at the end of this, you went through this, you’re doing all your research, seeing looking right in the boundaries of what was happening was what was your conclusion? Are you in terms of the role of human mathematicians, scientists, storytellers, and creatives? Are you optimistic about our future? Or do you think we’re just playing for time now? We got another 20 years left before we’re going to be got rid of Marcus du Sautoy 34:45 that. No, I’m still optimistic. And I think it’s exciting because I think the idea is that this will be a fantastic collaborator. It is about a different way of thinking. It’s making our thinking sort of multi-dimensional in a way that Without it, we’re sort of thinking in just particular ways. So and, and ultimately, one of the messages is that as this thing becomes more and more complicated AI, we, as Lovelace said, you know, the Lovelace challenge, the challenge that we don’t understand how it’s thinking and more, we’re seeing algorithms. We don’t know how they’re making their decisions. And that’s important for society because more and more decisions are being taken out of our hands. So I think we need tools to examine the code internally. And, and as I said, in the beginning, I think creativity was our greatest tool that the human species developed, to explore our own consciousness, our own in a world, see whether my pain is anything like your pain. Some of the best examples I saw of AI art are being used to see how the code is seeing the world. – The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. Marcus du Sautoy 35:49 I love that James Taylor 35:50 I love that dissection. And I felt I almost felt like I wanted that to be another book. Marcus du Sautoy 35:55 Oh, yes. Marcus du Sautoy 35:57 As we go forward, you know, the question about whether, you know, there will be another phase change that happens, and probably far away down the line, but when AI becomes conscious, and how we can ever tell that, I mean, that’s one of the unsolved problems of science, being able to tell, you know, maybe I’m in this zoom world, I’ve just been able to create a fantastic Avatar and actually, the real Marcus du Sautoy is, is sunning it in the garden, and I’ve just got this incredible avatar that you’re actually talking to and convinced you’re talking to a conscious human being so. So I think when it comes to when machines really pass that threshold, it’s the art that the machine will produce will be our indicator, I think. So ultimately, I think that, this whole project, which at the moment is about helping human artists, perhaps to expand their repertoire. Ultimately, I think it’ll be about understanding that moment when we see a real phase change in AI becoming conscious, – The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. James Taylor 36:56 well, Marcus, the creativity code, Art and innovation, the age of AI, fantastic book, highly recommend it. And also, even though I don’t see them as strong mathematics, I really enjoyed the sections of which specifically about mathematics. I felt like I, learned as much about mathematics as I did about creativity in the book as well. So thank you for being an educator on your topic as well. Where’s the best place for people to go to learn more? Not just like the book, but your other kind of work in your research? Yes, I Marcus du Sautoy 37:24 have a website. I’m the Simoni professor for the public understanding of science in Oxford. So one of my roles is a kind of ambassador for science. And so they go to www.Simonyi.ac.ox.uk There’s a whole range of activities, things I do with the Royal Opera House with various theatre companies music and some of my mathematics as well. So that’d be a good place to start. James Taylor 37:56 Fantastic. Marcus, thank you so much. And I’m really looking forward to whatever your next book is going to be as well. Yes, Marcus du Sautoy 38:01 that was the product of lockdown is great for writers Marcus du Sautoy 38:04 is a good time for writers, though. So Marcus du Sautoy 38:07 Marcus, thank James Taylor 38:08 you so much for being a guest today on the SuperCreativity podcast. Marcus du Sautoy 38:11 Absolute pleasure. James Taylor 38:13 You can subscribe to the SuperCreativity podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts while you’re there. leave us a review. I would really appreciate it. I’m James Taylor, and you’ve been listening to the super creativity podcast. The post The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation In The Age of Artificial Intelligence. appeared first on James Taylor.
4 minutes | a month ago
Becoming More Creative
How To Become More Creative ? Today, I want to talk to you about how to become more creative in the work you do. NEWS & DEALS! Free Course! FULL TRANSCRIPT How To Become More Creative In The Work You Do Now there are four stages that we see in the development of skills of expertise. And regardless of the type of work that you do, the type of creative work you do, maybe you’re in marketing, maybe you’re in design, maybe you’re an architect, maybe you’re musician, maybe you’re building a startup, you’re an entrepreneur, you go through these four different stages to achieve real expertise and mastery of what you do and want to take you through each of these just now, as I take you through these four stages, I want you to reflect and maybe ask yourself, where am I on this stage? What point are you on this journey? And what do you need to do in order to get to that next stage in this four-stage process? – Becoming More Creative Unconscious Incompetence So the first stage that we often see is what we called Unconscious Incompetence. This is the stage if you learn anything new, a job or profession, a skill, a craft, where you even know that you’re doing it badly, you don’t even know that you’re not very good at it. There are there’s, there’s also a joy to this as well, there’s a beginner’s mind, as they say, in Buddhism, where you just kind of go into it. And you just go for and you try different things. It is the guitar player who’s learning guitar for the first time, just picks up the guitar and starts playing some strumming some notes and thinks I can make a few chords and get a song here. At this point, they’re probably not even aware of how far they have to go to really develop mastery because they can get a basic sound on it, or someone, let’s say is doing online marketing, for the first time they run their first-ever online ad campaign got that wasn’t that difficult, you know that I was able to do that. But there’s a real difference between them. And when you get to the real experts. And that’s why I want to get you through these stages. So this first stage is unconscious incompetence, where you don’t even know yet quite how bad you are, how lacking in skill you are in this particular thing. And it’s fine, we all go we all this is where we all start from – Becoming More Creative Conscious Incompetence The next stage is we go is to Conscious Incompetence. This is the stage where you realize how little you really know how far you have to travel on this journey. Now, this stage, some people will just get there and they’ll go, I’m not willing to put in the work to kind of get there, I realize I can see where I am, I can see the quality of what I’m putting out, I can see where the people that I admire that kind of what they’re doing. And it’s so far, that journey, I’m just going to give up. But for those that do decide to continue, it’s about embracing that knowledge, of being quite conscious of how far your work is, and being finally realizing that this is a journey that you’re going on every single creative person goes through this steam stage as well. – Becoming More Creative Conscious Competence Now, the third stage is Conscious Competence. This is the stage where you can actually do it now you can, you’ve really developed enough skill to be able to make this thing happen to be able to move the needle to be able to create that campaign to be able to produce that product produced that service. So you have enough knowledge now to create something of value. And, and it’s good. And it’s and it’s pretty good. But it still requires you to be very, very have a huge level of concentration, in order to be able to just do it. So you can do the work. But it just requires a huge amount of effort on your part still, sometimes doesn’t feel particularly natural. You’re feeling your move, sometimes you have to force certain things, you have to try certain things. It can be a little bit frustrating. But once again, you’re still growing. And you’re now at this third stage of mastery. – Becoming More Creative Unconscious Competence And then the fourth and final stage is unconscious competence. Unconscious Competence is where you have such mastery and such skill, such expertise in what you do. It feels effortless. You’re not even thinking about it. It’s like if you’ve ever spent time with many great musicians, and you ask them, What are you thinking when you’re up there on stage and playing that incredible piece? And they’ll say something like, well, I wasn’t really thinking I was just doing it. I was just creating. And I think that’s the jump when you go from that previous third stage where you are having to really think about things and give it a lot of mental firepower to that fourth stage where it becomes such an integral part of your identity and who you are. And you’ve developed the muscle memory, whatever that thing is to be able to create it and it looks effortless and is funny. Even the media at times those people that have achieved that higher level, can sometimes get looked down upon because it looks like they’re not really doing anything. There’s like no work going on, they just kind of things just happen. Some people call them lucky, you know, you know, these things just happen. And sometimes it’s easier for us to look at people who are a little bit earlier in the journey because we can see the pain, we can more quickly identify without pain, and that challenge of having to learn any new skill or a new discipline. But if you look at the real top, and whatever they are, you will see this effortless mastery. And I think we then go back in a circle again. Because in that effortless mastery, and being able to do things, there’s that beginner’s mind, again, there’s a freshness of feeling because it feels very natural, it doesn’t feel forced, like the very early stage of unconscious incompetence. So these are the four stages, think about them in what you’re doing just now in the creative what you’re doing. Maybe I also think maybe you’re learning a new skill recently, for the first time, chances are, you’re gonna be that very first stage, and that’s fine. Maybe you’re most you know, you got many decades of experience in the job that you do, maybe a little bit further up, maybe you’re right at the, at the top there and a level of mastery. I think when we understand this idea of these four stages to becoming really creative, really great in your creative work, then allows us to relax a little bit more. And to recognize this is all part of the journey. My name is James Taylor. Thanks for watching. – Becoming More Creative The post Becoming More Creative appeared first on James Taylor.
36 minutes | a month ago
The Power of Lifelong Learning – Tom Vanderbilt #296
The Power of Lifelong Learning Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning Intellectual Humility Becoming a Takumi Learning new skills For More of SuperCreativity Podcast By James Taylor For many of us, the last time we learned a new skill was during childhood. Today we live in an age that looks up to any kind of expertise but looks down on the beginner. Upon entering adulthood and middle age, we begin to shy away from trying and learning new things, instead preferring to stay with the tried and tested. Tom Vanderbilt is a writer who covers the worlds of design, technology, science, and culture. A contributing editor of Wired (U.K.), Outside, and Artforum, you may have read his articles in The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, or The New York Times Magazine. In 2008 his book Traffic, which looked at why we drive the way we do (and what it says about us), became a New York Times bestseller. His latest work is called Beginners: The Joy And Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning and seeks to explore the curious power of lifelong learning. In the book, he asks the question: why are children the only ones allowed to experience the inherent fun of facing daily challenges? In fact, it is just possible that we could all benefit from embracing new skills, even if we’re initially hopeless? In the book Tom sets out to find the answer, setting himself the goal of acquiring several new skills under the expert tuition of professionals, including drawing, juggling, surfing and much more. Malcolm Gladwell said that ‘Beginners belongs on the list of books that have changed the way I understand my own limitations. Tom and I discuss the value of having a beginner’s mind, Takumi’s, traveling on a journey of not knowing, and why having intellectual humility opens us up to new experiences. Artificial Intelligence Generated TranscriptBelow is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors. The Power of Lifelong Learning James Taylor Hey, it’s James Taylor here and you are listening to the creative life. Today I am joined by Tom Vanderbilt. Tom Vanderbilt is a writer who covers the worlds of design technology, science and culture, a contributing editor of wired UK outside and art forum, you may have read his articles in the Financial Times The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, or the New York Times Magazine in 2008, his book traffic which looked at why we drive the way we do, and what it says about us, became a New York Times bestseller. His latest work is called beginners and seeks to explore the curious power of lifelong learning. Welcome to the show, Tom. Tom Vanderbilt Thank you, James, great to be here. James Taylor So she was oh, what’s happening in your world just now? Tom Vanderbilt Well, the book beginners recently came out. So I’m, you know, sort of telling trying to tell the world about this in you know, what is, of course, a very challenging time, globally, not just the pandemic, but here in the United States, we have all sorts of instability going on. So it’s a challenging time, especially if I can be frank to, you know, be to be trying to market a book that is in some ways about a midlife guy trying to learn to juggle now, I’m being a bit, being a bit facetious there, but you know, this is, this is, you know, there’s a lot of weighty topics in the world right now. And this book was beginner’s was about my quest, which began a while ago to try to learn a number of new skills. And now, so, you know, I’ve been sort of wrestling with this question of is this, you know, appropriate at the moment and have sort of come around, you know, talking to various people that this idea, let’s call it self care, which is, you know, sort of a, you know, I don’t know how I feel about that term, but you know, is this a sort of a selfish thing to be doing at the moment to be thinking about one’s own improvement development, when there’s all these things going on, and you always sort of think, you know, to be a good person in the world, you’re always wanting to be the best person yourself. So I think, I don’t think there has to be a conflict there that, you know, the last year has been very challenging for all of us, and, you know, working in different ways, homeschooling, suddenly, you know, doing all these things we never did before. So we all need to be on the top of our game. And I think just giving ourselves this this little time and leeway to do things like learn new skills, whether they’re juggling or singing, or surfing or drawing, or these other things I just in the book is, you know, sort of vital. James Taylor Now you open the book with a story about playing a chess match. And I wondered, as I was reading, I thought, wow, either His timing is exceptionally good. With the Queen’s gambit having recently come out, or this was something you already kind of thinking along. So when did when did you know you were going to use that story, because it’s a really nice opening story, it has to talk about the relationship with you and your daughter. And then it kind of brings it into the wider topic of what the books about. Tom Vanderbilt Yeah, so it’s a great question. And no, I’ve been into chess for a little while. I wish my timing, you know, I wish I was that smart that I could anticipate something like this. But the funny thing is, is you know, there is a novel that this successful Netflix show is based on called the Queen’s gambit by Walter tevis. And a friend had recommended that book to me about seven or eight years ago. And I read it just before I started playing a little bit of chess, and then you know, sort of sort of was very much my mind. I started recommending it to people like my daughter’s chess coach, and it’s a great book, and it’s a great series. But I for once I happen to be have my finger on the pulse of the Zeitgeist, but it’s a bit a bit unintentional. But it is a great thing, though, that it will people watching this program, you know, the most successful show in Netflix history, there’s been this absolute boom in people wanting to learn chess, chessboard sales, YouTube, channels are having all this traffic, online trust resources are booming. It’s really sort of a golden age of wanting to learn something like chess, and I would say about the book is that it’s sort of a golden age, in many ways for all sorts of things. But based on the largely on the availability of all these online resources, you know, there’s something great about doing learning in person with real people. But during this this last year, of course, that’s been largely impossible. And the sort of online forum has has sort of stepped in, and people have been able to take up all these things. And you know, so it’s been a very interesting development. I’m glad to see chess, which you know, always has these periods where it’s more interesting and more popular and not but an ancient game can have this new Renaissance is sort of an interesting thing. But you’re I mean, this this time, just now we’re going through time, we’ll let people James Taylor kind of getting back into maybe learning things skills in a slightly different way. Whether that’s sourdough bread making, it seems to be everyone suddenly got into sourdough bread making all of a sudden or or picking up that ukulele they’ve been sitting there gathering dust forever. So for the people that don’t know the the premise of the book, beginners, take us through what the premise is, for the first time. And then you can talk about what why what was your inspiration for writing the book at this point? Tom Vanderbilt Sure. Well, my daughter, then about age four, we’re playing a game of checkers, drafts, I think you’d call it and she wanted to learn. She saw this chessboard nearby. And she said, Can we play that? I was like, well, that would be that would be great. But I actually don’t know how to play I never really learned or definitely never stuck. So I just sort of quickly realized to teach her this, I’m going to have to learn. So I rapidly tried to you know, I got got a chess app tried to start playing the computer was pretty horrible, realized the infinite complexity of this game that I was, I was in over my head right away. So I thought, Well, why don’t I bring in an expert, I’ll hire a chess coach to try to at least teach her the basics of the game. And we’ll see where it goes from there if he really takes it. So as this this guy, Simon came over for the persona, I suddenly thought, you know, well, I, I’m sort of wanting to get better at this too. Why don’t I sit in on this lesson. So you have this four year old and this 48 year old or so sitting down to this lesson learning the same exact skill as beginners separated by four decades? So I thought, right there, wow, this is kind of a funny social science experiment. If anyone wanted to take this on, you know, how are these two people going to go about learning these two things at the same time, and then the process of beginning to learn chess just just opened my mind to the thought that you know, what was actually the last skill like this that I learned by, I sort of had a panic one, one week when my daughter’s school had a parent talent competition with a phrase that will probably strike fear into many parents hearts out there. But I thought, What is my actual talent that I could bring to this thing, and I thought, you know, writing elegant prose under deadline, kids aren’t really going to respond to that. So it’s just just a little moment, though, that that just brought home yet again, I had the idea that I’d sort of given up trying to tackle new things I was as I was sort of entering middle age, and you know, largely out of sort of a feeling of just wanting to be competent and things and not having thinking that I didn’t have time. And so that’s sort of where the book that prompted the book, and I thought, well, I’m going to try to take on a number of these things I’ve always wanted to take a stab at and just see where it leads me not expecting anything near mastery, or even excellence in any of these things, but just sort of opening these doors. James Taylor So this this skillsfuture, I mean, that’s interesting, you’re saying there, that it wasn’t so much you weren’t going off to becoming a master of chess, for example. And some of the other skills that you chose, singing, surfing, drawing mate making something as well. So you kind of went around with a, with an open mind, you want kind of going there for expertise, or mastery, or that kind of 10,000 hours, you were kind of just going in there for the joy of learning or to see what it taught you about yourself, or just because you just wanted to skill acquisition? Yeah, Tom Vanderbilt it’s a great point. And I mean, number one, I’m a bit of a, let’s say, have a short attention span in life. I, you know, this is why I didn’t pursue a PhD, I was worried that I would be bored by the topic I had chosen. So I thought, well, what if I decide to master something like to try to master something like chess and decide I actually don’t, you know, six months in, I don’t really like chess, I better do a different book. So I thought, well, I’ll create sort of a mini curriculum of different things that were all sort of equally in my mind that things I would like to take up. And that had sort of a, you know, liberal arts kind of distribution there was there was sort of a mental thing, there was a physical thing, it was an artistic thing. And, yeah, you’re right to just, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with expertise. I, you know, I like to think I have expertise in the field of writing that that probably is about it. And I don’t think that I have time in my life to acquire that many more areas of expertise. But I don’t think that that has to be an impediment to anyone taking on any of these sorts of disciplines. And that, I mean, there’s a lot, let’s say, we don’t have 10,000 hours, there’s a lot you can achieve in 100 hours in even 10 hours, that will bring you a certain level of satisfaction, let’s say happiness, will can begin to possibly open your world in new ways. And you know that some of these things might seem a bit trivial. But you know, I always think of this great study that David Epstein in his great book range, talked about that Nobel Prize winning scientists, they, there’s a study done that found that the winners of the Nobel were 22 times more likely to be engaged in amateur pursuits, particularly in the performing arts. I doubt that any of them were that spectacular in any of those pursuits, or that there was a direct link between let’s say, learning how to you know, sing opera or something and discovering decoding DNA or something like this, I doubt there’s that direct link. But who knows, perhaps by being, you know, sort of more open to experience by being more by taking some time off doing these other things brought a certain flexibility. You know, what’s what’s kind of called beginner’s mind looking at be going through that process of being a beginner, sort of stepping away from your expertise in your field, and just doing something different, perhaps that brought some oomph back to their scientific practice. James Taylor Essentially, as you’re talking about this, I’m suddenly thinking, you mentioned that phrase beginner’s mind to kind of the Zen idea of just coming to something fresh, like, like a beginner word. And then I guess, that’s almost like one extreme in terms of thinking, or having a sense of what you’re doing. And at the other end, also, in Japanese culture, is the idea of the kumys, the people have spent 40,000 hours not 10,000 or 40,000 hours becoming really expert, these are the most skilled crafts people in their particular thing. But essentially, when even when you go to that extent, you know, to go to those people are very, very skilled at what they’re doing. They often will talk about themselves as having this kind of beginner’s mind. So that this must be like this idea of beginner’s mind must have been something that you were kind of thinking about, as you were kind of writing the book. Zen and the Art of Lifelong Learning Tom Vanderbilt Exactly. And I don’t I don’t claim to be any sort of expert in Zen Buddhism, or a practitioner or anything like that. But I found that the concept very appealing and there was a presentation I was looking at, by a monk in San Francisco area as part of the same school that had come up with this, this this concept, and he was, you know, talking about it as this, this journey, and that sort of a journey of not knowing and not not even knowing what you don’t know, which I find, you know, to be one of the things I was going through as I would learn these skills, I sort of had, you know, everyone probably has an idea at the outset as they enter a new discipline. Okay, this is what surfing must be like, or this is what singing must be like. But often I found the number one, the pedagogy, the learning of these things was sort of a different process than I imagined it, sometimes it was much more, much more fundamental, much more, let’s say, for singing, I thought, well, right away, we’ll just be my teacher will be playing a piano and I’ll be singing, I’ll just start singing and we’ll just have a good time. But, you know, we really got into pretty intensive physical motor skills type exercises that were all about breaking down both my own body and vocal apparatus, but, but sort of sounds themselves and just kind of getting back to this kind of, you know, almost, it often felt like childlike babbling I was doing and you know, in some ways, I had to unlearn decades of sort of, you know, that experience or you know, not not really knowing how to sing correctly or even speak correctly as I was told by some vocal coaches but, um, so yeah, I find that uh, as I went through these, you know, I was learning not only about the thing itself, but it was often changing what I knew about that and and that just the process of learning something like singing, I think changes your world in so many other ways. Suddenly, you’re hearing music differently saw song you’ve heard 10,000 times, suddenly you’re hung up on the the phrasing and a certain part of the song and like, wow, how did he How did he actually do that? Where before it sort of just washed over me so and so I just think Yeah, there were there were so many benefits, beyond my really even getting that much better in any of these tasks that this whole process is brought to my life though, I just like to stress to people. James Taylor So you talk to them about how you start to hear things you’re hearing things in a different way you’re seeing like like an art if you’re getting a an artist, I guess you know, when they see things differently from maybe other civilians on the in the world. I’m interested as you were going to going through this journey did you go from almost like going from the verb to the noun, were started to change your your identity. So instead of saying, Okay, today, I’m playing chess, where you actually started to bring into your identity, and say to yourself, I’m a chess player. I’m a surfer, I’m a singer did did you What did you notice? Because just now we’re going through very much things about identity politics. So I’m wondering, in this process of learning or learning, did it affect your identity at all, do your identity change? Tom Vanderbilt That’s a very Tom Vanderbilt astute observation. And I would say I would say it has and, you know, it does take a certain amount of gumption of, you know, to declare oneself to be one of these things, but it also it’s a process along that, that, that that what the Stewart and your Dreyfus two researchers that were doing research for the US Air Force, all people they come up with this great sort of five stage five stage model of skill acquisition. And you know, as you as you go through this, you know, in the beginning I mean, one thing that’s liberating. so liberating about being a beginner is that the expectations are so low, you don’t have to worry about something like imposter syndrome because no one expects you to actually know what you’re doing or to be any good. So it’s it’s wonderfully liberating. But as you begin to know certain things, you know, that then with, with that knowledge comes a certain responsibility. And then we try to make certain qualifications. And we say, Well, I’m a beginner singer, maybe, or I’m a novice singer, and then maybe you might sort of bump up to, to amateur and, but you are, you know, in some, some essence owning that, those things that you’ve learned, and I think that’s a moment, you know, sort of a very important moment, and I’m not, I guess I’ve sort of claimed it with some things, and I still might use evasive language if someone asked me like, and I should say that I haven’t learned past tense any of these things that I am. It’s an ongoing process, I am learning something like surfing is someone described to me as a lifelong path. And I only started late in life. So. James Taylor So yeah, in the book, you actually talked about it, this is more of a instead about how to book this is a more of a way to book and you can touch on how technology has changed things. Obviously, we have YouTube and we can watch videos of skill acquisition, it’s very easy to get access to any book pretty much in the world. Now. What do you think technology is made it easier or in some ways, maybe hard or different? For us to become beginners? And to just enjoy the process of learning for learnings sake? The Role of Technology on Lifelong Learning Tom Vanderbilt Another good question, it makes me think of, I found the book to the process of my sometimes travel writer, so I talked about I compare being a beginner to visiting a new country for the first time, a place that you’ve never been a place that is, you know, sort of far from your home, and how in the beginning of that travel process, you feel as if your senses are on fire, you know, everything is jumping out at you, you’re sort of, you know, the language like the currency, the the architecture, the food, everything is novel. And I think we’re have this heightened kind of existence for a few days. And then after you’re there suddenly, you know, it’s sort of like Groundhog Day that the film or something you’re here like, oh, there’s that the prayer, the call to prayer for the minaret again, you know, I’ve heard it now. 20 times. And so we begin to, you know, to lose a little bit of that sense of novelty, and I’m sorry, in this in this long, rambling answer, I forgotten your original question. Could James Taylor you see it sometimes with, you’ll notice, I speak to musicians now. And they say, when you go to the music colleges, the students coming to the music colleges, there’s so much more technically professions, there may be previous generations, because they’ve been able to watch all these videos and study thing, you know, everything in very fine detail. But I’ve heard from some of these teachers that there’s a, there’s a little bit of a joyless, a lack of a lack of their own voice in it as well, because the technology in the videos has made them focus so much on the technique to acquire, and less about the actual, the joy of learning. Tom Vanderbilt Right. And that’s why I’d gone into this whole elaborate travel story, which is that I feel, you know, in some ways, because places aren’t quite as foreign, let’s say, as they used to be with, with global interconnectedness. And the internet and sort of as satiation of social media, we saw a lot of people in going someplace, I feel as if they’ve already absorbed so much information, so much, so many Instagram posts, they’ve read so much about that place, by the time they get there, they’re, they’re almost sort of like ticking off a box and sort of like, why I have to make sure I do this and do that without, you know, it’s almost as if they’ve pre digested some of this foreign place rather than really looking around for themselves. And, yeah, interesting question about whether that’s changed. pedagogy mean that they, I mean, chess, you do hear this, that, you know, kids are sort of playing like, engines and that they’ve, you know, it’s become sort of more, I don’t know what the word would be instrumentalized but, but I don’t know chess is a place where joy is a tough, but there is joy in playing chess, but in the midst of a competitive chess match, you know, it’s pretty much your your matching wits and all your training against each other. So, you know, maybe that’s the right. You need to turn yourself into an engine to to kind of, you know, have that mastery. I’m not sure but, but yeah, it’s, so maybe this is one thing in my own process is that I went to a lot of these lessons and all these things in the beginning without having read it up that much beforehand. And that’s perhaps why they were such some of that some of it was such a surprise to me. It’s like, Oh, that’s how you learn to sing or that’s, that’s what drawing is about. So I really, I guess I really did try to keep this this beginner’s mind, even when it came to being a beginner, if that makes sense. Yeah, James Taylor I mean, so you kind of went down this, this rabbit hole learning these things, becoming kind of immersed in them into the skills, working with teachers and mentors of them as well. I’m wondering, has this had an effect on you as a writer, because you’ve been like I said in the book that this was something that sat up apart from you as, as a writer, almost, you’re kind of looking for something that wasn’t Nestle going to help your your writing or any of those things it was more focused on, on just learning these things. And that that curiosity, I guess, did any stuff then start to bleed into your, your craft as a writer? Was there anything you were able to take from some surfing or drawing or making that ring? That then brought it back into you the craft that you have as a writer? Yeah, Tom Vanderbilt that’s, you know, I’m not sure to be honest. When it comes to craft, I mean, I know, there are certain ways that I have benefited, personally in ways that might not be immediately obvious. I mean, something like drawing, I found to be an amazingly therapeutic restorative enterprise that that filled this gap in my life for sort of deep, reflective experiences that I was having trouble finding the time and space to create that, and I, my book was just reviewed by Cal Newport, which I thought was interesting, who’s the author of digital minimalism, and this, you know, when I was drawing these three or four hour sessions that you have to do, and my phone was put away, I was, I was away from that whole thing. So I just lost track of that time. So I was in the, you know, the sort of the deep flow state we’ve all heard about, but seems ever so elusive. So you know, you perhaps there there have been these ancillary benefits, in some ways, you’re bringing kind of that that sense of, of deep focus back into my ability to sit and work on a piece of writing. But um, yeah, I think you know, and another way it might help in what I do is that, again, just sort of, even as a person whose job it is to sort of meet new people and talk to them and interview them and things like that, that going out and having to put myself out there in situations that were very unusual that I was I was meeting people I might not meet otherwise, that that just again, I’m always talking about this openness to experience, which is a psychological trait that is one of the big five that they talk about that is sort of linked to longevity, and just having that, that willingness to, to experience novelty, even when it can be uncomfortable, that, you know, that has just broadened my horizons even further, which which I think, you know, as a non fiction writer is just ultimately, you know, very useful in just providing your new new ways to think about things and beyond simply books and reading. James Taylor Now, other things that I thought was quite refreshing about the book, you’re coming, you’re not coming from the perspective of the San Francisco hacking kind of mindset, like, how can we hack these skills? It may be if you’re maybe some writer in your 20s, maybe that’d be coming. You’re coming at this a little bit. You’ve had more experience in life, you’re coming in later in life. And we often see people want to change learn new skills when they have big birthdays, like birthdays end with a zero on the end. Did you notice apart from the kind of age thing, did you notice a difference between men and women in terms of their what you said there about their openness to learning new skills? Tom Vanderbilt Yes, I mean, first of all, I found that just demographically, a lot of the courses I was taking seemed to be populated largely by women, there were definitely some men but at a surf camp, there were the men were outnumbered by the women in the the choir that I participate in. There’s a handful of men and it’s a constant challenge for the director to just come up with men and which is a strange historical fact, I’ll just reference that, you know, choirs used to be dominated by men. And that was about 5050 going back in the beginning of the 20th century, and there’s been this kind of slow decline away from men’s participation in choral singing. So, you know, once our instructor told me a thing I thought was interesting was that, you know, men kind of came into something like surfing with this idea of having all these very, very strict and fast goals that they wanted to get to right away and just wanted to crush the skill and he said, that was not a very constructive attitude when it came to something like surfing which, which, let’s just say is a very difficult thing to learn because number one, that the feedback loops are very can be very slow. an infrequent and yet someone compared to trying to learn to play the guitar. But you can only strum once every hour, because, you know, often, it’s not a good day to surf. And even when it is a good day to surf, you might only get a wave, you know, once a half, once every half hour or something, a lot of time is just spent just, you know, sort of sitting there so that James Taylor by you know, I do want to as you’re, as you’re saying that, you know that that bit, which is it’s kind of not uncomfortable, and you have to learn any new skill, but maybe is it just it’s repetition and routine. And I thought what does that does that I see a lot of times with musicians, I’ve worked with a lot of great Grammy Award winning great musicians, I often see. And I see the same thing a lot with entrepreneurs, a lot of ADH, ADHD, but it can also reflect itself in in, when they get into something they kind of go all in, they become very focused for this period of time in what they’re doing as well. So you were saying like that, that difference between men and women going with it, like a more structured way of like thinking about this kind of skill acquisition, whereas maybe women are kind of coming out from us like, I know, we all make generalizations here as well. A Willingness To Learn Tom Vanderbilt Yeah. And I think there’s one other important, that’s a great point, there’s one other important component, which is this notion of humility, I would say, and what’s been described as intellectual humility, which is something that in the research, women are often, you know, said to be, have a greater, you know, sort of tendency to express this. And what we mean by this is, you know, basically a willingness to, to admit the things you don’t know, willingness to learn. I mean, that was one of the key tasks, about one of the key facets of learning is you have to accept, admit that you are open to learning things. And, I mean, this is something that I sort of, I think, you know, defined my career as a writer, I mean, on the one hand, you do need this, this iron clad ego, I mean, you’re going to face so much rejection in your life, I still faced so much rejection, you know, Article pitches, completed drafts of manuscripts, things that, you know, you get back with a lot of red ink through or just rejected outright, and you’re, and you’re sort of thinking, wow, I still haven’t figured this out after so many decades, but, so you just need that sort of willingness to believe in yourself and push forward at any moment. On the other hand, though, I think, you know, intellectual humility is a, it’s just sort of a mainstay of my existence there. My, my entire life and careers, it’s just this journey, as I mentioned before, of not knowing and not knowing what I don’t know. So that leads me to try to find the answers, which then it turns out leads me to all these interesting people working on interesting things who maybe do have some of those answers. But, you know, I find that you know, if I didn’t have enough of, either i think i think the work or I would suffer, James Taylor it says that you’re in the perfect profession. It’s like, where you’ll you’ll kind of given up I was gonna say free, we’re not quite free rein but someone who has a real passion for learning a real curiosity about the why and, and what is happy to kind of go down all those little rabbit Warrens that’s a, that’s a good thing to do if you if you want to be a journalist. Now, as we start to finish up here, I would love to know you’ve kind of you kind of learn these different skills. Are there any online resources or tools or apps you have found particularly useful? in the mirror, obviously, we talk about what these kind of chest tools and other things like that as well. But other things that maybe you’ve taken that you still kind of use pretty much every day that you just kind of find beneficial for, for learning, more generally, other kind of platforms that you’re going all the time of their apps, you’re going all the time? What’s got your what’s what you’re spending time on at the moment? Tom Vanderbilt Yeah, I mean, when it comes to chess, there’s a site called chess table that I still use quite a bit which is just a basically an online corpus of courses and you know, sort of books that have been digitized and put into playable, you know, sort of games and things like that, which is a very useful way and, and, and it uses all these techniques that we’ve come to know have been most successful for learning, like spaced repetition. So something like that is very valuable, more valuable than simply playing a lot of games of Blitz chess, which is a great sort of dopamine hit, but you really do need to put in that time and study that there’s I mean, there’s so many other things. There’s a lot of obviously great online learning resources, some of the interestingly, some of the institutions I was affiliated with and doing classes with, such as the New York Academy of Art, you know, a place you had to go to Tribeca, in Manhattan to you know, be in this room. And sketch this model of you know, since a bit pandemic began shifted to online drawing courses, so that that sort of, you know, democratized the field and in this interesting way, and I was a bit skeptical of how this would, would all work. But I found that not only was it was very satisfying, there were, in fact, certain advantages to doing this drawing online that the teacher, for example, could take your drawing and do sort of a digital overlay, and use a digital pen, and sort of actually go in and show you how you might fix this without actually messing up the paper on your drawing. So there are certain so there’s a lot of resources out there like that. And sort of more on that, in the fun side, something I always come back to, again, since my choral singing has been largely interrupted during the pandemic, there’s a very popular online karaoke app, which I know sounds sort of ridiculous, but it’s called smule, SMU l e. And this is just people around the world doing do what doing karaoke duets, not not not really live, you just sort of one at a time. And you know, so I have some music in all genres, all languages with people around the world. And it sounds strange, but singing to a stranger is at once both sort of easy, easier than singing to someone in front of you. But it’s still a very emotionally resonant thing. And I’ve met and formed a number of friendships, the smule company has told me they have at least 100 marriages that they know of people who met while singing on the site. So you know, these are the things that sort of that that’s just that that for me is sort of a Digital Sandbox, a way to play around with some of these things. I’m trying to learn in a kind of judgment free zone where it doesn’t really matter if I mess up so I which I think is an important tool to be able to have a kind of rehearsal James Taylor just we’ll put we’ll put all these links people go to James taylor.me and just look for Tom vandals name we’ll put all these links that Tom was mentioning just now, what about a book you know, we’ve got you mentioned at the start of the show there that always been very difficult for authors publishers just now but we’ve seen a huge surge in in people reading book buying and people reading over the past 12 months is there been one book perhaps in particular that you’ve been most inspired? You’ve most recommended to other people? Tom Vanderbilt Oh, geez. Tom Vanderbilt There’s, well there’s a book called The inner game of tennis, which I mentioned briefly in my book that was new to me because I don’t really play tennis or not very well or not very much, but it’s just a sort of book that is really not about tennis. It is about tennis but it both is and is not about tennis and I found had quite a number of lessons not only about how to sort of pick up motor skills, pick up skills but about sort of life itself. So don’t let the title scare you. It’s w Timothy Galway, the inner game of tennis, it’s you can not know anything about tennis and still profit from it. Right. James Taylor We’ll put that link there as well. Thank you so much, Tom, for coming on the show today. Your new book, Beginners is out. Now. We’re gonna have a link here for everyone as well. It’s been great just kind of hearing about the book. It’s been great. You’re also hearing the the passion in your voice for your curiosity for learning where’s the best place for people to go? obvious, we’ll put a link here so people can get the book but if they want to maybe read more of your other writing sees I know you, you do other. You have some other projects on the go just now where’s the best place to go and learn about that? Tom Vanderbilt would be my website, which is TomVanderbilt.com. James Taylor Fantastic. Tom, thank you so much for coming on the show today and sharing with us all about your creative life. Tom Vanderbilt It’s been a great pleasure. Thank you, James.The post The Power of Lifelong Learning – Tom Vanderbilt #296 appeared first on James Taylor.
4 minutes | a month ago
Finding Your Creative Voice: The Bridge Of Creativity
Finding Your Creative Voice: The Bridges Of Creativity ? The other day, I was having a conversation with Seth Godin. It was part of our SuperCreativity Podcast. And we were getting into a conversation about how you define and how you refine your creative voice. NEWS & DEALS! Free Course! FULL TRANSCRIPT James Taylor Modality To Communicate I say one of the things I really like about his writing, it has a very naturalistic tone. I can read his work. And it sounds like the way that he speaks. There’s, there’s a natural flow into this. I said, Did you always have this ability to write in that very clear and natural way? And he said, No, he said, it’s something that he learned to develop. And as we were getting into the conversation, I asked him, this question is that when you have your you know, the idea of your idea, maybe you’re on a walk, and you’re an idea comes to you for an article, or a speech or just a random idea comes in the shower, for example, what is your preferred modality to communicate the idea, because I think it’s different for everyone, we all have preferences when it comes to the modality in which we like to share our voice. Now, some people, when they have the idea in the shower in the morning, immediately will go and paint it. Other people will write a song about it, some people will go and sit and write it down in their journal or write a blog post about it. Other people will film a video like this as the first thing they will think to do is just go and film a video about it, other people will tweet it because that is their preferred mode of communication. And I think we all have a preference for one of these. Finding Your Creative Voice: The Bridge Of Creativity And so I asked him, like when you get your, your ideas, how do they present themselves to you and what’s your preferred modality. And he said, When his ideas came to him, he thinks in terms of blog posts, you know, there’s 250, to 300-word blog posts that he’s kind of known for. And he said, what has been interesting about my thinking is that immediately having an idea and thinking in terms of blog posts, is actually allowed him to improve the quality of speaking, as well, because, in order to speak, he used this ability to write in a blog post almost as that bridge. So that was his preferred way, that was his natural way’s natural modality for sharing his ideas. And then it almost acted like a bridge to speaking. Finding Your Creative Voice: The Bridge Of Creativity Learn To Improvise And this reminded me of, so another great creative Martin Taylor, jazz guitarist. And he teaches something called to think, sing, play. And it’s about how you can learn to improvise. So if you’ve ever had to learn to improvise on a musical instrument, for example, you know, it’s kind of difficult at first, improvising feels like quite a heavy word. It feels like some of those jazz musicians do not that maybe any other kind of musician could do. But it is not really as basically theme variation. And he said, Sometimes what we need is we need a bridge, to take us from the idea that we have in our head to be able to express that on our preferred instrument, in his case is the guitar. So the bridge that he uses is singing. So this is the way it works. He said, If you want to be really good at improvising on the guitar, or any musical instrument, you first have to think of the idea. I rather immediately trying to play the idea, you have to find this bridge this thing in the middle. And he says to try and sing it. So you think the idea, did it it did it I think the idea you so you sing it, you sing the idea, that editor, and then you try and play what you’ve just sung, you don’t try and play what you just thought. Finding Your Creative Voice: The Bridge Of Creativity By having this little bridge in the middle. It allows you to make that connection. Now gradually, as you become more skilled in what you do. In the middle part of his case, the singing can drop away You don’t have to sing in order to get into allows to kind of create that bridge to transport your idea onto the fretboard as a guitarist. So think about this for yourself, let’s say if you want to be you wouldn’t really want to develop your speaking skills. Something we can often do is if you’re more of a natural writer, that’s fine. That can be your bridge, for example. So if you had the idea in the shower in the morning, go and writing, get start writing as quickly as possible. And then use that to then jump on and create a little part of your speech from what you’ve just written. Another way you could do it is maybe if you like video, like creating video, maybe that’s your bridge. So you think the idea, create a quick little video about it. That helps you kind of refine the idea a little bit more and then you can Have a speech about part of that or use part of that in your speech. So using a bridge, think, sing, play, think you’re right speak, think filum speak, think speak, right? We always have these preferences for modalities. And some of them just allow us to have jumping-off points. Finding Your Creative Voice: The Bridge Of Creativity So think about this yourself, what is your preferred modality? And I think in the process of that it will actually help you find your voice. Please leave in the comments below what your preferred modality is how you like to initially express yourself and whether you use this as a bridge to express your voice in other forms. Finding Your Creative Voice: The Bridge Of Creativity The post Finding Your Creative Voice: The Bridge Of Creativity appeared first on James Taylor.
35 minutes | a month ago
The Science Of Creativity – #295
Dr. Cyndi Burnett: The Science Of Creativity – #295 In this episode: The Science Of Creativity Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist’s Way” The Torrance test The latest academic research on creativity. For More of SuperCreativity Podcast By James Taylor What is the case for developing creative thinking skills? How can we teach creativity in schools? Do schools kill creativity? Recently the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (or PISA), a global academic benchmark for measuring and comparing the academic performance of children across many countries, decided it should also measure creativity. Over the years educators including Sir Ken Robinson, Edward de Bono, and Ellis Paul Torrance have spoken and written about how to teach creative thinking. A new voice has entered this conversation, Dr. Cyndi Burnett. Dr. Cyndi Burnett is the co-director of Creativity and Education, an online platform designed to help educators and parents bring creativity into their classrooms and homes. Nearly 100,000 people have now taken her online course on Everyday Creativity which is available on Coursera, making it one of the most popular creativity courses on the platform. She has also held the position of Associate Professor at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State and prior to becoming an academic, Cyndi was a professional actress. Cyndi and I discuss the science of creativity, Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist’s Way”, the Torrance test, and the latest academic research on creativity. Artificial Intelligence Generated TranscriptBelow is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors. The Science Of Creativity Dr. Cyndi Burnett 1:30 Thank you so much for having me, James. James Taylor 1:32 So share with us all what’s happening in your world at the moment. Dr. Cyndi Burnett 1:35 What is happening in my world? Great question. So right now I’m working on developing an online platform for parents and educators and educators who teach little ones all the way up until you know, doctoral students, people who teach doctoral students for researchers look at how to integrate creativity into their homes and classrooms. And I use a five-step framework as a pathway to do that. And I’m happy to talk about that if you like it a lot later on. And so we are building resources, a lot of them are open-sourced, I have about 50 contributors from across disciplines across age groups, who are contributing their ideas and terms of how what they’re trying out, and what they’d like to do to bring creativity into education and sort of many case studies. And so we’re building that I have a YouTube station called creativity in collaboration with children’s book author Barney Salzberg, who wrote the book beautiful oops, which is a best seller book for children that looks at making mistakes and turning them into something beautiful. And so we have a series of short warm-up activities that parents and teachers can do with children or they can even try on their own. And so I’ve been working a lot on developing those materials. I’m about to launch a podcast myself with a colleague of mine, Dr. Matthew Warriewood. On Creative Conversations, and fueling creativity with educators and researchers who work in creativity and education. What does it take us back though, James Taylor 3:14 before we’re going to get into some of those individual areas and what you do with it with creativity in education? Where did your passion for this topic of creativity begin with it all start for you? Dr. Cyndi Burnett 3:24 Well, I think it started when I was about three. And I love to dance as a child my dance shoes were my conduit to my imagination. And I remember turning on you know, I was a child in the 1970s. So I would turn on my records a disco Mickey Mouse and the sound of music and I would imagine being one of the Von Trapp family children and, and the funny thing is, I was the youngest of five children. I am the youngest of five children. And I preferred to be part of the Von Trapp family children because they would all sing and dance at any given moment. And I did too. So I love singing and dancing. My mom noticed this right away, obviously, because I was always singing and dancing. And so I enrolled in school and dance classes and continued on and then I saw the show Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Donny Osmond and Toronto back in when I was 16. And I said I want to be in the show. And I want to be a professional actor. And that’s when I just it sort of took over my life in terms of I wanted to be an actor, and I wanted to be doing musical theater. And so I went to school, my first degree was in theater and dance. And then I moved to New York City with my best friend. And on the first day of New York City, I always said, I’m not going to move to New York City and become a temp or a waitress, I want to be auditioning, and I want to do whatever I have to do an audition. So my first day in the city and I never been in the city before she wrote me these directions and she was like, okay, walk down the steps. Walk up these stairs, you know, turn right don’t turn left, and I went to my first audition. And a week later, I heard back and I got a first national tour. So I got my equity card, my tour of the US, I turned 89 cities in six months. And I finished the tour thinking, Wow, that was great. And I don’t ever want to do that, again. Because the interesting thing about performing and this is true with a lot of sort of traditionally creative domains in the arts. You know, I loved performing, but to do it 150 times in a row, it sort of loses its possess. So as I was flying home back to my hometown in Buffalo, New York, I picked up a Time Magazine, and I’m a cover the magazine and this was in 1998 99. Actually, it was 1999. The Columbine massacre just happened in the United States. And these two young boys who had just, you know, took out a gun and started shooting kids was on the cover of Time Magazine, and I’m reading about this. And it was really upsetting to me. And I thought, you know, I’ve been sitting on a bus for six months, and all these things have been happening, and how do I make the world a better place? And so when I stepped off the plane that day, I turned to my parents, and I said, I don’t want to act anymore. I want to do something else. So that launched me into my second sort of path. And someone a very good colleague, who is still a good colleague of mine, Karen Whelan, she said to me, you know, Cindy, stop asking, what do you want to do with your life? What do you want to learn about? And without a moment of hesitation, I said, I want to learn about creativity. Now, this was back when Julia Cameron’s book, The artists way just come out, I’d read the book, I loved the book. It’s just celebrated its 25th anniversary. And, you know, recently, but when that happened, you know, this book, creativity on creativity, and living a creative life really resonated with me. So I thought, you know, I can just go anywhere and study creativity. So I went to the University of Buffalo and I met with someone and it was, at this point, it was fall. And I said, I want to learn about creativity, where’s your program? And she said, No, there’s, there’s not programs and creativity, she said, but Buffalo State had something. And she said, Hold on, and I started talking to a graduate assistant at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State. And this person said, you know, classes are just starting, and you could come in as a non-matriculated student. So in 24 hours of my saying, I want to study creativity, I was in my first graduate course, in Creative Studies at the center. And so I studied the science of creativity. So the science of creativity was very different to me than the artistic side of creativity. So the artistic side of creativity for me was, you know, intuitive and expressive, and, you know, emotional, and, you know, you created out of this sense of, like, something happening inside of you. And the science of creativity was this cognitive, rational semantic process where there were specific steps you took, and there were tools and strategies you could bring in to help you be more creative and think in different ways. And it was very foreign to me, and I felt like a little bit of an odd, I felt a little odd in this program, because I was the only artist, you know, former artists in this program, you know, there were a lot of people in business and education and, and so but I enjoyed it because it stretched me in different ways. And it helped me look at things in different ways. And when I finished that, they asked me to come and start teaching there and in there, in their Creative Studies Program at the undergraduate level, and, and it was just an adjunct position. So at that time, I was also doing a lot of teaching artists’ work. So, you know, it’s like, by day, I was, you know, this college professor teaching the scientific method and, and this cognitive side of creativity. And at night, I was, you know, teaching a bunch of kids how to express themselves through a musical or, you know, I choreographed a men’s Glee Club has men singing and dancing and, and it was just two totally different concepts. So my goal in my work over the last 20 years has really been bridging the science and the arts of creativity to showcase the common language between the two and to showcase how they’re different. Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist’s Way” James Taylor 9:13 So essentially, I mean, those obviously right you know, that the artists way that Julia Cameron, but great beer very much speaks to, you know, more the heart. I’ve heard it’s sometimes referred to as a kind of woo-woo book, which I think is a good expression because I love the book. I think it’s been beautifully and I know so many people, not just in the arts and what you classes, maybe the creative industries, but also people that work in corporate America in the corporate world, who really liked that book, just as a way to open up or to reconnect with that creativity that they’ve maybe lost in school. One of the things that you mentioned it was that Time Magazine, reading that Columbine article I didn’t maybe it was random at the same time there was kh Kim published a study which looked at Korea. activity levels, in, in, in adults and indifferent people are in different countries as well. And one of the things that she talked about there was this thing she called the fourth grade or fifth-grade slump in schools America, we see creativity levels decline. So if you know if you maybe agree that we’re all born with, you know, this creative, this creative as creative potential, what happens to it? Because of so many organizations, you go in today, and especially in the corporate world, many of the people there feel like that’s been knocked out of them. What where does it go? Dr. Cyndi Burnett 10:34 Where does it go? Well, if you look at a traditional school system, and I’m not familiar with the school systems in Scotland, so I apologize, but and there is a fourth-grade slump. It was originally outlined by Paul Torrens, who was known as the father of creativity. And I know Kim has done a lot of work on the Torrens test of creative thinking. But where, where does it go? If we look at this sort of fourth, fifth-grade age level, and I actually have a fifth-grader and a seventh-grader, there’s a lot of natural ability natural need to conform. So there’s one, there’s one like a natural thing that happens when you’re in fifth grade. And I don’t know if you remember being in fifth grade or fourth grade, but you want to be like others. So there are certain words that even when I’m alone with my son, I’m not allowed to say, because he’s like, Mom, that’s embarrassing. And I’m like, what do you? What do you mean? grownups embarrassing, you know? And he’s like, it’s just, it’s not too bad. It’s just a stupid word, please don’t use that word in front of me. And, you know, you’re embarrassing me. I’m like, we’re literally on a walk in the middle of nature, like, Who am I am? Like, how am I embarrassing you, but there’s, there’s this need to sort of conforming and be accepted by peers at this age level. Right. And, and I think so that’s one level of it. But I think what also is the level is what’s happening in schools is the need to pass a test and a test, you know, a standard test, and we look, we look at standardized tests, you know, there’s one right answer, there are not multiple answers, right? So if you’re given a test, and it says, Okay, what is the answer to this question? A, B, C, or D? And then someone looks at this as what they say, Well, you know, it’s a well, that’s one right answer. They’re not asking you to come up with an original answer. They’re not asking you to come up with lots of answers. They’re not asking you to create questions about that question. Right. So there’s this, this need to conform and be able to answer the right question the right way. And even I’ve worked with schools and, and this one school I was talking to, and he said, Oh, we just need to get the kids more engaged. And I said, I can help you, I can help you with engagement all day long. I can help your teachers, I can help your school climate, there are so many things that I can do to help you make your lessons more engaging. And he said that would be great. But can you get our students to look at a standardized test and decide between two answers? Which one is the right one? Dr. Cyndi Burnett 13:01 No, no, I can’t do that. And he’s like, Okay, well, then I probably don’t need your services right now. And it’s like, okay, yeah, you probably, if that’s what your goal is, is to have kids answer the right question. I am not the person to do that. So I think that’s the sort of the second level. So there’s this natural thing that’s happening with kids this age. But the problem is, and when we look at the research over time, is it dips, and then there’s nothing to sort of reinvigorating it as kids get older unless they deliberately take creativity courses. And that’s why I’m a huge advocate for creativity courses in high school. And I mean, I’m an advocate for creativity courses all around. But, you know, there’s also a way because oftentimes, teachers come to me and they say, Cindy, you know, I really want to bring this creativity stuff in, how do I do it? I don’t have time. That’s the number one thing I don’t have time. And I have content I need to teach. And so I actually use I mentioned he Paul Torrens, who was known as the father of creativity and education, and he passed away in 2003. One of his students, Mary Murdock was one of my mentors. And she worked on this model called the torrents incubation model, which is a model I’m actually about to release a book about 20 lessons to use the torrents incubation model, but one of my prior books is around weaving creativity, which is one of the steps in his model, that you take a creativity skill, like, be original, and you integrate it into something that you’re doing in your content. So it’s sort of like a, you know, in the United States, we would say, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you know, you have a jelly sandwich, you have a peanut butter sandwich, when you merge them together, you actually get something that’s really delightful. And that’s true with creativity. So if you can take a lesson, like you’re teaching kids about using a telescope, and or a mindless hand microscope, and you have them looking at things under a lens, right, you’re naturally having them look at things in different ways, which is a creative skill. And if you can have them look at it in another way. Through their writing, that sort of amplifies their ability to look at things in multiple ways. And one of the things that I believe is that when you’re teaching kids creativity skills in one domain, then that transfers to another domain. So I can give you a quick example of that. I was working with a school in Buffalo. And I was teaching them about just basic divergent thinking. And I had them generate 100 questions about things that they were interested in. And it was funny because after we did this whole exercise, we did lots of warm-ups and practices. And I gave them some tools and strategies. This, the French teacher came up to me and she said, Cindy, I don’t know what you’re doing with these kids. But it’s coming over into the French lesson, because I had the kids generate ideas on how they could celebrate the French culture in my class, and they came up with the wildest and unusual ideas. And I’ve just never seen anything like it. And so it just shows that if you teach kids about or you know, you teach anyone creativity and you deliberately teach them creativity, then that will help transfer into various areas, it spills over into all areas of life. James Taylor 16:09 I’m James Taylor, business, creativity, and innovation keynote speaker, and this is the super creativity podcast. If you enjoy listening to conversations with creative thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, authors, educators, and performers, then you’ve come to the right place. Each week we discuss their ideas, their life, their work, successes, failures, creative process, and much much more. You’ll find show notes for today’s episode, as well as free creativity training at Jamestaylor.me. If you enjoy learning about Dr. Cindy Burnett, then check out my interview with Bernie DeKoven, a founding father of play studies, and the creator of the first center for the exploration of games and play for adults. We explore the theory of fun and playfulness, and how it can affect every aspect of personal and interpersonal community and institutional health. Hear my conversation with Bernie Dickerman at Jamestaylor.me. After the break, we return to my interview with Dr. Cindy Burnett and learn about ways to measure creativity. This week’s episode is sponsored by SpeakersU the online community for international speakers, speakers, you help you grow, launch and monetize your speaking business faster than you thought possible. If you want to share your message as a highly paid speaker, then speakers will teach you how just go to speakersu.com to access their free speaker business training. I guess there’s almost a little bit of similar what you’re saying there were obviously you had that Sir Ken Robinson’s talking about creative education that really, that was a clarion call to a lot of education and saying, Okay, this is something that we need to be thinking about. And we need to be integrating much more just systems. So they know here in I think Scotland and also in Singapore was one of the earlier ones because they had like Edward de Bono working with their education minister ministry talking about the power of creative thinking as a learned skill, I guess. Yeah. But in Scotland, they have a thing called curriculum for excellence where which is primarily used in elementary schools, where let’s say if they’re talking about spiders, they’ll have an art class. Okay, let’s draw us draw a spider, then they’ll do their math class, they’ll talk about spiders, okay? Or how many legs? Okay, if we had 3000? spiders? That’d be okay. which parts of the world? Do we find spiders in geography? Okay, let’s create a story about a spider, you know, storytelling. And so it kind of builds all those things together, and it gets all those little neurons kind of firing and crossing. And as you know, I’m sure you speak a lot about this idea of boundary-crossing where, yes, the most interesting ideas, they come from, you know, someone that’s been maybe interested in one area, and then they can apply some of those quite random ideas and random thoughts to something else to a completely different topic. Dr. Cyndi Burnett 18:55 Yes. James Taylor 18:57 So with your work, I mean, you’ve really kept going now into the creativity, education was that was a very conscious decision. Because if you kind of look in the space, it felt like a lot of schools, they were kind of already on this journey, they were seeing the value of creativity in schools often feels like that. So that’s, that’s that kind of age up to, let’s say, 1617, maybe into college into universities. What about all the adults out there? The ones are over, you know, past college leaving, you know, should they do they just have to kind of go somewhere else. So what advice would you give them to maybe stop reconnecting with that creativity in their life? Dr. Cyndi Burnett 19:37 That’s a great question. So if I’m at a cocktail party, and we’re not in the pandemic, and someone says to me, Well, what can I do to enhance my creativity? The first thing I would say is to monitor your judgment. Because the first piece about being a creative person is really being able to delay your judgment and noticing when you’re being judgmental of yourself. As well as others, because so often, I’m sure you hear it all the time. It’s like someone says, No, that’s a bad idea. That’s not going to work. But if you really stop and say, Okay, what do I like about this idea? You know, that’s the first piece. Um, in terms of training, I actually have on my website, 12. And we can, I’m happy to send you the link 12 different MOOCs, which are massive, open online courses, one of them is ours. But there are 12, massive open online courses you can take in creativity, that will help enhance your creativity as an adult, and they’re all free. So if you want to take a course, a formal course, to sort of enhancing your creativity, you can certainly do that there are lots of creative conferences out there, as well. As you know, there are lots of amazing books, and I recently did a survey with our readers to see and this you’re going to appreciate this James, I asked them what book has helped them become the most creative person and I had 387 people respond. And what was interesting to me is, out of 387 people, there were about 200 different book mentions. So it just shows like, first of all, how much literature there’s out there to help enhance your creativity, that people have different viewpoints. I mean, artists way did come out number one, which didn’t surprise me because it was sort of the first book that came out to really help people become more creative. Although there were a lot of other books. I mean, I could go into the whole history of creativity, which has been around for now, seven years. There are older books that help that, but hers was the first book that hit sort of mainstream popular press. And so I have a link to all of those books. And what I did is I compiled a blog post that showcased the top 10, but also sort of the honorable mentions ones that that were referred to refer to a few times, and then ones that just were mentioned, and it’s just like this beautiful catalog of all these books out there. And I you know, I would recommend you go and find a book that resonates with you. Because, you know, some people who have a design background might be interested in something like that someone who’s interested and in more of the artistic view of creativity might be interested in a more artistic view. So it just shows the diversity of our creativity and, and how much literature there actually is out there. James Taylor 22:11 Talking about literature in your own writing, I mean, you’ve now published books, you’re working on a new book just now, that could have been snuffed out very easily at an early stage in your life by an experience you had with a college teacher. Can you tell us about that? Dr. Cyndi Burnett 22:26 Sure. So I had my freshman year of college, I had a teacher who she used to humiliate me in front of the class, and you know, it was a journal, we had to write a journal and, and she used to say, okay, bring me your journal, and then she would just put red marks all over it. And she would just say, you know, this, this isn’t right. And this isn’t right. And you have no depth in your thinking. And, and, and I used to leave her class crying. I mean, I was 18 years old. And, you know, I was just starting out in the world and, you know, had led a fairly sheltered life at that point. And, you know, I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. And her voice you know, continued to haunt me for years. I mean, I was I wrote a 300-page dissertation with, with her sort of on my shoulder and I had to continuously say, you know, not right now. And, you know, we give a lot I think everyone has a story like that if you talk with anyone that’s highly creative, they’ve had at least one person but likely even more than that, unfortunately, that have said to them, you shouldn’t do this you’re not good enough, this is impossible, do something more realistic. And you know, we have to manage those voices I’m not saying you know, completely shut them out. Because sometimes they can offer a shred of, of insight but I also think you need to sort of putting them away in some capacity whether you put them in your write their name, and you put their name in a box someplace and say you’re going to you know, your voice is going to live there for me or you know, James Taylor 23:53 Sacra, the ceremonial box you’re going to put all these names into the garden and burn them and set fire to them. Dr. Cyndi Burnett 23:58 Yeah, so just you know, bury their names because it’s just not fair that dead people live rent-free in our creative minds, because they can truly take over you know, the work that we are meant to do and so so that’s what I would recommend but I you know, I think it’s it’s really challenging when you have those voices that tell you can’t do something because they can totally stop you from achieving those creative dreams that you have. James Taylor 24:27 Now and creativity terms often use this lightbulb moment that aha that you eureka moment, you know, Archimedes had in your own work, can you tell us about maybe a key insight or lightbulb moment that has really helped propel you in the creative journey that you’ve been going on? The Torrance test Dr. Cyndi Burnett 24:46 Sure. So when I was a, you know, associate professor, I was tenured at the above state. I loved my colleagues and loved my students. I’d love the program. And I had the chance to go on sabbatical. So you know, I got a tenure promotion, I went on sabbatical. For a year, and I was in Hawaii, and on vacation with my family over the break, and as I was sitting there, I was thinking about getting research out and how challenging it is, as a researcher to get research out in a timely way. And, you know, I did this study with a couple of colleagues of mine, on creativity in social media. And it took us from the start of the study to end probably about three years to get it published. And honestly, by the time it got published, I was like, I don’t even know if this is relevant anymore, based on how much because it was around Twitter and creativity, based on how much had changed on Twitter. And so I was really frustrated at moving sort of the marker forward and creativity in education. And Paul Torrance wrote this paperback in the 1980s, about there being a hub around creativity and education. And quite honestly, in 2018, there was still a home. So I was sitting there on the beach, and I was like, I need to do something else to move this conversation forward. And what I realized is that I wanted to leave my academic track, you know, this wonderful career, I was, I was leading to build creativity, education, and I because I really wanted to propel the conversation forward. And so the only way we can do that is one if we work together because you know, there are all these people doing cool things in silos. But you know, we’re not actually having conversations with each other. So how do I find all the people doing cool things? And there are so many people doing cool things, as you know, and how do I have conversations with them and have them share their work with the greater, you know, the world. So that’s, that’s when I decided to leave my position and build creativity and education. And I found an amazing colleague that used to be one of my students, who is the CO director with me, is he mamnoon. And together, we are building these resources and this platform to give educators and researchers, and practitioners a voice in creativity in education. The latest academic research on creativity. James Taylor 27:00 And his grammar, I think is such an important time the kind of work you’re doing just now we were speaking earlier about the the the PISA rankings, which traditionally in education just managed the measured the, you know, the master arithmetic, the language skills, but now for the very first time adding creativity as one of the things that they’re they’re measuring is going to be a report coming out and that soon. So I’m sure that when that report does come out, there’s going to be lots of countries, education authorities thinking about well, how do we, how do we go up the rankings? Somebody has a very ranking obsessed some of these education systems. So I think it’s very timely, the work you’re doing just now, what about as we start to finish up here, I’d love to know, in your own kind of creating what you do, you’re, you’re in a course creator, you’re a writer, you’re an academic, you’re a researcher, as well, is there is a one perhaps a tool that you find particularly useful in the work that you do. Dr. Cyndi Burnett 27:59 Yes, and it’s called focus, mate. James Taylor 28:02 Have you heard of it? No, I haven’t heard this one. Dr. Cyndi Burnett 28:04 So focus mate has been a game-changer for me. So two summers ago, I went into this whole mode of how to get more done in less time. And I went through a whole bunch of books like atomic habits and deep, deep work. And I read a book called in distractible, and in distractible, he mentioned this platform form called focus, mate, and focus me You are paired with someone in the world for 15 minutes. And at the start of the session, you say Hi, I’m Cindy. And I’m going to be working on writing a blog post for these 15 minutes, what are you working on, and that person says, This is what I’m working on. And you say, great, and you mute your mics, and you have each other on screen, and your accountability partners for 15 minutes. And I am amazed at how much I can go into a flow state and these focus my sessions and at the end, you sort of report back to your partner, you don’t see each other again. And it’s been amazing in this pandemic, when when I feel you know, I’m working from home, I’m very isolated, to be able to be paired up with someone else in the world and you don’t know this person, you don’t know much about him. And that’s a great thing. Because if you knew them, in fact, several friends have said well why don’t you focus mate with me, I’m like, I can’t focus mate with you, because we’re just gonna start talking and I’m not actually going to get any work done. But with focusing on me you have this opportunity to pair with someone and just have this quick engagement and then you’re holding each other accountable. And I amazed James that, you know, there have been moments where I’m like, I just can’t focus on anything and I, I log on to a session and it’s a low cost, it’s $5 a month. You can try it out. You can do three, three sessions a week for free if you want and they give student rates so that students don’t have to pay or pay very little and it just puts me straight into a flow mode and it’s it is really been a game Change your and I’ve gotten two books done because of focus, mate. So it doesn’t really have anything to do with creativity other than it helps get me into a flow state. James Taylor 30:07 No, that’s wonderful. I will put a link here as well actually we had near el, the writer on a few months ago, I talk about the book on there. And he didn’t actually mention that once I saw what she mentioned that one that would have been a great one to be using over the past couple of months. So that’s called focus me and we’ll put a link here as well. You mentioned earlier that in your article you wrote all about books, books on the topic of creativity, if I, if I sent your way if you’re lucky, let’s imagine going to go into lockdown. And you go into isolation, and you only get to get given one book at this time to read on the topic of creativity or something really to help you with your creativity inspires your creativity. What would that book be? Dr. Cyndi Burnett 30:48 That’s a great question. And as I mentioned, the list and I’ll send you a link to the list as well of all the creative books. And the creative book that has been most impactful for me in the last few years is actually not a creativity book, it’s Dare to lead by Bernie Brown. And I think it came out last October. And it was a game-changer for me and my creativity because she talks all about Bernie Brown talks about vulnerability and transparency and sort of this concept of enough and how you have these open relationships with people and how to lead. And it really was a game-changer. So when people talk to me about creativity, there’s so much connection between being a highly creative person and being vulnerable and transparent in who we are. And finding the strength to be that. And there was just so many connections for me in her book, especially I mean all of her books, but especially dare to lead that were game-changers for me James Taylor 31:50 data, that’s fine, I would recommend wonderful by Bernie Brown, I’ll put a link here as well in the show notes. I want you to imagine now just for a second Sandy that I’m taking you back when you were moving we have a lot of people listen to the show, who are where you were a few years ago as an educator, maybe they’re a tenured or not tenured teacher, or professor or they’re in education in some way they have a passion for education or learning or training. Dr. Cyndi Burnett 32:16 What James Taylor 32:17 let’s imagine what kind of putting you back to that time if you had to start again and start from scratch. So you’ve got all the knowledge you’ve acquired now towards the trade that you have now. But you know, no one and no one knows you. What would you do? How would you make an impact on the topic you care so passionately about on creativity? Dr. Cyndi Burnett 32:36 So where would I start? So if I was an educator, and I know everything I know now, but I had to go back? James Taylor 32:44 Yeah, what would you do if knowing all the things that you can have? No. Now let’s imagine there’s that 25-year-old who is listening to the show just now. She has a real passion for creativity about creative education. What should she be doing? She should be going and getting that tenured professorship? Should you be going online creating videos there should be working and looking trying to apply creativity and business what what what suggestions would you give? Dr. Cyndi Burnett 33:09 Well, my suggestion would be the one that my colleague Karen gave me, which is what do you want to learn about and, and let that drive you. Because when you want to learn about something and you’re passionate about learning, you’re going to do exceptionally well versus doing something because you should do it or because someone is telling you to do it. And what’s amazing about what’s happening right now is things are changing so rapidly. So you know, if you want to learn about podcast started, you know, start a podcast, if you want to, you know to learn about writing, there are just so many resources out there for people to start learning. And there are so many free resources to start learning. If you want to learn how to integrate creativity into education, contact me we’ve got a new app coming out. So we’ve built two apps now. One of them is weaving creativity, I would love to talk with you and have you beta test the app if you want but really start with what do you want to learn about and then go from there. So if I had to start all over again, I would just keep following that path of learning, because that’s really where the growth and magic James Taylor 34:16 happen. Follow that curiosity? Well, Dr. Cindy Burnett has been a pleasure having you on the show. So where is the best place for people to go to learn more about you and your work and be able to follow all the exciting projects you’ve got going on just now? Dr. Cyndi Burnett 34:28 So we would love for you to follow us at creativityandeducation.com James Taylor 34:32 Comm. Fantastic. I’ll put links here to all the show notes, all the things that we’ve been talking about that Cindy’s kindly shared here, those list of books and all of the books that she’s mentioned, and some of the apps as well. Cindy, thank you so much for coming on today. It is wonderful hearing the incredible what you’re doing to inspire the next generation of creative leaders in the world. And thank you so much for coming. I wish you great success. And thank you for sharing with us all about your creative life. Dr. Cyndi Burnett 34:57 Thank you so much for having me, James. James Taylor 35:00 You can subscribe to the super creativity podcast on Spotify, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. While you’re there, leave us a review. I really appreciate it. I’m James Taylor, and you’ve been listening to the super creativity podcast.The post The Science Of Creativity – #295 appeared first on James Taylor.
4 minutes | 2 months ago
Brainstorming Technique: The “Yes, and” technique.
Brainstorming Using The Yes, And Technique. ? Today, I want to talk to you about how to improve the quality of your brainstorming session using the “yes, and” technique. NEWS & DEALS! Free Course! FULL TRANSCRIPT Brainstorming Session One of the reasons that clients bring me in is to work with them on improving their ideation, or their brainstorming sessions. Sometimes this will be done virtually sometimes in person in the form of workshops as really, what the problem they’re trying to solve is how to get the best from their team, their people, in terms of generation of new ideas, and being able to analyze these ideas as they create them. Yes, And Technique Now, there was a technique that was first talked about by Phil Johnson, he wrote a book called improv in the 1970s. He was a teacher of acting, and improvisation techniques with actors with comedians. And this book was very influential in the acting community and actually started to permeate more widely amongst in the corporate world as well. And the technique is very, very simple. But let me first tell you what, before I tell you about the technique, let me tell you about the problem that actually can solves. So sometimes, if you’re working in certain types of organizations, when you have any type of ideation session or brainstorming session, you can sometimes have the people in the room who immediately look for all the problems, why something’s not going to work, this will, this will fail, this will never work. And it can be quite negative, and really pull down the vibe in the room at a time now those people are really needed because you need that diversity of thought. But in those early stages of an ideation or brainstorming session, you actually need people to be more expansive in their thinking. So this is when the yes and technique comes in. And I first really discovered this Yes, and technique from moving from the United Kingdom to then working in the United States in California, we’re in Silicon Valley of the Yes, and technique is used all the time. It’s just something part of the fabric of the startup scene. How It Works And this is how it works. Let’s imagine you’re doing a brainstorming and ideation session with your team could be in person could be virtual, and someone puts forward an idea, even if you think it is the stupidest, wackiest, weirdest idea is never going to work. It is your responsibility to say yes to the idea, and, and add something that builds upon that idea. So is additive in its effect. So even if you don’t necessarily believe in the idea that person’s putting forward, you have to somehow find in your brain the ability to add something to that makes it perhaps even better, even we don’t honestly believe at that point, in the core idea, because a lot of brainstorming sessions are as much about movement moving forward from a fixed position to more growth mindset, as it is about anything else. One Thing Now to do this improv technique of the Yes, and it requires a willingness to listen, a willingness to be open to new ideas. Because using the Yes, and technique requires that you listen to that person, even maybe if you don’t think much of that person, you don’t think much of necessarily their ideas, but you really have a willingness to listen. And to say yes to the idea. And what about if we added this to it? So we think, okay, we’re going to build this bridge, does this build it out of some bizarre type of material? Yes, And what if you build it out of that material and also did this so is adding Now sometimes what will happen is these little bridges, your linkages that you’re moving, there’ll be one thing within that that actually has real value. And this is when you go to assessing the stages as well. Now, this is a great technique, it’s a very simple technique to use, I highly encourage you to use it in the next brainstorming or ideation session that you have. Just explain to the team how it works, maybe show them this video, and just use the yes and technique for exploring the ideas and improving that sense of creative collaboration amongst your team. So let me know in the comments below. Do you use this Yes, and technique is is something that you find valuable in your organization and the creative work you do? The post Brainstorming Technique: The “Yes, and” technique. appeared first on James Taylor.
70 minutes | 2 months ago
How To Become An Expert – #294
Expert: Understanding the Path to MasteryThe Qualities of Being An Expert In this episode: How anyone can become an expert. The future of work. Improvisation skills, thread management, innovation, ZPD theory. Why having expertise and being an expert isn’t necessarily the same thing. For More of SuperCreativity Podcast By James Taylor What could a lacemaker have in common with vascular surgeons? A Savile Row tailor with molecular scientists? A fighter pilot with jazz musicians? At first glance, very little. But Professor Roger Kneebone, who has been called the expert on experts, has spent a lifetime finding the connections and recently published these in a new book called Expert: Understanding The Path To Mastery. In Expert, he combines his own experiences as a doctor with insights from extraordinary people and cutting-edge research to map out the path we’re all following – from ‘doing time’ as an Apprentice, to developing your ‘voice’ and taking on responsibility as a Journeyman, to finally becoming a Master and passing on your skills. As Kneebone shows, although each outcome is different, the journey is always the same. Professor Kneebone directs the Imperial College Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science and the Royal College of Music – Imperial College Centre for Performance Science. His first career was as a surgeon, operating on trauma patients in southern Africa. He then changed direction, becoming a general practitioner in southwest England. Now, as an academic at Imperial College London, he researches what experts from different fields can learn from one another. His unorthodox and creative team includes clinicians, computer scientists, musicians, magicians, potters, puppeteers, tailors and fighter pilots. Expert is his first book for a general readership. Whether you’re developing a new career, studying a language, learning a musical instrument or simply becoming the person you want to be, Professor Kneebone’s ground-breaking research and book reveals the path to mastery. Roger and I discuss how anyone can become an expert, the future of work, improvisation skills, thread management, innovation, ZPD theory, and why having expertise and being an expert aren’t necessarily the same thing. Artificial Intelligence Generated TranscriptBelow is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors. James Taylor I’m James Taylor, and you’re listening to the SuperCreativity podcast, a show dedicated to inspiring creative minds like yours. What could lacemaker have in common with vascular surgeons? A Savile Row tailor with molecular scientists, a fighter pilot with jazz musicians, at first glance very little. But Professor Roger kneebone, who has been called the expert on experts, has spent a lifetime finding the connections, and recently published these in a new book called expert understanding the path to mastery. In expert, he combines his own experiences a doctor, with insights from extraordinary people cutting edge research. to map out the math we’re all following, from doing time as an apprentice to developing your voice and taking on responsibility as a journeyman to finally becoming a master and passing on your skills as Kneebone shows. Although each outcome is different, the journey is always the same. Professor Kneebone directs the Imperial College Center for engagement in simulation science and the Royal College of Music, Imperial College Center for performance science. His first career was as a surgeon operating on trauma patients in southern Africa. He then changed direction becoming a general practitioner in southwest England. Now as an academic at Imperial College London. He researches what experts from different fields can learn from one another. His unorthodox and creative team includes clinicians, computer scientists, musicians, magicians, Potter’s poverty as tailors, and fighter pilots. expert is his first book for a general readership. Whether you’re developing a new career, studying a language, learning a musical instrument, or simply becoming the person you want to be, Professor Kneebone groundbreaking research and book reveals the path to mastery. Roger and I discuss how anyone can become an expert, the future of work, improvisation skills for Threat Management, innovation, Zed PD theory and why having expertise and being an expert aren’t necessarily the same thing. So Professor Ragini, thank you so much for coming in joining us today, you’ve been called the expert on experts. How’d you feel about that term? And in this time that we’re living through just now can experts felt like they went out of fashion, but they seem to be coming back into fashion at the moment? Anyone Can Become An Expert Roger Kneebone Yes, well, first, and first of all, well, thank you for inviting me onto onto the program. I do feel very uncomfortable at this idea of being have been called an expert, about anything really. And I suppose that brings into question that the whole idea of what it means to be expert, which is what this book is all about. I think I think experts have had a kind of a bad press recently, and there’s been a sort of, there’s been a sort of movement of almost mistrust, or, or sort of feeling that experts aren’t really necessary, which I think is very, I think it’s very dangerous. And one of the things I’ve tried to explore in my book is, is what it means to be expert and why I think we might think experts are so important. And I mean, one of the reasons is, is an obvious one, I suppose, which is that we we all need experts for the things that we need to have done, that we can’t do ourselves. And it might be we need an operation, we need an expert surgeon to do it if we need to fly somewhere in the days when we used to fly to places. And I’m sure we will again once the once the current pandemic has changed. But we need expert pilots to fly us around when a central heating system blows up or something we need. We need expert people who can help us with things that we can’t do. And these days, particularly, I think we need experts to help us navigate these very uncertain times that we’re in with the pandemic and all the other things that are going on around us at the moment. But there’s another reason we need to understand what being expert means I think and that is that we are all of us, I think somewhere on a on a path towards becoming experts. And we may not be terribly far along if we’ve only just started for instance, I don’t know learning a new language or taking up a hobby or sport or something like that we may be right at the at the early stages. And in other in other parts of our lives, you might be much further on in a professional job, whatever it might be, but we are always somewhere on a pathway that leads to becoming more expert. And we can do In the minutes about what is James Taylor in the book, I mean, you make it interesting because you’re, in some ways I feel your natural categorizer, you’re very good at being able to, like, take us through in a very logical way and associate your teaching background, as well. But one thing you see in the book is you can have expert just having expertise doesn’t necessarily make you an expert, Roger Kneebone is a correct. So I think this I think this is a an important distinction to make, because people talk a lot about expertise. But to me, the, the central thing is that people have become expert, they do have knowledge and skills, and particular aspects of their of their work, let’s say that you could, that you could consider as instances of expertise. But there’s something more than that by going through that, that going along that pathway, it’s taken them a very long time. they’ve encountered experiences, they’ve, they’ve got things wrong, they’ve had to put them right, they’ve had to deal with all sorts of things, which have led to them accumulating wisdom. And I think it’s this word wisdom that really, to me, captures what what becoming expert is all about. Because it isn’t just about the things that you can do with your hands or the facts, you know, or that or isolated elements, it’s how you put it all together. And you make sense of that world that you’ve chosen to spend a lot of time developing in. And in those latest stages, I think you also start to, to have a wider sense of what what that that area that you’ve spent a lot of time in is about and how you can encourage other people who are also interested in pursuing the same, the same line. And so there’s something about becoming expert that there’s a purely descriptive account of stages doesn’t really capture because what’s important, I think, is the inside story of, of what goes on inside somebody, it’s essentially it’s a human process. It’s not, it’s not a collection of things that you can abstract. And say, here are components of expertise, it’s an integrated thing that that happens to people as they as they develop. James Taylor Now, on that wisdom, you mentioned the book, your background is in surgery. And so one things I liked about the book is you have these these stories from from tailors, from surgeons, from musicians from magicians. And, you know, one of the things I think you mentioned in the book was, for example, a surgeon were, you know, at different stages in their career as a surgeon, they’re there, their expertise, that path, they kind of get to know what they need to do all the parts of the body and very what things look like and get accustomed. And then they can move to a stage of deciding You know, when to use when it’s appropriate to use certain things. And as they get further along the journey, they get to discover when not to use, when to have the skills and when when to pull back and when to say actually, and one of the things you mentioned really nicely, which was about was about airline pilots was this idea of just kind of sitting on your hands. Sometimes. Roger Kneebone That’s really interesting. And I thought about this a lot, because in the book, as you say I bring together stories of many different kinds of experts. But I also wanted to get at the kind of the the sort of inner feelings of some of those, some of those parts of the pathway. And so I’ve drawn my own experience. And at one stage I was a, I trained as a surgeon, I did a lot of trauma surgery, particularly in Africa, so dealing with people who had been stabbed and shot and blown up and things like that. And so I was having to, I was having to, to put together a whole lot of factual knowledge, and a whole lot of skills of doing procedures and, you know, operation, parts of operations, and that sort of thing has happened to put that together. But then I became more and more aware of the need to make sensible judgments about whether to do things at all, or in what way to do them. And also having the having the resources if you’d like to recognize when things were going. Not so Right, exactly. Well, they’re sometimes they were but recognizing when they were going off the X of my expected path. And I think when you’re when you’re just becoming when you’re starting to learn how to do something, there’s a tendency to want to react quickly if things go go wrong. And in my case, in surgery, one of the things that often happened with people who have been stabbed is that you’d open somebody Tommy up, for example, and it would look fine, but then you just you just dislodge a plot of blood say and all of a sudden wish they’d be there’d be a lot of bleeding and that can be rather frightening. And it’s very tempting to sort of take a clip and instruments and try and put it on what you think is the is the blood vessel that’s bleeding and stop it. But actually, if you if you do that, too impulsively, without being absolutely sure that you’re putting it on the right thing, you can actually cause damage. So I learned through experience really, that the best thing to do was to was to sort of temporizing measure, which in my case was putting a large swab on it and pressing very hard, which would stop bleeding while I was pressing on the swab. When I took the swab away, the bleeding would come back again. But it meant that I could sort of control things and control myself, while I gathered my thoughts, and decided what to do next. And it turned out with a lot of the other experts that I’ve talked to, over the years that they, they have something similar, they often call it a place of safety that they’ve, that they’ve thought through in advance, so that they can go to it in a sort of instinctive reflex way, before even trying to think through why they’ve needed to go there in the first place, if that makes sense. And a really interesting example was from a fighter pilot I’ve been working with who gave an example of when he was coming down to land which he’d done 1000s and 1000s of times and gone through the the landing checklist where you you know, flaps down undercarriage down this stuff and the other radios that you’re coming in all those things, and he done all those things. Were just as he was coming down to lead, he kind of got a feeling that something wasn’t right. And, and he didn’t have any other fraction of a second to respond. And the way he responded was instinctively he put on full power and climbed. So instead of landing, he climbed up to to a safe altitude. And once he got there, he started going round in in a square, and then thought through what had happened. And what had happened was that he had gone through his pre landing checklist said all the things, but he actually hadn’t done the one that lowered the undercarriage. So although he’d said undercarriage down on his checklist, he hadn’t actually pressed a button that had done it. And so if he wanted, of course, he would have crashed. And the interesting thing about that, to me was that he had decided in advance how to get to a place of safety. When he recognized that something wasn’t right, rather than spending time at that moment, trying to work out what what wasn’t right. And lots of people I’ve spoken to from polar explorers, to performing magicians and musicians, to all sorts of people have got this sense of how you can get back to something that allows you to, as you said earlier, sit on your hands and count to 10. Or just gather your thoughts before committing yourself to something irrevocable, that you might end up regretting. And I think that’s a characteristic of having been through enough experiences and done enough stuff, to realize to distinguish, and to trust that feeling that that something isn’t right. And you need to press pause while you collect your thoughts, rather than suddenly leaping into action. Do you think that makes sense? James Taylor Yeah. And and as you’re talking about, you mentioned, like the idea of the two checklists where we thought we can go through the checklist, but then there was other thing as you take us through this path to mastery in the book, and you take us through that a more classic, you know, the the person who’s just starting so the the apprentice than the journeyman and then that can master although it’s obviously not quite in a in a linear way a bit that can have these just as are almost like three acts, I guess, as you take us through in that first one, the apprentice. One of the things that you mentioned there, which I guess is kind of what you talked about, you know, the checklist, and is kind of paying your dues. Um, have you thought about doing the work putting putting in the hours? I wonder you because you work with a lot of younger students now as well at various universities. I wonder is that becoming over something that is to a lot of maybe younger generation is trying to avoid being in that more uncomfortable, more routine? Boring, perhaps, work? Is that a problem? Is that always required in that apprentice stage? Roger Kneebone Yeah, I think it is becoming a problem. In my book, I’ve called that stage, doing time. And it’s an interesting stage because this this this idea of a three stage scene three acts as you put it, and I’ve used the terminology that’s been around for hundreds of years, apprentice gentlemen and master not of course now in any gendered sense, but, but to give a sense of, of transition and development. But that early stage, traditionally, was when you spent years and years and years in your master’s workshop. And you’re learning to be a stone Carver or you were learning to, to be a leather Tanner or whatever it was. And it took a very long time. And you started off, really having no idea at all of what you had to do or what the thing was about, but you just have to do what you were told. And it was often very repetitive and very boring. And at the time, it’s very easy to think, Well, why couldn’t somebody else do that? Why do I have to do that? This is really, it’s pretty boring, and why am I doing it? And and I mean, I certainly went through that stage when I was sort of hanging on to retractors instruments to hold things out of the way during operation so that somebody on the other side of the table who could get a good view, could see what they were doing. And I couldn’t have any view. And I just spent hours crunched up holding these things, wondering why it couldn’t be done by a machine or by somebody else. But actually, when you look back over it, you find that, that all those years of very important partly because they they allow you to embed those, those techniques, which, as a more experienced person, you absolutely need to know how to be able to do you have got to be able to make flat stone surfaces or learn how to turn or hide or whatever it is you’re you’re working to. But also, it gives you an understanding of the world that you’re in of the materials that you’re working with, and the and the tools and things like that. But also, crucially, it gives you an experience of learning to cope with boring, repetitive work of no apparent value at the time. And I think, I think the feeling that people often have now, which is that they are almost entitled not to be bored. Is, is is it’s very unhelpful because in anything that you’re not good at yet, but you want to get good at and that is worth the effort of spending years doing it, there is going to be boring work, and there’s no way around it. And unless you can find a way of coping with that you will I think be perpetually uncomfortable or restless. And one of the people who was most influential when I was writing this book was it was a spectator called Joshua Byrne, who, who really clarified this for me, he’d been at University studying economics, he decided halfway through his course that actually that wasn’t what he wants to do, and he wants to become a tailor. So long story short, he got started an apprenticeship, a long apprenticeship as a jacket maker. And when he started doing that, he said that, at university, it was quite straightforward, you’d learn a concept, it might be difficult, but you grasp it, and then you move on to the next one. And you’d build on the last one. And then you go on, when and it was quite difficult to understand very often. But once you’ve got it, you’ve got it. When he became a jacket maker, he could understand pretty much from the beginning, what it was about and what he had to do. But it took him years before he could actually do it. And because it was all about doing physical things with your hands and learning to sew and things and, and the speed at which he understood the nature of the task. And the speed at which his body allowed him to, to become skilled at doing it were completely different. And he said that he went through that stage of finding it boring and repetitive. But he realized that he had a choice. I mean, he’d committed to wanting to be a tailor. And either he could forget about that and go do something he found interest more interesting. Or he could stick with it, and find a way of making what he had to do. Interesting. And I thought that was really interesting, because he’s talking about, about having agency to reframe what he had to do anyway, and see it as an opportunity to develop his skills or, or to become more familiar with the textiles or whatever it was, but to find something in it that caught his interest. And I think that that to go back to your point about whether students these days have a lower tolerance for doing boring work? I think they do. And I think it’s a, I think it’s a sort of, it’s something in our culture more widely that that there is a sort of intolerance, of boredom and tedium, which really gets in the way of these processes, these slow burning, gradual processes of embedding in your body, ways of doing that just take a long time to get through that. James Taylor And it’s very good not to be generalist as well, because I know younger generations often get criticized or millennials get criticized for having short, shorter attention spans and maybe previous generations. But I always think like watching a Netflix series and you think, you know, people might have gone and watch King Lear three hours. And that, you know, that requires a certain level of attention span. But some of these TV shows on Netflix, the last four weeks, and once I thought, well, actually there, maybe it’s not necessary the lack of attention, and maybe maybe the boredom factor is is a more crucial one. Your comment you mentioned the Taylor there. Another part, which is of this apprentice, and it’s quite it can define as part of this apprentice is talking about the role of space and the physical environment in which they’re working and how they’re interacting with other people. And you talked about the Taylor, the Nissan place, understanding the environment, one of the things you mentioned with it, that that progress of that tailor going from apprentice up upwards, even in that apprentice stage. And something I didn’t realize was that Taylor, there’s three different stages, and then we’ll go and spend different times learning these different stages. And some of the stages require a very set type of skills. But as time goes on, it’s maybe a different set of skills. And so you mentioned this idea of having that combination between the social and the technical skills, which not every tailor is necessarily required to have depending on the type of tailoring they’re doing. Roger Kneebone So I discovered this when I started working with Joshua hadn’t realized that they were I knew nothing about tailoring particularly bespoke tailoring, and there are two kinds of tailors, they there are making tailors who who, who construct jackets and trousers and things like that highly highly skilled, and all those many layers of a garment and things and it takes them many years to learn how to do it. And then there is a different kind of tailor which are called cutting tailors. And those are the tailors who, who interact with customers so that the making tailors work out of view, and they never see the customer at all. Whereas cutting tailors are the ones who who meet clients, and then they have a conversation about what sort of clothes they want, and then they’ll choose the cloth, they will actually cut out a pattern. But that’s only just a part of what they do. And then having done that, they send the cut cloth to the making tailor with instructions. And the making tailor then comes up with a sort of provisional interim garment. And then that then the cutting tailor tries that the customer tries that on. And the process is repeated in a series of fittings. And this is a very interesting distinction, I think, because the most tailors are either a cutting tailor or making tailor, Joshua, my colleague was very unusual entity did an apprenticeship in both, he did two apprenticeships one after the other. But they require different kinds of skills, because the the cutting tailors have to be acutely aware of the person they’re with. And it was that’s really when it struck home to me what strong parallels there were with my own experience in the world of medicine. Because my first phase of my career was as I said, as a surgeon, and a lot of that not all of it, of course, but a lot of the focus there was on doing dexterous things and you know, cutting out things or saying them or putting them together. And I thought at first that that’s where the parallels would be with tailoring. But actually, I discovered, talking to Joshua, that the relationship that he develops with his customers, as a cutting tailor, are very much like the experience I had in my in my next phase, which was as a GP as a family doctor, which I did for almost 20 years. Because the task there for the tailor is to try and get a sense of the person they’re with, and what they want a garment to do, and how it fits into their life. And what’s it what it’s going to make them feel like, and then they have to make judgments that say there has to make a judgement about what a person looks like, what they want to look like, and what it may be possible through tailoring to make them look like and that’s a question of often balancing different different perspectives, different wishes. And it made me think that the the essence of what I was seeing was Joshua was not it was not really the suit, or the jacket. That was the visible manifestation of a relationship based relationship of trust and care based on integrity and a sense that that it was the customer’s best interest it was at the center, and that making the jacket or the suit was was an expression of that relationship in in a sense, and that that customer might never have anything else made or they might have loads of other things made. And those would be other other sort of outcomes from that relationship. And it made me think that as a GP. You know, I might see somebody with a particular disease and give them some treatment and it might work fine. But actually underpinning that was that related Friendship of trust and care between one person and another person were, were their two worlds of experience intersected to come up with some solution to a problem, whether the problem was, or the challenge was coming up with a jacket that fitted and worked in was just right. Or whether it was how to deal with a small diabetes or blood pressure problems or something like that. And that, actually, the primary thing was a human relationship. And I thought that was fascinating, because I’d never really thought that there would be that point of connection between tailoring and medicine because they seem so very different. James Taylor It’s interesting, even, you’re talking about GPA, I’ve got a friend, that’s a neighbor as a GP, and some of those when you meet with a with a patient, and they come in and present with one lot of things, and then you ask as time goes on, and, and is there anything else. And in that often throws up a whole bunch of other things, which are not necessarily physical manifestations. But there’s other things kind of going on, as well. And so you mentioned about the tails. And but it was interesting, because as I was reading experts, I was also reading another book, I always like to mix fiction and nonfiction. So you are my nonfiction book of the week, am I not my fiction book of the week was actually the tailor of Panama with john licari. And it was actually it’s very interesting kind of reading those two things together. And you mentioned mentioned in the book, enjoying the car, and I was astounded to realize this is your first book, solo authored book as well. So I guess this kind of moves on to the second stage second act, going from apprentice to journeyman. And one of the things there was about developing voice. And it’s, maybe you can talk, I know, you’ve mentioned lots of stories in the book, a beautiful Bill Evans story about how he developed his voice as a musician. How did you go about developing your voice as an author? And going from that moving from that apprentice to more of a more of a journeyman and as a writer? Roger Kneebone Yes, that’s an interesting one. I mean, you talk about you talk about Luke Carey, and I think he’s a, he’s a very interesting example of somebody whose voice has become more and more. I don’t know how quite how to express it. But But more and more powerful as, as his books have gone on. And I think he’s an example of somebody who has really, while ago reached that stage of being of such mastery, that, that, that the, the, the way in which he writes, is almost it’s so expert, that it’s almost invisible. It’s just yeah. James Taylor I’d be reading in bed, and every so often, I would have to attend my office, listen to this line, let’s now beautifully crafted this sentence or this paragraph, Roger Kneebone his latest one before he died, which was agent running in the field James Taylor yet? Yes, I have. I did read that. Yeah, Roger Kneebone absolutely spectacular, and it immediately pulls you into the world of another person, and is utterly convincing. And I think that that, that seems so effortless, that that that that mastery conceals decades of, of going through those stages, I mean, you know, his early books are not the same as his later books. And I think he really, I think you can see in his trajectory, that a whole lot of stuff becomes almost invisible, because it’s so skillfully woven, James Taylor but but even one of the perfect use in terms like can really understand how you developed that voice. I know, you’ve probably written for many more academic things as a doctor. But in terms of writing a book like this, each chapter or many of the chapters, use the device of starting with a with a opening story, usually often related to you and your journey, as a doctor as a GP. And you work, I guess, in storytelling, opening a loop, but you wouldn’t close that loop until the end of that chapter. So it creates a little bit of tension in each chapter. And then during the course of chapter, you’re telling other people’s stories, and then you close out the chapter with with closing that loop with the near the completion of that story. And it’s like tension and release. So that’s not the worker and apprentice doing that. That’s, that’s more someone that has become skilled in writing. So how did you find how do you develop that? How did you find that? How do you develop that voice? Roger Kneebone Well, thank you. I’m glad I came across you like that. So it’s true. I had done quite a lot of writing along the way, mostly for journals and things and so that’s or the occasional chapter for textbooks completely different type of writing. But I’d written a number of quite short pieces for medical journals. There’s one called The Lancet for instance, which which, which had contributed a number of, of articles, which I felt didn’t need to have a clear arc. They were they were more conceptual essays, they weren’t, they weren’t scientific, scientific journal articles in the, within a constrained traditional format, which scientific articles usually require, you know, as a structured abstract, and you start with an introduction, and you present data, and then you analyze it, then you discuss it, and then you finish. Not like that, but more more sort of essays that needed to have a narrative arc. And so I’ve been thinking about that, how, in 700, or 1400 words, I could tell a story with a point. And then I, then I had to think about how to how to how to try and achieve that in a much bigger form in in, in a book, it’s got about 350 pages, I think, something like that, over eight or nine chapters. So I had ideas about that. But I was very fortunate in, in, in being able to work with an editor, jack RAM, who first of all was, was part of the he was at Penguin, when I first encountered him, and it was he was one of the people who invited me to put forward a proposal for this book in the first place. And we started working together, he then left penguin and became independent and, and so we carried on, we carried on with that relationship, which I think was a, a bit like the one I described, between Joshua and his aunties clans, or perhaps between me and my patients, which was a collaboration between people with, with equally valid but different kinds of expert ways of thinking. And, and his skill as an editor was quite different. He wasn’t a co author or anything, but he, he brought a different way of looking at what I was doing, from the one that I was developing, as the person who was writing it, yeah, so from time to time, we would, we would both look at what I’d written, and, and bring our different perspectives together. And he was very good at seeing the shape of something even when the writing itself wasn’t finished, James Taylor if that makes sense. He could he could get there was there was that there was a feel, or you mentioned like feel earlier on as well, Roger Kneebone for the balance between the elements, and the threads within each chapter and the and the threads across the whole book. And, and I suppose in in a way, it made me think of a bit like the difference in perspective between between an orchestral I mean, I’m not an orchestral musician, but how I imagined that would be if you’re playing the trumpet or the violin, as opposed to the conductor who has a sort of overall view of the, of the whole thing as its emerging. And that was a very, it was a very creative partnership, I don’t think it happens. I don’t think all authors by any means have the privilege or the opportunity to do that. And we hit it off very well. But I saw it as a sort of conjunction of different kinds of, of expertise, in a way Yeah. And he didn’t know anything about the content. And I didn’t know what I meant. He didn’t know he had a different way of thinking about the content. But he knew a great deal had a lot of experience of working with other authors and other books, of course, which I didn’t have. And so those those two perspectives came together in my case in what was a very, I think, a very creative relationship. No, James Taylor I mean that the books one four, is it really beautifully structured and, and thoughtful and as you can have come up to the end of the of the journeymen section of the book, the middle act, I guess of the book, you talk about learning to improvise. This is this is like, as you start going the bridging the Rubicon, like making that transition from journeyman I guess I’m on to master as well. And you told a great story. I mean, you told me about Keith Jarrett, which I’d never heard before, which I thought was a fantastic story. I’m James Taylor, business, creativity and innovation keynote speaker, and this is the super creativity podcast. If you enjoy listening to conversations with creative thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, authors, educators, and performers, then you’ve come to the right place. Each week we discuss their ideas, their life, their work, successes, failures, creative process, and much much more. You’ll find show notes for today’s episode as well as free creativity training at James taylor.me. If you enjoy learning about Roger niebo, and the path to mastery and innovations in science, then check out my interview with technology futurist geopolitical experts, and Senior Fellow of the Atlantic cancer, Jamie metal, where we discuss genetic engineering and the future of humanity. Hear my conversation with Jamie metso at James taylor.me. After the break, we returned to my interview with Roger kneebone Why understanding difference between maps and guides can help us achieve mastery in our chosen field. This week’s episode is sponsored by speakers, you the online community for international speakers, speakers, you help you grow, launch and monetize your speaking business faster than you thought possible. If you want to share your message as a highly paid speaker, then speakers you will teach you how just go to speakers you.com to access their free speaker business training. You also told a story, which I thought was interesting. You said like a jazz band is like a surgical team. There, they’re kind of supporting each other and working with each other. You tell a story about a Portuguese pianist. There’s something very I’d love for you to tell that story just now. I actually wouldn’t look to the video afterwards, because video exists. And I was amazed. It is this happen. So typically, please tell the story because I think it is it builds upon what you’re talking about throughout the book in terms of paying your dues, getting getting those hours during those hours. And then you start to move in this improvisation is an end we talk about classical music here. So it’s not just Roger Kneebone in the sense of improvising notes. So this is a story that happened quite a long time ago. Now. The very famous pianist called Maria never quite hard to pronounce it dry periods. And you have Portuguese pianist concert pianist who was giving it I think it was lunchtime concert. In the concert Goodbye, I think in a very famous concert hall with an orchestra conducted by Ricardo Shay, equally famous conductor, and she was playing a Mozart Piano Concerto. So you see her sitting down at the piano. And she sort of starts and, and, and, and the opening bar of the, of the orchestral introduction to this Mozart Piano Concerto, she realizes that it’s not the one she prepared. She’s not the one she was expecting to play. And you see this, this look of horror on her face, when she suddenly realizes that, you know, she’s got a couple of minutes or something before she’s supposed to start. And it’s, and it’s the wrong one. And she you see it has sort of looked sort of panic stricken really, and ricochet he looks after he carries on waving his baton conducting the orchestra. He says, Don’t worry, I know you know this other one. And I know you’ll be fine. You’ve played it before, it will be fine. And you see her and she she sort of sits there and she composes herself. And she shuts her eyes for a moment or two. And then she opens them again. And then the moment comes for her to, to start. And she she plays and she gives a flawless performance of that Mozart Piano Concerto that she wasn’t expecting to have to play. Now, of course, she could only do that because she knew that Piano Concerto and have played it many times before. But remember that she’s playing from memory. And she’s playing in the moment in front of a large public audience. out there, sort of on on the platform, with nowhere to go. And I thought that was just a completely extraordinary thing to be able to do. Because she was not only able to draw on that, that sort of knowledge of the of the work and the repertoire and the fingering and actually being able to remember the notes and play them. But she was able to do it at two minutes notice or less under conditions of quite extraordinary pressure. And not only sort of struggled through it, but actually gave a magnificent performance, where nobody would have known that there was anything unexpected about it. And to me, that’s that’s what improvised session is about not as I say not improvising new notes or anything in that case, but being able to, to read and respond to an unexpected situation and, and draw at very short notice on a whole lot of stuff that was only inside you because you’ve spent years and years and years going through those stages James Taylor in the book as well, you then also can relate that to a story of you doing a surgery on a young gentleman Syria comes in serious neck wound and you know, very high stakes kind of situation. And you had to improvise you did something using a device which is not normally used in this type of kind of trauma surgery never forgotten this Roger Kneebone one. It was very scary. It was it was some you’ve been stabbed in the neck and that’s not easy to deal with anyway because there’s such a lot of important structures in the neck. But this young man had blood sort of welling up and I thought I’d found where the blood was coming from and dealt with that. But it turns out that there was more blood coming from right at the back and it turned out that there was a knife wound had found its way through into the space Between two of the vertebrae, I don’t want to give listeners the creeps. But the the vertebrae in the neck, the bones of the spine, sort of fuel line them up, there’s a, there’s a channel down each side, which are very important artery goes up in, called the vertebral artery. But because it’s in a Bernie channel, it’s extremely difficult to get out. The knife, unfortunately, had got at it. And so blood was was was spurting out of a place, it was extremely difficult to get to. And I really didn’t know what to do. But I didn’t have time to, I mean, there wasn’t anybody else around and they couldn’t get there in time to help me anyway. So I had to do something. And I distinctly remember reading or caring somewhere about somebody who’d done had something a bit like that themselves. And they used a little tiny catheter of the sort that’s normally used to go into small children, when they’ve got problems with their bladder, so it goes in through the, through the urethra, into the bladder, and then you blow up a little balloon at the end, so it doesn’t fall out again. And so I asked the theatre sister to give me one of those she thought I’d gone completely, never normally asked for a pediatric urinary catheter when you were dealing with a grown man’s neck. But she got it for me. And we’re able to feed it down into that bony channel and then blow up the balloon, which then put enough pressure on the artery to stop the patient bleeding to death. While in other words, a bit like the the fighter pilot putting on power and getting to a safe altitude. It, it gave time to stabilize the situation and think about it. But that was that was an example I think of, of being able to sort of reach out and capture something that I didn’t even know, I knew about. And it might not even have worked. But it it was a sort of I think it was an example of beginning to get the hang of responding in the moment. But thinking more widely than the frame within which I’d learned to do that kind of operation. Because I’d learnt the specifics of surgery for that kind of procedure. I hadn’t been taught about thinking sideways to completely unrelated ideas that might be useful later. I think that’s a it’s a characteristic of nostalgia. As you get James Taylor Yeah, it’s like Edward de Bono already got like a guess what lateral thinking, you know, thinking? Roger Kneebone Absolutely. lateral thinking. Yeah, there’s something really interesting about The Future Of Work James Taylor and as you start to finish up when he does, as you start to finish up the the act about the journeyman, and you talk actually, which is something I think is interesting. A previous conversation for the for the podcast with Carl Benedikt Frey from Oxford University, who does a lot of research around the future of work saying that you shouldn’t maybe 40% of jobs exist just now are at risk, from automation, from AI, robotics, machine learning, IoT, all those kind of things. And we were having a discussion about well, which jobs what kind of jobs and it’s interesting because his work linked a little bit to what you mentioned here about defining two different types of workmanship. So we’re talking about whisking to what what was it but this is really, any, I guess, craft craftsmanship, however, you want to describe it as well. And, and it talks about the type of workmanship of, of certainty, and a type of workmanship of risk. I would love for you just kind of like describe what the differences between those two things are, because I think it builds very, can open it up as into thinking potential where we’re going to go in this new this fourth industrial revolution just now which jobs are going to be the ones that are perhaps going to be most valuable. Roger Kneebone So this comes from a very well known furniture, furniture designer, and and writer in the act of 1960s, called David Pye, who, who talked about these two kinds of workmanship, the workmanship of certainty, he describes as the as well, all the creative work has already been done, once you’ve performed, the first thing is created. So you’ve produced a production line for making my I don’t know, chair legs or something like that. And then every single or teapots or something, and then every single one that comes off that production line is exactly the same. That’s the workmanship of certainty. And against that he he he puts the workmanship of risk. Now he’s not talking about risk in the sense of people getting hurt or, or bad work or anything like that. It’s a different use of the word. But by workmanship of risk, he means work where the outcome is not, is not only prescribed at the beginning, you know, you never quite know how it’s exactly how it’s going to be. And that’s, you know, stuff that’s done by hand or there are all kinds of all kinds of examples of it. But I think that that it’s a useful distinction, because it it points out that there are there are many areas of practice where we’re where things can’t be guaranteed or precisely prescribed from the outset. And, and, you know, some of them are things like musical performances, for example. And I think I think clinical practice is exactly like that. It’s it’s one where, where you are constantly having to manage and work with, with parts of the story that you can’t completely control James Taylor And it’s almost like that idea of performance. I think of, you know, great salespeople, for women, whether they’re selling financial products, or whatever the thing is they’re selling, there’s a difference between them. Because they’re going into, and they’re reacting, and they’re improvising. And they’re doing all the things you mentioned, they’re responding to the environment, and they’re responding to, and thinking and thinking maybe laterally, like you’re talking about, as opposed to going on a website and saying, Okay, I need this financial, this ISO, or this financial product, whatever it is, I think, naturally, advisors Roger Kneebone are a very good example, I think they’re really good financial advisors, do something rather like really good GPS, and really good for spectators, where they, their starting point is, is, is is trying to work out what the person they were the person they’re with is coming from, and who they are. And it when I talk about this, this, this change a little bit earlier on in the pathway from being an apprentice from, from learning to do stuff, and thinking and your primary focus being on showing people that you’ve learned that stuff, or taken exams or, or whatever, to becoming responsible for your own work and going out into the world in the journeymen phase, to use the old terminology, one of the crucial, one of the crucial transitions I think you have to make is what the magicians I’ve worked with, talk about this, it’s, it’s, it’s not about you, it’s about them. And that’s getting back to the to the magic from the business thing, realizing that, that the whole purpose of your work is for somebody else, it’s not just to show what you can do it is, it’s about where it lands with your patient, or your audience, or your customer or your client. And that requires you to, to throw your attentional focus into a different place to move it away from yourself, and to recognize how it lands with somebody else, and respond accordingly. And when I started thinking about the clinical consultation, for example, as a close up live performance with a very small audience. I think doctors don’t normally think of themselves as performance in quite that way. But but but once I thought about that, it made a lot of sense. Because Yeah, because then an encounter was a financial advisor is a close up live performance as a very small audience. or indeed, someone in a garage when you take your car, and you want to know what’s wrong, all those things. And that requires you as somebody becoming expert, to listen and attend, to saw how somebody else is responding. As well as just putting into effect, the skills and the knowledge that you’ve spent a lot of time acquiring. And that’s a difficult thing. And as you become as you get to the mastering stage, you are able, I think, to make sense of how you read your audience, and then bring in these natural things that we’ve just been talking about when we were talking about improvising. James Taylor And one of the things now Good move on this kind of final stage of mastery stage. You said it’s interesting, we were talking earlier, about performance and the role of performance. And I think myself as a keynote speaker is a is a type of performance. And we spoke about the difference between whether you’re performing in front of an audience of say, 500 people as opposed to performing, doing a virtual conference where you’re in a small screen, you’re using different body language, different facial, your eyes are doing different things, you’re getting different responses. And so you’re, you’re having to improvise, which is the thing we’re speaking about, there’s not certain what the outcome will be is not not a prescribed thing. But you can have as you were talking about it in this third stage of business mastery. You talked about this idea of thread management. And and I thought this was very interesting, because I could see how this could apply to not just in the context of you were talking about how so many of us if we’re doing any type of performance, we can be learning from other crafts and other skill sets and other experts in a completely unrelated fields, and use it to deepen our own work and maybe come up with some of those those innovations. So first of all, can you describe what this thread management is? Because I just think it’s a fascinating concept. Improvisation Skills, Thread management, Innovation, ZPD theory. Roger Kneebone So thread management was an idea that was suggested to me. Well, I’ve been working with it the art workers guild in London, which is an extraordinary organization in in, in central London, where people for many different kinds of expert crafts come together. And they invited me to show what surgeons do so on one occasion, I invited my colleagues. I do a lot stuff with simulation with presenting sort of representations of operations and things using models and and artificial material but real surgeons and the nice statistics and nurses to show how operations happen. And we will show how a surgeon joins two pieces of intestine together with with sutures with threads. One of the artwork, as they’re called Fleur oaks is a very distinguished embroiderer textile artist said when I watched that, I saw thread management, I have to teach my students about thread management, because otherwise they get their threads tangled up when I’m teaching them embroidery, I have to say to them, for instance, you know, you must have a piece of thread longer than the distance between your fingers and your elbow because otherwise it’ll get snagged up. Or if you’re if you’re sewing around the corner, you have to untwist it every so often. Otherwise it gets it gets twisted around like an old fashioned telephone wire. And so I thought this is a really interesting idea of thread management. Because I’d never thought about, I’d thought about threads in surgery as just an incidental part, just how I joined bits of intestine together and my focus was the intestine. For Fleur, her focus was the threat. So we organized a series of events, which brought together people who use threads in different ways. So, Fleur herself, a number of surgeons, we had some puppeteers who use threads with marionettes had a fisherman fly fishermen who, who ties, little threads and also casts using long threads. We had one of my colleagues who does computer modeling of threads in computer programs, various people who use threads in different ways. Somebody who does knitting and, and that led to well to two things ready. The first was that I saw that there are different points of connection that lead to insights that you might not have thought of. So medical people usually connect up with other medical people in medical related fields, or orbits or areas of science that relate to medicine, I think. So the idea that you could see as your point of contact threads, and then the viewpoint of a surgeon, and, and an embroiderer and a fisherman would be equally valid, if that makes sense. James Taylor Open your eyes, your eyes highly skilled. Roger Kneebone All these people were very expert in what they did. So they’d all been through these stages. And they’d all become extremely skilled at what they did. And we discovered that when we tried to do what other people did when I tried to cast a line or or, or do a bit of embroidery, I discovered right away that I was not even at the beginning. And these people who made it look so effortless, were very, very skilled. And that led interestingly enough to Fleur Oaks, who was sitting next to a consultant vascular surgeon, dealing with blood pressure, blood vessel surgery, called colon Bicknell. It led to flow spending two years as the lacemaker in residence in the vascular surgery unit at St. Mary’s Hospital, part of Imperial College, London, the University where I work. And that was that was a fascinating, fascinating sort of residency because there was Fleur, and Colin both in the operating theatre, so they were both in the same place. Colin, like me, he’s a consultant, vascular surgeon. So he was thinking in terms of an individual patient, and their anatomy and the disease and the procedure, all that kind of thing for a fine artist who’d never been in a hospital knew nothing about anatomy at that stage or disease or techniques. But what she saw was, was colors and consistencies, and materiality, and she saw how people were working together in a close knit group, to do things that require dexterity and precision and care and response to one another. She saw all sorts of things that the surgery pre trained people had either never seen or had stopped noticing. And so it made me think that, that you can see, you can see different things. I mean, I know that sounds obvious, but but it hadn’t really struck me how different were the things that you could see in an environment that that you can easily come to take for granted, that are important to notice. But that often escape attention. So when I think about my later work as a GP, thinking about that, in terms of performance was rather a similar thing. Instead of thinking about, you know, the diagnosis of pneumonia or whatever. I was thinking more more about how people who haven’t met establish a connection that will allow them for the next 10 minutes to come up together with a joint idea of what the problem is. James Taylor Yeah. And guess what, you’re also starting to go into a new topic towards the end of the book as well. Is that classic kind of boundary crosses, you know, they have to find people win Nobel prizes, they have a core competence in one particular area, but they cross over, they’ve got a curiosity about another area. And they study this other area as a side part of what they do. And then they bring in some of the learnings from that and apply. So one of the ones you mentioned was Professor john Whitman, and his team. And I thought what was interesting about that was because so much of we think about creativity, or innovation, just being about very, but the eye or the individual or the ego. I thought what you described within john wickman, in the keyhole surgery was the role of the team and how the team works together. Roger Kneebone Yeah, absolutely. So john Wickham, who died two years ago at the age of 1889, I think, was it was a pioneering figure in, in keyhole surgery, in the development of keyhole surgery, particularly around the 1980s. He was a urologist he studied, I mean, he worked with people with kidney and bladder disease, and particularly focused on, on treating people with stones, kidney stones. And he’d always had this idea, he said that, you know, that time to take out a kidney stone from somebody from the tube that goes from the kidney to the bladder, the ureter, you’d make a great big, enormous incisions size of around a beam, as he put it, in some of it is somebody’s side, to take out something that was the size of a lentil. And he’d always thought that this was crazy, but he didn’t really know what to do about it. And then at that time, when he’d become he gone through the stages in the book, he’d become a master. He was an expert, consultant, urologist, other things were happening. At the same time, there were developments in technology, there was fiber optics, beginning imaging techniques, CT scans, new forms of ultrasound, and x ray, all sorts of things were happening. And, and a lot of technology, developments around lenses and things. And so he, he brought together, people from very different perspectives, he brought together instrument manufacturers, he worked with an interventional radiologist and X ray specialist at a time when traditionally, surgery was something led by the surgeon who told everyone what to do. And he completely challenged that way of thinking about things. He brought together people from all kinds of backgrounds to work together to try and address this problem of having to make large holes in people that took ages to get over to do something that actually needed a tiny little bit of work at the end, to fix the problem. And, and so he framed this in a way as a problem space, I think. And he invited different people to come and bring different solutions. And so the instrument manufacturer, he worked with Stuart Greengrass for many, many years, was not medical at all, but was an expert in designing equipment and operators. And so they would work together to come up with ideas and try them out and see if they work they did. And he gathered around him john wick among a group of younger surgeons, and he would give some challenges, he’d say, they’ll come up with some sort of new ideas by Monday, next week, and then they’d all come together next Monday, and they’d share these ideas. And, and they would try a lot of things, which didn’t work. But some of the things they tried did work. And that led to a radical change, that the introduction of keyhole surgery, which is hard to think about now, because it’s so much part of what surgery routinely is these days, that, that it’s easy to lose sight of how radical this was, and how radical not only in terms of technology, but in terms of how people work together. And that invitation he gave to people to to contribute from very different perspectives, which I think is a bit like floats, the the lacemaker being in the vascular surgery unit and coming up with solutions to problems that the surgeons hadn’t even seen as problems. And I think that that’s something that I mean, we’ve seen it quite a bit recently, haven’t we, with the early days of the COVID pandemic, with with C pap working with racing car t Yeah, with people from the world of textiles coming up with new technologies for making masks, you know, we’re seeing it all around. But But I still think it’s, it’s, it’s more unusual than routine, I think it I think there’s a lot more that people can do in terms of thinking outwards and making connections. James Taylor So that that that final stage, which is the mastery, and we’ve been talking about changing direction and the role of the team and the people around you, and you can finish the book up with this idea of passing it on. And, and so you said a number of different interesting things that I thought were which I hadn’t heard before z PD. I’d never heard this term before. So I’d love to know what there was epd In its role, and if someone has achieved a level of mastery and whatever their their thing is passing on to nature and the idea of heightened, CPD, and what how that refers to it. And then Roger Kneebone also, this other idea begins to kind of relate, which is, maps and guides. The difference between these two, two things, because a lot of the things you see, I’m sure probably lots of you will be learning how to make sourdough bread on over the pandemic, or play guitar and things. A lot of those are very tick box, you know that the instructions of how to do things, and it’s only much later when you can feel it and you’re working with those materials, you start to develop the mastery and you can move this between this idea of maps and guides. So please, first of all, tell me that the role of passing it on why that is important for mastery? And what is the PD and how does that relate to so I think the passing it on is I talked about when the gentleman stage when you have to change from thinking about it’s all about you to it’s it’s all about who you’re doing it for your patients are your customers, your audience, I think something similar happens when you at the mastery stage where you again have to make a shift to thinking that, that your focus of attention is not just you, it’s the people who are who are following following you. And, and, and not just how to make sure that they know what they need to know or can do what they need to do. But you also develop a sense of responsibility for guiding them into where they’re going. And to, to being aware of them as a person and helping them not just in specific aspects of technical work or something but but making the right decisions about how they develop their own career, their own individuality. So this idea of the deputies, it stands for zone of proximal development, and it comes from a Russian psychologist called left Vygotsky, who was very who’s working in the in the Soviet Union in the 20s and 30s. But his work became widely known in the West any decades later. But in a nutshell, the stuff that you that you know how to do. There’s a load of stuff that you just don’t know how to do. But in the middle is stuff that you can do with somebody who’s helped that you can’t do on your own. And that’s the zone of proximal development, as he calls it. And that’s an area where we’re where learning really happens. But it’s an interesting area, because it needs to be treated sensitively. If you I mean, if you imagine you’re learning to do something you don’t know how to do you’re learning to tie a bow tie or something like that. So first of all, you you can’t do it. Somebody shows you how to do it, you start to get the hang of it, you try it out. They correct you. They say no, no, no, actually, it’d be easier if you if you turn this hand that way or something like that. But then they get to a point where you no longer want them breathing down your neck, you want to just be able to practice it in front of a mirror for a couple of hours yourself until you ac
4 minutes | 2 months ago
Two Types Of Creative Work
Creative Work In The Age Of Automation. Today, I want to talk to you about which type of creative work is going to survive this fourth industrial revolution and adapt to this age of automation. NEWS & DEALS! Free Course! FULL TRANSCRIPT Will My Job Survive? One of the questions I’m often asked, especially by creative professionals is, do I think that their jobs are going to be able to survive all this automation, all this AI, this change that we’re seeing just now in the world of work. And I usually start by asking them a little bit more about the type of work that they do. And that will help me kind of decide on whether I think their job has a future, or whether they need to change or tweak it in a certain way. The writer David Pye, who wrote a book about craftsmanship in the 1960s, made it a useful distinction between different types of creative work or workmanship, really, and he was talking in terms of furniture design, but he works equally well, whether you’re in financial services, or whether you’re in sales, or whether you’re a designer or musician, for example. And he said, there are these two types of workmanship, there’s the workmanship, of certainty. And there’s the workmanship, of risk, the workmanship of certainty, and workmanship of rest. Now, I think one of these will be more sustainable. In this future. In this future where AI and machine learning robotics are taking more and more jobs, Workmanship of Certainty You see, this workmanship of certainty is where you know where the result needs to be kind of predetermined, where let’s say, You’re, you’re deciding you’re, something’s been built by an organization, something has been designed by an organization. And they said, We know, we need to know with absolute certainty, what the finished product will look like. So this lends itself very well to things like automation. You know, if we think about an example here, in David pies book, he talks about printmaking, we want to make the initial template, essentially, you can just generate lots and lots of them, and there’s not really so much skill, so you’re a bit more certain in what you’re you’re creating. Likewise, if you’re thinking about getting a suit, or a tailored dress made, then you know, an off the peg suit or dress is going to be certain you know where they’re going to finish the result because you actually see it there. Now, this type of workmanship, this type of craft this type of creativity, if you’re involved in that type of work, producing things, which are going to be the same multiple times and the end result is, is defined, that’s the jobs are most at risk, just now. That’s the jobs that I will see many of them will go many that will be automated machines, robots will take over many of those jobs, Workmanship of Risk the jobs that are going to stay and actually become even stronger in the future, are what we call the workmanship of risk, the creativity of risk. So this is where that final outcome, the final result is not pre-determined. So for example, mentioned the clothing near the tailor. So in a tailor, you might have rather than off the peg suit or dress is getting made, you would employ a tailor to make a defined like a purpose, custom-designed, made for you suit or dress, you don’t know what the final result exactly is going to be. Because you’re having to make the trust in that professional in that craft and in that creative person to design that work. But it will be more tailor-made, it will fit you perfectly, you’re going to look great in it. Now, that job, the job of the craftsman who is able to flex, who is able to be fine with ambiguity, and to work in those kinds of more complex problem solving, collaboration styles, ways of working, that type of role, that type of workmanship, that type of creative work is going to be less at risk from automation and machines. Because it’s an evolving process the whole time there is no it’s not a cookie-cutter type of exercise. So ask yourself this is the creative work that you do. Is it pre-determined and unalterable once it gets started? If it is, then it’s more highly likely that the job could be automated, that creative work can be automated. But if the work that you do is more tailor-made, is more customized is more personalized, then that’s a more defendable, creative job. The post Two Types Of Creative Work appeared first on James Taylor.
34 minutes | 2 months ago
Automation and AI: How it will affect the future of work. – #293
Which Roles Will Be Most Affected By Automation And AI. In this episode: Automation and AI: How it will affect the future of work. The difference between enabling and augmenting technologies. The impact of cities and alcohol prohibition on innovation. Which skills we should all be developing in this new age. For More of […] The post Automation and AI: How it will affect the future of work. – #293 appeared first on James Taylor.
4 minutes | 2 months ago
Welcome to Supercreativity TV
Welcome to Supercreativity TV Hi, my name is James Taylor, keynote speaker on creativity, innovation, and artificial intelligence and the founder of SuperCreativityU, you and your host here at SuperCreativity TV. NEWS & DEALS! Free Course! FULL TRANSCRIPT SuperCreativityU So let me first tell you about how we got started here on SuperCreativity TV. Around 2013. I was living in working in London, and I was working at the time involved in a job building a company, a startup, an education startup, and we were really long days. And in order to kind of give myself some mental release and some mental pleasure in the evenings, I would be going home and I’d be reading books about a topic I’m passionate about, which is creativity, especially creativity is released innovation and the future of work. So I’m reading these books every night, and I think they are reading and thinking, wow, this is an amazing idea. Or I’d be reading an academic paper on ethics. Wow, why don’t more people not know about this, this could really help improve the quality of people’s creative work. So what I decided to do is, each evening, I would just sit down in my study, and I would just film like I’m filming just now and share an idea, something I’d learned. For me, it gave me the ability to help me really internalize this wisdom and this knowledge that I was learning from these writers and these thinkers. And it then allowed me to share it more widely. And what was interesting is by doing that every single week, and being consistent, we started noticing that some of these videos got a lot of views. And some of the videos now are used by educational institutions and companies use them in their training, which is fantastic, which is amazing to see. SuperCreativityTV So every week I was creating these videos, and as time went on the form of them changed. In fact, it wasn’t even called SuperCreativityTV at the start, I think we call it Creative Life TV right at the start, it might not even have a name at the beginning. But that was fine. Things evolved and things adapt. Now, more recently, I decided to make a little bit of change in how we were doing these and, and really kind of bring it all together in this idea of SuperCreativity is a term that I really kind of defined, and can create. And I speak about now as a keynote speaker. What Is SuperCreativity? And what is SuperCreativity? Well as I define it, it’s really about being able to develop your own human creativity to the highest levels possible. And this can take different forms. It can be around creativity, skills training. And much of this is built upon other great theorists and academics when it comes to creativity, skills, training, something that goes back many, many decades. Other parts of it is really around team creativity, how we collaborate, how we can great create great work as a team. And other parts of it is really around what we call peer creativity. So this is about how you build a community around ideas around your particular discipline or your field or your industry. Maybe you and you in the 1920s you had the French Cylons and Paris were Hemingway and Picasso would get together to debate and discuss ideas. In ancient Greece, you had the symposiums where the philosophers and the merchants and the thinkers would get together to do exactly the same thing. So this is where you develop your own ideas and your creativity and, and battle, test your ideas by getting the feedback of your peers. . And finally, the third part is this idea of augmented creativity. And really, this is SuperCreativity as well, where we can augment our human creativity with exponential technologies like AI, like machine learning, machine learning, like robotics, for example. And this is a really exciting area of development in the world of creativity. So that’s broadly what SuperCreativity is this idea of individual creativity, creative thinking skills, team creativity, collaboration, the idea of pure creativity. And then finally, this idea of SuperCreativity, augmented creativity, where you’re adding on you as the human, but you’re adding on these exponential technologies to allow you to do work, which is even more creative than you could have done on your own as a human. Who is it for? Now, that’s kind of what SuperCreativity is about. Now, Who is it for? Who is this who de create this channel for? Well, initially, I just kind of created it for me to get started. And I thought if there’s maybe one other person like me that enjoys listening and watching to this in this information then great, fantastic. Now we’ve had hundreds of 1000s people, what do you do in the millions now I think they’ve gone through some of the videos. So that’s really fantastic to see. And I would say that it is a mixture of people that enjoy these videos and watch some of these training. The first is those creative professionals are out there. They’re doing some type of creative work in a more traditional sense or maybe the creative industry so this could be designers, architects, musicians, performers, actors, You know, people within Word of marketing advertising, for example, that’s a core part of our audience. But then we have another part of the audience whose creativity is something that they do for their soul, not necessarily for their profession as such. So maybe they’re in the world of crafting, for example, maybe they, they have a day job that they do. And they do this, what kind of what they consider more creative stuff on the side creative projects. And that actually feeds into their work. So it helps add a different dimension to the work that they do. And then we have a lot of my audience really watch a lot of these who are from the world of the corporate world. And they’re in sales, they’re in marketing, they’re in finance, their operations, they’re in technology in the tech side HR. And for them, it’s a thing that they’re probably many of you most interested in is how we can really level up the creative capacities and capabilities of the people in the organization breaking down silos. And that’s because they want to increase innovation, accelerate innovation, improve the productivity in their organization, help their people adapt to all the changes going on, and frankly, to do better creative work, because what we’re seeing now more than ever, is people want to work in creative organizations. And the final part, which is the channel was not really created initially for this is for those who are involved in education. And that could be educators, it could be facilitators are training, who want to use some of these ideas to add to their education of their students, of the people that they serve with their trainers, maybe to add some of these elements into the work that they do. So regardless of how you come to this, I just want to thank you for joining us here. I really hope you enjoy the videos that we have here at SuperCreativity TV. I would love it if you could subscribe, you know, just to the channel. I would love it if you could leave comments. And what would bring me so much joy is if you could just share with other people maybe you have other people and what you do you think they should check out a particular video, just share that video with them just now. But however you came here, and for whatever reason, you came here to watch these videos, I want to thank you. Hopefully, this provides you lots of value. If you want to learn more about the work we do at SuperCreativityU just go to Jamestaylor.me and have all the information about SuperCreativityU are training, as well as my work as a keynote speaker on creativity, innovation, and artificial intelligence. So thanks for joining us. Thanks for subscribing and enjoy the videos. The post Welcome to Supercreativity TV appeared first on James Taylor.
35 minutes | 2 months ago
Seth Godin – A Marketing Icon On His Creative Process, Shipping Creative Work and Vodka Making – #292
The Practice: Shipping Creative Work by Seth Godin For More of SuperCreativity Podcast By James Taylor My guest today is Seth Godin. Seth is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, and speaker. In addition to launching one of the most popular blogs in the world, he has written 19 best-selling books, including The Dip, Linchpin, Purple Cow, Tribes, This Is Marketing, and What To Do When It’s Your Turn (And It’s Always Your Turn). His latest book is The Practice: Shipping Creative Work. Brian Koppelman, co-producer and co-creator of the hit TV show Billions says that The Practice “is a skeleton key specially molded to unlock the most creative version of you. Read it, and find yourself free to be who you know you really are.” Godin’s work covers a range of subjects, from the post-industrial revolution to being remarkable, and from the spread of ideas to knowing when to quit. He introduced the concept of “permission marketing” in the early days of the internet – recognizing and respecting the power of the consumers. A champion of talent, Godin proclaims that lack of creativity in the post-industrial world means we should all treat our work as a form of art.In 2013, Seth was one of only three professionals inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame. In an astonishing turn of events, in May 2018, he was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame as well. He might just be the only person in both. Seth and I talk about how he found his voice as a writer, non-attachment, Seth’s creative process, why diversity matters, and better ways to learn and ship creative work in a post-industrial world. Artificial Intelligence Generated TranscriptBelow is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors. So welcome, Seth, thank you so much for joining us today. Seth Godin Well, it’s a pleasure, support, work happy to contribute. James Taylor So I’m interested in the book that is called The Practice: Shipping Creative Work. And you did something very interesting, the very first chapter of the book, it was almost like reading a lawyer’s contract or an agreement, you actually laid out the definitions right at the start, which very few books do and it’s kind of helpful thoughts. So for people that haven’t heard about the practice, and more importantly, what shipping creative work means. Just tell us what the inspiration was for the book, and also give us some definitions there, I think it’d be quite useful for our conversation. The Practice: Shipping Creative Work by Seth Godin Seth Godin Well, everyone knows what a bridge is. Everyone knows what a bridge is, for everyone can tell when a bridge falls down. There’s not a lot of argument about any of that. And part of the reason is that bridges have utility. And part of the reason is we’re not afraid. But creative work is filled with fear. And so we’ve invented all of this nonsense around it, about what it even means for someone to be creative work, that painting might be creative work, but not what I do. We keep trying to get ourselves off the hook. And so I wanted to be really clear from the start, that I think creative work is available to anybody if you have a good job, it’s because you get to make decisions, you get to do things that haven’t been done before. I think it’s work. Because if you want to have a hobby, please do. But this is not about your hobby. And I think you have to ship it because if it doesn’t go out into the world, that doesn’t count. And I wanted to make it really clear what this book was about. What this is about is putting yourself on the hook to make things better by making things you’re proud of, for the people you care about. And if you’re not doing that all day, then I feel bad for you. And I hope I can persuade you you should. And if you are doing that you’re doing brave work, and you should do it more. James Taylor One of the things I thought was interesting in the book as well is you chose obviously a good story. It’s got a good evil character in it a Boogeyman, I don’t know what the British phrase or American phrase, but in your book, it’s the kind of, I guess, the industrial complex. That’s the boogeyman in the book, that’s who we’re kind of like fighting against to a certain extent. So that whether that’s in terms of, you know, factories, or whether it’s that more in between, like those get madmen, you know, the ad agency, which is still kind of factory mass produced stuff. So I’m wondering how we’re going into this fourth industrial revolution, and we’re in a different type of industry, artificial intelligence, machine learning robotics. Is that still valid to be fighting against the industrial and industrial type of way of thinking? Seth Godin So I don’t know how far away you are from Manchester, but I guess you could get there and a long drive. Manchester, the birth of the Western Industrial Revolution, little known fact that during the first dozen years, up and down in the factories, they didn’t have coffee carts going around, they had gin carts, and people would get drunk and stay drunk all day. And the reason is that going from a farm to spending 12 hours in a dark smoky facility where someone tells you what to do at all times, was enervating it undermined our humanity. But we did Because it was the only way to put food on the table, and the industrial bargain. It lasted 150 200 years. And it was very clear, do what you’re told. And we’ll give you some money for food. And the thing is that what it did was brainwash us from an early age, it invented public school. And I’ve been ranting against this for more than a dozen years. And it established a normal, that doesn’t have to be true. And so as we enter this new post-industrial era, where you cannot put food on the table, by doing what you are told all day, that I mean, that’s, you know, maybe you can if you’re flipping pancakes in the back of a diner, but the number of jobs like that is going to keep going down, it’s going to go down, because if we can put it in a manual, we’re going to get a computer to do it, we’re going to get a robot to do it. So what’s left? Well, coincidentally, what’s left is the stuff that makes us alive. And too many people got brainwashed into believing it wasn’t for them. And I’m here to help people see that despite the unfair barriers that are in their way, despite the indoctrination, the racial injustice, the classism, it is possible, to dig deep, and do creative work, you will get rewarded for it immediately. But it’s the only long-term path I can think of. James Taylor So where we are just now we’re kind of in this, I guess, in moving with this fourth industrial revolution, the nature of what’s happened over the past 12 months or so mental or more remote working. Do you have a sense of in terms of what’s been happening? The people you work with the students that you work with the clients that you work with, in terms of their creativity, because we often see, initially the companies were coming out saying, Well, our productivity hasn’t been affected affects productivity is better. But productivity and creativity are slightly different things. And I’m just wondering, I guess the optimistic me here is hoping that we see that kind of 1920s that, you know, that boom that we saw in Paris, you know, with a Cylons, where we’re going to see that in the 2020s. Or, in the US, when you’re at the end of the prohibition era, you saw a big burst again there when people were able to connect. So are you are you kind of optimistic just now in terms of creativity in the world that we’re going into, maybe post hopefully, post-pandemic. Innovation and Creativity – Seth Godin Seth Godin Okay, so there’s a lot to that. So first of all, one of the reasons that white-collar productivity went up is because of zoom. And what zoom was used for, unfortunately, was taking attendance. But Cincy making managers feel like they had control over people. And it’s been overused in too many meetings, too many people get in a circle, just shaking their heads and not contributing anything. That’s not creative work. I do believe that we are in for a real revolution, as this pandemic hopefully, winds up and part of it is going to be the burst of relief we have for not being dead. But part of it is that people my generation and older are dying off. And we have been the center of everything since 1965. It has been about us. And most generations don’t really pay a lot of attention to what’s going to happen after they’re gone. And that’s part of the reason we have a climate change problem. Well, as this generation is completely exhausted, and might not come back, after the pandemic, a whole new generation, your generation is going to show up and say, Wow, we know how to use these tools. And we’re not going to go work for a company with 200,000 employees because they don’t know how to treat us anyway. And there’s going to be, I believe, a burst of some sort of innovation and creativity. But I have no idea what it’s gonna look like. James Taylor You mentioned innovation and creativity. There are two things there. You’ve been speaking on the corporate side for many years, and companies bring you into the office to speak at their conferences. You know, a lot of those kinds of doing like studies that Adobe is talking about younger people, the younger generation, Gen X, millennials, much more comfortable about using the word creativity, much more wanting to be working in environments, which are creative to be considered as creative. Whereas that word has maybe been a little bit, felt a bit woo-woo maybe for previous generations. So for the clients, you’re working with because you work with amazing corporate clients as well. Are you seeing that change there from maybe that world of where they talk primarily in terms of innovation and outcomes, to thinking slightly more in the way that you tend to think and you write about Seth Godin so just a little bit of background? I don’t have any clients I never had. I give the keynote talks. James Taylor If you don’t class your keynote, the clients bring you in to speak or the people who bring in to speak as clients. Seth Godin Well, I don’t call them clients because a consultant is on the hook to make change happen. And the reason I’ve never done consulting is it’s almost impossible from the outside to make change happen. What happens for me is someone says, Can we buy an hour of your time, and then I show up and do whatever I’m going to do, and then I leave. And that freedom is amazing. And my job is to give people a headache, not to make them feel better about their job. And if they were my clients, I wouldn’t do that, because I’d want them to stick with me. And I don’t, I’m here to turn on lights if it’s helpful or not. And I started a learning institution called the Kimbo, which is now an independent B Corp in the US five years ago, and we’ve had 20,000 plus students, those are people who have shown up from big companies and little ones, to learn the act of innovation and creativity. And so I’ve learned a lot. But I just wanted to clarify that that works. Sometimes people call me up and say, Can we hire you? And I’m like, Well, not really. Anyway, here’s the problem with creativity in the eyes of some of the 25-year-olds I’ve met, they would like to be creative, but they don’t want to be on the hook. And those are different feelings, to be creative without being on the hook means I’d like to color in any way inside or outside the lines. And I’d like you to like it. Because this is fun on the hook, which gets closer to innovation if there’s a problem to be solved. And I’m going to ship work that solves that problem. If it doesn’t solve that problem, I will own the fact that I can make my work better. And I will do it again. I call that creativity. For other people, it feels like it’s a little too close to ownership. But I don’t think they can be separated. I think if you want to be a professional if you want to do work, that’s creative, you gotta put yourself on the hook. James Taylor When when the lines you say in the book, which I love, which is doing what you love is for amateurs love what you do is for professionals, which I think is a really beautiful line, you meant you mentioned a Kimbo there. That’s, that really can stand apart from a lot of the other online learning I see out there online courses. And there are amazing things going on there just now obviously with the rays of the MOOCs as well. So why did you choose the akimbo model, which is a kind of workshop kind of cohort-based? Because I’m sure you had this menu of options that was available to you? Why did you go that route? Skillshare Seth GodinYeah, so I started by doing courses for Skillshare, I was one of their most popular teachers, then I, when they switch their business model, I went to you to me, and I was one of their most popular teachers. And what I found in both places is that there is a demand for edutainment. Watch a bunch of videos feel like you learn something. And I knew I could make a fine living doing that. And I was just not interested in it. Because I don’t think learning and education are the same things. And I had no desire to be a dancing pony, for people who were then going to go back to doing what they were doing. I’ve been a teacher my whole life. And I decided it would be worth leading innovating, even though it was 10 times harder for us, to show people what it would actually be like to learn and what it’s like to learn, to ride a bike, to juggle, to speak, to do anything that we actually care about, is not watching a video, it’s doing things. That’s how we learn anything. And so I built this workshop structure, because yeah, I show up with a five-minute video. And then it’s followed by 500 or 5000 hours of work by the people inside the workshop, creating things, shipping them to each other, giving each other feedback, getting feedback, repeating, if you do that 60 times in the marketing seminar over the course of 100 days, I guarantee you your marketing is going to be significantly better. You can read one of my books and enjoy it. But it’s not a change anything unless you want it to change something, and a workshop format, just like a gym. If you do the work, you change. James Taylor One of the things that go to the three-line and go throughout the book, which I guess relates to that, as I was reading, I thought this is actually quite a Buddhist book, in terms of like no attachment not being attached to the outcome in terms of thinking more in terms of process and practice, rather than like this is the final thing. So I’m wondering when you were starting, akimbo, did you have a were you thinking in terms of outcome? Or were you just thinking we’re going to create these, we’re going to see what the reaction to the market and get more in that kind of practice was was that very much the concept in terms of how you build, I’m guessing online school, but you know, build this online business. Seth GodinSo let’s talk a little bit about I mean, I’m a sloppy Buddhist. And I will not hold myself out as somebody who is a scholar in any of this. But there’s a really big difference between caring about the outcome in the way you do your work and attachment to the outcome. And let me give you an analogy that might help. If you and a friend are going to swim across a lake, there are two ways you might do that. One way you might do that is, as you’re swimming together, be aware of where that person is, if they’re getting ahead, swim faster if they’re falling behind swim slower awareness will help you do a better job of swimming together across the lake. The other alternative is to get four ropes and tie your right hand to their right hand, your left hand to their left hand, etc. And using those ropes remain attached to them, as you try to swim across, you will both drown for sure, yeah. Because if you are attached, you will not pay attention to your swimming. If you are attached, you will not be present with the work you need to do. And so every project I have succeeded in for 30 years before I figured this out, has been a success because I figured out what assertions I needed to make, how to perform the craft that I wanted to pay attention to. And then I simply did the work. As opposed to always looking over my shoulder keeping track of how many likes looking at all of the things willing the outside world to do what I wanted to do. Because if you’re spending your time trying to control outcomes by remote using telekinesis, you’re not able to actually do your work. And so with the author MBA, which was the cornerstone of akimbo The idea was, I’m going to make six assertions about how I think learning works. I’m going to be aware of all of those six things as I construct this, and then I will put it in front of people and I will watch what happens. But if someone doesn’t get the joke, I won’t tie myself up in knots trying to make them happy. I will just say, we don’t have the same assertions. Thank you for trying this, Here’s your money back. And if no one gets the joke, then I have failed. But if I can find the people who do get it, then I’ve created something singular and important. That’s what I try to do with all of my work. James Taylor I’m James Taylor, business, creativity, and innovation keynote speaker, and this is the super creativity podcast. If you enjoy listening to conversations with creative thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, authors, educators, and performers, then you’ve come to the right place. Each week we discuss their ideas, their life, their work, successes, failures, creative process, and much much more. You’ll find show notes for today’s episode as well as free creativity training at Jamestaylor. me. If you enjoy learning about Seth Gordon’s creative process, then check out my interview with the legendary editor Peter Ghazali. Where we discuss his work is the creative collaborative choice for writers including Douglas Adams for Stephen Hawking and Deepak Chopra. You my conversation with Peter Rosati at Jamestaylor.me. After the break, we returned to my interview with Seth Godin, and discuss the role that diversity and the environment play and doing great creative work. This week’s episode is sponsored by speakers you the online community for international speakers, speakers, you help you grow, launch and monetize your speaking business faster than you thought possible. If you want to share your message as a highly paid speaker then speakers will teach you how just go to SpeakersU.com to access their free speaker business training. Now what do you have, it’s not just you, with a Kimbo you have this wonderful tribe, I guess, of teachers of other people that are kind of contributing and helping your community. One of those is Scott Perry is our mutual friend Scott Perry. And last time I saw Scott, we were doing a retreat to creativity retreat up in New York State up in the Woodstock area. And that one of the other teachers there, Martin Taylor, the guitarist, was teaching this idea of how to get over improvisation, a lot of people get very flustered about this idea about improvisation, being this big kind of like in your head thing. And he said sometimes you just need you mentioned bridges, you need a bridge to get to the place. And so for him, he said, think what the line should be, what you want to play, sing it, and then play it. So think sing play. And it was easy for them to have that middle bridge that middle place and then said finally the singing just drops away. It just leaves and you can just go straight from your idea to the finger. As I read your book. I can hear your voice so strongly the way you’re speaking just now I can hear it in the world. And so something I’ve just kind of pondering before coming on this interview today is that when you’re out there, you know walking about or having a shower in the morning or you’re walking down the Hudson, an idea comes to you are you immediately thinking in terms of those what you’re very well known for. There are 250 300 words daily blog posts, are you thinking in terms of a statement and assertion. Are you thinking visually, where does that where do you go with that thing comes into your head? Seth GodinYeah. This is a rate, insight. So I decided a long time ago, so I only took one English class when I was in college when I was in high school, my English teacher wrote in my yearbook, you will never amount to anything new is the bane of my existence. I do not have the discipline to read literature, I decided once I was going to be a writer to write as I talk. And that saves me an enormous amount of trouble of putting all these intermediate barriers. First, I needed to learn to talk better. And what has happened with the blog is, as I have found, quote, my voice in the blog, it has actually changed the way that I speak in the real world. And it has changed the way that I think. So you’re correct. I think you’re the first person who’s ever brought this up. I now look at the world through blog posts, that when I see something I don’t understand my thought about it feels like a blog post when I read an important book, like weapons of mass destruction, which I’m just finishing now, it is filling my brain with blog posts. And if I didn’t find that useful, I would stop writing my blog. But I think my blog has been a gift to me because it has helped me process the world around me better. James Taylor So I think that probably for maybe a lot of people, new writers out there that are listening to this just now watching this just now that that may be quite consoling to hear that as well. Because I think a lot of people also think like that. I know some people that think in tweets, they just instinctively their brain just works and tweets other people think in terms of visuals, very strong kind of visual and emphasized. So that’s something I’ve read before which I’m not sure if it’s true or not. Maybe you can have to correct me It could be one of those Wikipedia things. But you’re someone who enjoys making vodka but doesn’t drink, who enjoys creating artisanal kind of coffee, making really great coffees, but doesn’t drink coffee. And in the book, you talk about going fly fishing, but not wanting to catch fish. What’s the pattern here? what’s the trend here? Seth GodinSo all those three things are true. I wish I could drink coffee. I don’t want to drink vodka. I wish I could drink coffee, but my stomach doesn’t agree. It’s about attachment. Right? So the thing about fly fishing, which I talked about in the book, is the people who are going fly fishing or throwing the fish back anyway. So it’s not like they’re hungry. They’re engaging in a battle with an animal whose brain is smaller than a walnut. And what I found, what about myself and what I’ve seen in other people as they get attached to whether they caught fish or not, was it a good day of fishing while I caught some fish? Why does that make it a good day of fishing that you beat a walnut-brained item and then tortured it and threw it back, I just wanted to be in the world. I wanted to feel what it was like to cast Well, I wanted to do the craft without regard for whether I tricked a fish or not. And so I had a better day that day of fly fishing than most of my colleagues who were busy keeping score of something that didn’t make sense. The same way I don’t keep score, how many people read my blog, and I don’t keep score, how many copies my books sell. Because none of those things would make my writing better. They would simply put me on a path to try to either control other people or be more popular, neither one of which is my goal. And in the case of coffee and vodka, there’s a craft to making those things. And how do I know if I’m doing it? Well, other people are saying, You made this for me and it is working. And so the same thing is true inside the marketing seminar. I already know how to do marketing. So I am building it for other people who meet a certain set of criteria and then watching them. Transform is where I get my pleasure. My satisfaction James Taylor is also part of the pleasure though, working with your hands. Because you’re so much of what you do every day you’re working with your brain and your thinking. And you’re contemplating these ideas, reflecting and reading. All those things also have a physicality I guess to them as well. They just read a great book and got him on the show Professor Roger Kneebone, who wrote a book called expert, and one and he’s a great surgeon. And he talks about one of the challenges now of students coming into the surgery schools is they’ve got all that in kind of intellectual knowledge, you know where the bits are, but they have, they’re not so good with their hands less good than previous generations. So, in the end, they’ve had to start a course called thread management with the bringing embroidery people to come and teach embroidery to surgeons and that skill just to use. So it’s part of your pleasure as well as giving others pleasure and being for others and serving others. Also just you get to do something. Oh, yeah, Seth GodinI mean, I, again, I don’t know how widely spread this is, maybe it’s the way you’ve raised. So I cook dinner every night for my family and have for 20, 30 years. Because the idea that there’s a project that I’m going to use with my hands, that’s going to start and finish within 40 minutes, is very satisfying for someone who sometimes does projects that last for years. And to know that I did this thing, non professionally for people I care about gives me a great deal of satisfaction. And but I also feel the same way when I’m kerning fonts in Illustrator. Right, that’s digital, but it’s still involving, using your eyes and a feedback loop to say that it looks better than it used to look. Yeah. James Taylor One of the things in the book was nice stories, which I’d never heard before. And it was actually something in the book, I thought, sometimes I like reading books, I thought, I wonder where the book, The next book could go from this, what that could spur whether it’s the writer writes it or someone else inspires and celebrates. And you started at various points by talking about the value of diversity in creative work as a collaborative thing. So it’s not about the eyes, but by the way. And as you were starting to kind of go there, about collaborative, you told a story, which story I’d never heard before. But Pythagoras, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash and one other. Could you tell that story because I think it’s quite nice? We were talking earlier about improvisation, dissonance. We didn’t all have to be perfect, I guess. Seth GodinSo Protagoras, the guy who invented the triangle. He was a little bit of a Loon. And one of the things that he did when he would go for long walks in the village, was walking past the blacksmith shop. And blacksmiths, in those days use big heavy hammers to hit pieces of metal to bend them. And like many human beings, over time, they would come into sync and all end up hitting your hammers at the same time. And as he walked by the blacksmith shop, he heard a chord coming from the shop. And of course, since he was Protagoras, he marched into the shop and took everyone’s hammers from them. And he was the first person to publish work on the dynamics of harmony because he weighed each one of the hammers. And he was able to prove that the first four hammers differed in weight, just enough that when they hit metal at the same time, the clanging sound created a chord that we enjoyed hearing. But the punchline of the story was he had actually taken five hammers, and the fifth hammer was wrong. The fifth hammer wasn’t where it was supposed to be in harmony. And it turns out, that made it sound even better. Because the human ear gets tired of a perfect chord and is way more interested in something that’s just a little bit not mathematically, right. And then I took that idea, and I advanced it a couple of 1000 years to one of the original Supergroups, Crosby, Stills, Nash and young, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash had perfect harmony. And Neil Young did not just when they were singing, but for example, on tour, Neil took his bus and drove from city to city, and the three of them flew together. his fifth hammer, his voice not being quite right, was what made the group actually magical. And then I talk a little bit about Scott page’s work on a diversity of experience, racial background, income, and everything else. No one wants to go listen to a tuba orchestra. Because when it’s nothing but buzz, it doesn’t sound that good. So if you’re going to put together a creative team, it doesn’t make sense to hire people who only look act, and talk like you. That diversity actually played, we can prove mathematically pays very significant dividends when groups of people come together to do work. James Taylor I love that I think that’s one of the nice things from friends of mine who have gone through our MBA akimbo, that diversity of your cohort as well you’re getting those different inspirations. As we start to finish up here. One of the other things you mentioned in the book is Miss on place, your physical environment, and the impact that has upon your creativity. So I’m, I’m always in what is within touching distance of you just now when you’re writing when you’re working, what would you like to keep within that distance? Seth Godin So we have this because Is it a GIF or GIF? You have juggling balls. We have multiple pairs of eyeglasses, we have behind me a patina-filled bookcase that reminds me of where my head was when I had a good idea before in front of me. We Have this because I met Neil Armstrong and he inspired the story inside the book. It’s a mess, except I know where everything is. And that patina, that hard-earned idea that this is the place where I do the work is critical because I used to write books on airplanes. And so for me, the airplane was a trigger. If I get in there, I got nothing to do. There’s no internet, I’m going to type. And then once the internet showed up, I couldn’t read on airplanes anymore. So I have rituals, like many people who create, and mostly it’s come up with a place or an environment where no criticism is welcome. We’re no gloom and doom is appropriate. Where there is no breaking news, wolf Blitzer televisions, none of that is there, this is the room you go to only when you’re going to dance with possibility. And if you want to tear things down, do it somewhere else. And that idea that you’ve intentionally created an environment, put your brain into a different zone. James Taylor So I’m guessing, I’m wondering where you’ll be going to be going next with your writing. But at the end of the book, you just talk about this idea about a post-Industrial Revolution. Can you foresee a time maybe in your lifetime? Where machines computers robots AI, however you like to call it would have the type of creative capabilities not just to equal as humans, but actually to extend that? Or do you see it much more as these technologies are augmenting tools more than anything else? Seth Godin Well, so you know, I majored in computer science as an undergrad and studied with Douglas, not at Stanford, who’s one of the pioneers of artificial intelligence. Here’s a useful definition of artificial intelligence. It’s everything a computer can’t do yet. As soon as a computer can do its job, that’s easy, right? When they said, if a computer can beat us it, go, or Jeopardy or chess, then it will be artificially intelligent. Well, now it can at all three, and all of a sudden, no, those don’t count. So by almost every measure, computers are already doing work that we used to think of as creative work. All that’s missing is conscious intent. But as we’ve built the marketplace to be worldwide, you have no idea what the conscious intent of the Creator is, because you’re never going to meet the Creator, who for all, you know, was invented by an artificial intelligent thing. GPT three can’t write as well as your AI, but it’s getting close enough to fool some people. Yeah. And artificial intelligence can already read an X-ray better than a radiologist. So I think that the steam shovel invented far more opportunities than it destroyed, the steam shovel put a lot of ditch diggers out of work. But it opened up a whole bunch of other opportunities. We take for granted that part of what it means to be in a civilized society is that you get a whole bunch of things for free or close to free, right that in a little village in India, will clean water doesn’t come out of the tap it does here. as we add more productivity, my hope is that it doesn’t all go to the richest 1% of the world. But that we figure out Oh, food, we got enough food. Everyone should have something to eat, oh, buildings. We now know how to build buildings. Everyone should have a place to live. What’s wrong with that? And so I don’t think we’re heading for a utopia. Human beings hate utopias. We tear them down every chance we get. But I do think we are headed toward a world where coming out ahead of AI is going to require people to lean really hard into what it means to be a human and to keep changing the game. Because if the game stays the same, the computers moving in. James Taylor Well, Seth Godin, thank you so much for coming on today. Your new book is called practice shipping creative work. If you want to learn also more about akimbo and the workshops you do where’s the best place for you to go and do that? Seth Godin So Akimbo is not run by me but they do publish my workshops is it akimbo calm akimbo.com my podcast is it akimbo.link And my blog say it stops. James Taylor Well, thank you so much for coming on today. I wish you all the best with your creative work. Seth GodinThanks for having me. I appreciate it. Go make a ruckus. James Taylor You can subscribe to the super creativity podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. While you’re there, leave us a review. I really appreciate it. I’m James Taylor, and you’ve been listening to the super creativity podcast. The post Seth Godin – A Marketing Icon On His Creative Process, Shipping Creative Work and Vodka Making – #292 appeared first on James Taylor.
12 minutes | 2 months ago
The NEW SuperCreativity Podcast Show – #291
The NEW SuperCreativity Podcast Show SuperCreativity Podcast The Creative Life Podcast SuperCreativity New Things Coming Up For More of SuperCreativity Podcast By James Taylor The Creative Life Podcast So this show started as the creative life podcast over well, just under 300 episodes, or COVID. So 300 weeks, I’ve been recording a weekly episode on this show, where the guests will bring someone in to talk about some aspect of creativity, innovation, the world of ideas. I was living in London where we first started the show and I had a company I was focused really on the building, which was an online education company with a big team for that business. I just needed a little thing at the side to have fun with to experiment to learn because I value learning is the most important value that I have in my life is the ability to be able to learn to discover new things. So I was this was really a bit of a passion project. To start off, I had no major expectations for it apart from just every week, let’s interview an interesting person and share it with you share it with our listeners and if it was people who liked it, we do another one and another one. And now nearly 300 episodes later. We’ve interviewed some pretty phenomenal people at that time. You know, in the world of writing with people like David Allen, writer of getting things done, Jay Papasan, the author of The one thing Joanna pen, Chris Guillebeau, near the $100 startup Rutger Bregman, utopia for realists, Michael Bungay Stanier, the coaching habit, Donald Miller, great writer Donald Miller. But then we’ve also interviewed lots of musicians and artists like Amanda Palmer, Tommy Emmanuel, Victor Wooten Prince’s bass player, Nick West. And then in moving into the more academic side of things, lots of thinkers in the world of business, Dr. Amy Edmondson from Harvard University how Gregerson to Mark Goulston, as well as lots and lots of people who are speakers, authors, coaches, consultants, but they, have something around this world of creativity, innovation, and to a certain extent, around the world of technology as well, which is another area I’m interested in. So I was every week recording these episodes, having a lot of fun, and doing them until it didn’t become as much fun anymore. And it became a little bit routine. And the way we started the show just simply kind of learning I put together a series of questions. And pretty much every guest that came on. I was able to I asked those same questions might be a little bit of differentiation in some of the questions, but pretty much it was the same 10 or so questions, and people really liked that format. They liked the fact that every single episode, I would get the guests to share what was their, their big aha moment in their life, what was the tool that the book they were reading, this really influenced what was their favorite album, their record, people kind of really enjoy the fact that they can list all these episodes, and they’re gonna find those things from different people. But for me as a, as a host of a show, I frankly, I got a bit bored with doing it. And I wanted to switch things up. So for a number of reasons in 2010, I want to be rich being a global pandemic that we’ve all been going through, I decided to take a pause on the show. And I was a little bit bored during the show. I wasn’t feeling I was particularly learning I was kind of going through the ropes and you never want to do something just feels like a routine. You want to be excited every day. You want to have that kind of Hell yes. attitude to doing something my friend Derek Severs says. So I needed to make room for another couple of projects. One was I started writing working on my first book. And frankly, I also needed to focus on my clients, the people that really pay the bills. These are the people that often multinational companies that bring me in to be their keynote speaker at their events and to help them with these topics of creativity, innovation, artificial intelligence. And so I was really over the past year or so focused on working with them and helping them and our kind of put the creative life podcast show to the side for a little while. There was episode still coming out. And we were taking some of the interviews I recorded for some other online summits. And we can use repurposing and using those but it wasn’t perfect, but at least we were there, we’re still producing some things that were coming out. SuperCreativity Now in that journey, to kind of really discovering what was exciting in this space of creativity and creativity, research and innovation in the world of ideas. Where did I see things going next? That’s where clients bring me in to be the speaker at their events or conferences. And I arrived at this idea of SuperCreativity. And SuperCreativity is really about how we can now really develop our human creativity to its full potential and also augment it with experts. technologies like AI, like machine learning like robotics. And I’ve had a blast over the past, you know, year and a half. You know, in 2019, I was I spoke in 25 countries gave 50 keynotes in 2020. Even though I wasn’t able to travel, I think we gave as many keynotes as that, but all virtual for some phenomenal companies, you will learn more about those at Jamestaylor.me, the clients that we work with. And this kind of got me rethinking about what we wanted to do with the show. And we had a conversation, number of conversations, my team and I, and we bounced ideas back and forth. And we brainstormed and use some of the techniques that we use here, and decided to really create some alignment with our shows. So the first thing we decided to do, was to really focus everything around this idea of SuperCreativity, this brand of supercritical word that I really can create in the way that it is now and the way that is perceived to be. So we are I was already giving a keynote on this idea of SuperCreativity. We decided then to make the podcast move the podcast name, from the creative life to the SuperCreativity Podcast. And this had a number of things. One is It also allowed me to bring in voices that I would write nicely bring in if it was just really talking about their creative life. Maybe to bring in some other types of authors, other types of thinkers, other voices, frankly, we wanted to have on the show, so that this show itself has been now moving from it being called the creative life to being now called the SuperCreativity podcast. That’s where we’re going next. New Things Coming Up But in addition to that, we’ve got some really cool things that we’re as we’re going to extend upon this whole SuperCreativity branding. But the first thing I wanted to give you a bit of a heads up on some of the guests that we’ve got coming up because I also want to change the type of guests that we came up with. And as you’ll notice from some of these guests, we’ve got some pretty big hitters here in the world in terms of thinkers. So our first episode of this new SuperCreativity podcast is with the great Seth Godin great creative thinker, great marketing mind, and it has a phenomenal interview. And I’m really looking forward, to sharing that with you. And you so you can listen to that episode. But we’ve also got some other kind of highways and byways. We’ve got Carl Benedikt Frey, who’s a professor from Oxford University, who really talks about the future of work because I find a lot of the work I’m doing today is that combination of our human creativity, our human curiosity, with exponential technologies, as I want to have that blend, I want to bring in people who are great researchers around creativity, great thinkers on the topic of creativity and curiosity, but also combine that with people who are really at the cutting edge of what’s going on in the world of technology, and how those two things combined. We’ve got people like Professor Roger Kneebone, he is a surgeon, not the first thing you naturally think of when you think about creativity. But he’s written an excellent book called expert, all about the path to mastery. And we talk about creativity in the context of how you see top performers. Whether that top performer maybe a top surgeon, maybe a top musician, a top tailor, making a suit, this idea about how creativity comes into their work. I’ve got Dr. Cindy Burnett, because everything I share with you, I also want to keep it grounded in what is provable to this point, in terms of what is tested, what the research is showing us. And Dr. Cindy Burnett, who’s an academic who writes and thinks and publishes work around creativity was, I was so glad that we could bring her in as one of our guests on this, this new version of the show. So we’ve got some really cool things coming up for you. SuperCreativity TV, SuperCreativity Keynote SuperCreativity Book, SuperCreativityU In addition to the podcast, though, which is going to be primarily audio podcasts, we might sometimes do video versions of the meal, but primarily an audio podcast, we are also going to be launching SuperCreativity TV, and SuperCreativity TV will be video episodes. Mostly we’re gonna be talking about these shows on YouTube. But there will be other platforms as well. And this is just me, this is kind of certainly the kind of solo episodes where I’m sharing some discoveries I’m finding and ways that you can develop your creativity, make your team more innovative, increase your productivity, some of the things that we talk here about something else that’s very exciting that we’re working on just now in an addition to the SuperCreativity podcast and super creative TV show, there will also be a SuperCreativity book. This will be my first ever book, people have been asking me to publish a book for years and I’m finally got around to working on writing that on this book. And we hope to be getting that out in probably 2022. That book will be coming out. And then finally, to kind of bring all this together to place it under something as well. We decided to create an institution a place where we can share some of the best training on this idea of SuperCreativity and we’re gonna be sharing To training not just on creativity in terms of creativity, skills training was creative thinking training, but also around communication skills around critical thinking or in collaboration skills, all as it relates to, to developing a more creative team and building a more creative organization and living a more creative life. So that’s going to be called SuperCreativity. You said creativity University, and keep an eye out for that as well. So now we have the SuperCreativity podcast, we have the SuperCreativity TV show, we have the SuperCreativity speech, the keynote, we have the SuperCreativity book, and we have SuperCreativity, you coming on coming up, giving that all kind of alignment, so you’ll start to notice in the branding is going to be changing soon, won’t happen overnight. So if you’ve been listening to the show, this has been called the creative life is now going to be changing into now this called the SuperCreativity podcast. If you’re already a subscriber, great, we don’t have to do anything, nothing will change for you. If you’re coming to us for the very first time, maybe someone’s just sent you this episode, you can subscribe to the SuperCreativity podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts episodes. Also, while you’re there, whether you’re a new listener, or whether you’ve been listening for a while to some of our previous episodes, nearly 300 episodes, please go to wherever you listen to your podcasts and leave us a review. It really means a lot, I really appreciate you doing it. And also because the app with algorithms works, it exposes this show to more people. So that’s the thinking. That’s what’s been going on behind the scenes, you’re gonna see lots of more changes coming on as well changes to the only constant. And thank you if you’ve been listening to this show for a while Thank you for coming on this journey with me. Thank you for listening to all these apps. Thanks for all the emails that we’ll be receiving, or the tweets, we’ll be receiving all the messages, build things in various different platforms, social media platforms. Thank you, thank you. It’s been an absolute joy, doing the speakers a lot of doing the creative life but time changes, things move on. So we’re now moving to this new exciting chapter of the SuperCreativity to be really podcast, TV show, keynote, book, speech, and university. So thanks so much for listening. Make sure you subscribe and look out for that very first episode in this new version of the show, which is with the wonderful Seth Godin. Thanks for listening The post The NEW SuperCreativity Podcast Show – #291 appeared first on James Taylor.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021