Transforming your staff's potential

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Delicious Tidbits: Creativity and the Creative Process

In my work these there are some delicate challenges to address and wicked problems to solve.  As a result, I have been picking up on themes related to the creative process. The following are articles in my Delicious library that include the tag "Creativity" or "CreativeProcess".


On new research that finds brainstorming hinders creativity:

FastCoDesign recently published a post on deliberative discourse: Innovation Is About Arguing, Not Brainstorming. Here’s How To Argue Productively.  Science shows that brainstorms can activate a neurological fear of rejection and that groups are not necessarily more creative than individuals. Brainstorming can actually be detrimental to good ideas.  Five key rules of engagement to constructive and creative arguing yield fruitful sessions and ultimately lead to meaningful ideas.

Over at Psyblog, they are thinking about the same thing:    Why Group Norms Kill Creativity.  The upswing of the article is similar to the article above, but their conclusion are different.  They conclude creativity within groups isn't impossible, but it has to fight hard to get out. Coming up with something truly new often means having to steer a path away from the herd, towards new horizons.  They say, "go it alone".

On the hard work of synthesizing and interpreting visual ideas into verbal communication:

Dan Roam and Nancy Duarte compare their processes for interpreting their visual ideas into language and organized them into cogent "stories."

Dan Roam - Creative Process from Duarte Design on Vimeo.

On Improvisation

Liz Danzico, equal parts designer, educator and editor and sports an impressive professional pedigree.  People are improvising. She speaks here on improvisation and design.  Whether intentional or not, designers are putting forth opportunities for people to engage in frameworks, giving them connections to take advantage of (or not). This session explores how these frameworks take hold and what the opportunities are for interaction designers.

Liz Danzico-Frames:  Notes on Improvisation and Design from Interaction Design Association on Vimeo.

On Failure as a critical element of the creative process:

and highlight three parts of the design thinking process.
    1. Inspiration: Observing users in their own environment to identify latent needs. Takeaway: See the world differently in order to capitalize on needs that your competition hasn’t taken the time to recognize.
    2. Ideation: Developing new ideas based on observations to address latent needs. Takeaway: Don’t depend on your customers for the big ideas.
    3. Implementation: Testing assumptions of new ideas to continuously shape them into viable opportunities. Takeaway: Fail quickly and often not to kill an idea but to make it better.

 Jessica Hagy at This is Indexed speaks (visually) to why 2nd and 3rd and 4th chances are vital:

On Creative Leadership:

Clark Quinn over at Learnlets created this mindmap of John Maeda's presentation on creative leadership and the need for art in his keynote for Learning Solutions.

Here is SHRM's white paper on Creativity and Innovation in Human Resource Management.  In it, the author addresses the meaning of value creation, thinking Strategies for creativity, innovation diagnostics and tips for practice.

On the value of courage, vulnerability and authenticity for the creative process:

Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Her own humor, humanity and vulnerability shine through every word.
Brené Brown studies vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame.

Humorously and profanely, Louis CK also addresses the topics of courage, vulnerability and authenticity as vital traits for the creative process.  He spoke at an event remembering and honoring his idol, George Carlin.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Humor in Visualizations and Presentations

It is said that the jester was the only person in court who could speak hard truths to the king without risking the guillotine.  Humor is as powerful a tool to help us "see" as visualizations.  Together?  Pow!

Jessica Hagy plots out learning relationships at "This is Indexed":

Learning curves on winding roads.

It’s called learning.

Next, Randall Munroe's infographics do a little navel-gazing at XKCD:


Don McMillan explains how NOT to use PowerPoint for presenting: 

Demetri Martin uses an infographic to explain a dating phenomenon.

And here he is describing his self-misdirected learning.  (No infographics here, but lots of visual aids!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Delicious Tidbits: MOOCs

Among the threads of learning I am weaving into my understanding of instructional design and adult learning is the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).  Here are some finds I've stored away in my Delicious Library:

Per Wikipedia:
"A MOOC is a course where the participants are distributed and course materials also are dispersed across the web. This is possible only if the course is open, and works significantly better if the course is large. The course is not a gathering, but rather a way of connecting distributed instructors and learners across a common topic or field of discourse. MOOCs are a more recent form of online course development, departing from formats that rely on posted resources, Learning Management Systems, and structures that mix the LMS with more open web resources."

To me, one of the most exciting qualities of MOOCs is their empowering nature  MOOCs empower learners to self-define the goal and metrics of success of the learning. Additionally, learners are co-creators of knowledge along with their facilitators and colleagues. 

Here are some useful and fun resources, plucked from my delicious library, for learning how to participate in and build/deliver a MOOC:

The MOOC Guide

The purpose of this eBook, hosted by Google, is two-fold:
  • To offer an online history of the development of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
  • To use that history to describe major elements of a MOOC

Each chapter of this guide looks at one of the first MOOCs and some early influences. It contains these parts:
  • A description of the MOOC, what it did, and what was learned
  • A description of the element of MOOC theory learned in the offering of the course
  • Practical tools that can be used to develop that aspect of a MOOC
  • Practical tips on how to be successful

A Brief Guide To Understanding MOOCs

In this article, written by Ken Masters for the Internet Journal of Medial Education, and published by Internet Scientific Publlications, the author presents a brief guide to assist teaching staff in understanding the conceptual changes required by instructors to implement a MOOC successfully.