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How to be creative on demand

ben keenan
November 30, 2011

How to be creative on demand

I come up with ideas for a living. This is a talk I did for Melbourne geek night that outlines what ideas are, why its more important than ever to practice creativity in your working life, and goes through a very useful technique that externalises the process of coming up with a creative solution.

ben keenan

November 30, 2011
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  1. a talk for melbourne geek night

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  2. Read “The Creative Crisis” article from Newsweek 10, July 2010.
    THE CREATIVE INTELLEGENCE
    OF SCHOOL STUDENTS HAS BEEN
    STEADILY DECLINING SINCE 1991.
    UNTIL THEN, IT HAD
    BEEN STEADILY RISING.

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  5. Google: The surpising truth about what motivates us, by Dan Pink.

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  6. There are two kinds of creativity.

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  7. Personal creativity is your own voice.
    Practical creativity is someone elses.

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  8. An idea is a new
    relationship forged
    between two or more
    existing thoughts.

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  9. Creativity is just connecting things.
    When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel
    guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something, it
    seemed obvious after a while. That’s because they were able to
    connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.
    And the reason they were able to do that was that they’d had more
    experiences or they have thought more about their
    experiences than other people.
    Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our
    industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have
    enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions
    with a broad perspective on the problem.
    The broader one’s understanding of the human experience,
    the better design we will have.
    - Steve Jobs.

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  10. Watch: Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity
    You don’t think up ideas.
    You merely recognise them.

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  11. Watch: Rory Sutherland: Sweat the small stuff
    When seeking ideas.
    Think small. Not big.

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  13. Before you start, set a clear goal.
    - What is the problem you are trying to solve?
    - What is a successful outcome?
    - Who are you talking to?
    - Who is signing off the idea?
    Phrase the problem as a question.

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  14. 50 BOXES.
    Put down fifty boxes on a page, and fill each with a thought,
    an idea, an insight, something that might solve the problem.

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  16. Things are going to get weird
    and that is perfectly normal.

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  17. 50 boxes is divergent thinking.
    It takes you beyond first thoughts
    It gives you a beginning and an end.
    More boxes, more dots.

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  19. Convergent Thinking

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  20. How do the ideas stack up?
    - What is the problem you are trying to solve?
    - What is a successful outcome?
    - Who are you talking to?
    - Who is signing off the idea?
    Go back to the question.

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  21. Be objective.
    Don’t take criticism personally.
    Remember, we recognise
    ideas, they are never ‘ours’
    to begin with.

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  23. A summary
    An idea is a new relationship forged
    between two or more existing thoughts.
    You recognise ideas, you not think them up.
    Creativity is connecting dots, more dots
    more connections, more ideas.
    State the problem clearly.
    Think small. not big.
    Don’t edit until the end.
    Make choices, be objective.

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  24. Thanks, i will post this talk on twitter tomorrow.
    Follow me
    @warmcola

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