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Notes on Creativity

This is the name of the current Ferran Adria exhibit. He is a personal hero and a genius in the field of creativity. He would close his restaurant for six months each year and completely reinvent his menu. His creative process of experimenting, documenting and discovery is captured in the film elBulli named after his restaurant in Spain. This was the #1 restaurant in the world until it closed in 2011. Ferran is reinventing the creative expereince through his elBulli foundation and museum.
What is Creativity?
“The tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.” Human Motivation, 3rd ed., by Robert E. Franken
“… to bring into existence something genuinely new that is valued enough to be added to the culture.” Creativity – Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Being Creative Requires:

  • Permission – too many people give up easily by saying, “I am just not creative.” That’s false. You can be as creative as you allow yourself to be. This is a skill that you can learn and with practice you will get better and better. Creative genius is developed, so give yourself permission to be creative.
  • Curiosity > Chaos > Connection > Confidence – this is an interesting blend. You need to be curious in order to stay open to new ideas. If you believe that everything is solved, invented and figured out, then you have no space for creativity. You need to allow some chaos to exist as ideas are being generated. In the midst of chaos you make connections between different ideas. Finally you must have confidence to play, experiment and share your ideas with others.
  • Great Questions – excellent questions are the gateway to breakthrough creative thinking. Great questions create the curiosity that opens new possibilities for a creative mind to solve. Although many people associate creativity with literary, musical or artistic endeavors, you can apply creativity to any and all areas of life. What is your question?

An inspiring story of creativity comes from The Empowerment Plan. Veronika Scott was working with the homeless when she observed that they slept in their coats and asked, “why can’t they have a coat that converts to a sleeping bag so they can stay warm on the street?” Through creativity and some hard work she’s created an organization that’s making a difference.
How can you apply your creativity to make a difference?

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