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I came across this great video (see below) from Tofu Design called 29 ways to stay creative. I really like the title because it assumes you and me are creative to start with, which is my mantra. Creativity is in our DNA – some of us just have to dig deeper for it if we’ve been discouraged from displaying our creative gifts.
I’ve added to the 29 points to emphasize how you can stay creative when you’re training, creativity being such an important part of training and all. The first part of each item below is from the video (e.g. break the rules), what follows are my suggestions (e.g. create curiousity).
21) Break the rules – in training ‘ah ha!’ is often preceded by ‘huh?’ as the Heath Brothers say in their excellent book Made to Stick. Create curiousity, don’t give away all the ‘answers’. Learning will pop and stick as a result.
22) Don’t force it – you can lead a horse to the classroom but you can’t make her learn. Create the most sumptuous learning environment and learning content you can but know learning is a partnership between you and the participants. You can’t force learning.
23) Read a page of the dictionary – I use paper or online dictionaries for a creativity activity. To reinforce the concept of ‘cobbling,’ that is creative concepts often cobble together disparate, seemingly unconnected things, I’ll have participants pick two random words from a dictionary and make up a story for how they’re related. How are watermelons and speakers connected?
24) Create a framework – have a plan. Know where you’re headed with your training content. Break it into organized chunks. That’s how our brains learn.
25) Stop trying to be someone else’s perfect – learn from the masters but make your training your own. If you’re copying someone else the participants will know it.
26) Got an idea? Write it down – training ideas are elusive. Got one? Make sure you capture it on your iPhone, Blackberry, notepad whatever, just capture it.
27) Clean your workplace – make sure your training supplies are easy to find and organize. No one pays you to take 4 hours to pack up your supplies for a workshop. Organize your training agendas. Mine always include:
- a list of supplies I’m bringing to the workshop
- a list of supplies I’ve arranged for the client to provide
- what I need to do on site to prepare before the workshop starts
28) Have fun – I always say suffering is optional when it comes to learning. Make your training workshops enjoyable and retention increases. The old adage of ‘putting your nose to the grindstone’ involves blood people! Who wants to suffer when it affects learning and dramatically decreases retention.
29) Finish something – all good things must come to and end, just like this series and just like training workshops. Make sure you plan for a suitable closing. I plan my closings to include a focus on both process or Journey Life Lenses® as well as content or Destination Life Lenses®. Then, depending on the particular group I’m working with and what they need, I’ll put the emphasis more on one or the other.
Putting the points into practice I’m combining 5 take a break, 8 drink coffee (or my equivalent shake your booty), 18 (count your blessings), 28 (have fun). Eureka by the Soweto String Quartet just came on. I’ve just cranked it up and am about to leap out of my chair and dance to it.
Point 9 is listen to new music. Make a comment below about your idea for staying creative. On Sept 26th I’ll randomly draw three people who’ve commented and send them a copy of Eureka so you too can put the points into action!