Monday, November 14, 2016

Book Review: Creativity – A New Vocabulary

by MaryBeth Zacharias

What are the relationships and actions that take place between Rhodes’ 4 Ps of creativity?  What needs to happen in order for a creative product to take hold or for it to be recognized as an innovation?  What is stopping solutions to society’s wicked problems—that are developed at the individual and community levels—from being adopted at the city, state, and even national level?  What roles do our visible and invisible institutions, our societal norms, ethos, and mores, play in creative change?

As the context in which I explore creativity expands—from the individual and teams to organizations, communities, cities and beyond—questions like these have surfaced.  During my first year of studies I gained a solid understanding of the individual, cognitive-side of creativity and how the creative process works within teams and organizations.  However, the social and inter/active-side—what in my mind is the “sociology of creativity”—was pulling at me. And after an earnest research, I ran across a book of scholarly essays that began to shed some light on the questions running through my mind.

Creativity – A New Vocabulary, edited by Vlad Glăveanu, Lene Tanggaard, and Charlotte Wegener, professors from Aalborg University in Denmark, is a compilation of 21 reflective scholarly essays written by the editors and ten of their colleagues. The authors of these essays, all with different focus areas within psychology, selected a concept from their own area of study, that was not traditionally associated with creativity, and explored the concept “to develop a new way of understanding creativity as a dynamic, relational, developmental phenomenon” (p. 6). (See Appendix for a full list of the concepts, authors, and their fields of study).

Why did Glăveanu and his colleagues decide to re-examine the vocabulary associated with creativity? From their viewpoint, the study of creativity has been dominated by the same framework for the past half-century, and this framework is focused on the person and his/her cognitive abilities. They believe creativity goes beyond an individual act and unfolds because of the interactions and relationships among people and their surroundings. Throughout the 21 chapters presented in Creativity – A New Vocabulary, the authors show us how creativity can be viewed as a continuous process and journey, with relationships that extend beyond person-to-person to include person-to-objects, -materiality, and -time.

What the authors in this book do so well is take familiar concepts, or concepts we may intuitively associate with the individual, and reframe them so that this focus is secondary, and the action, the movement, the relationship of these concepts are brought to the forefront and become the primary association to creativity.  Some examples include:

  • Charlotte Wegener, in the Upcycling chapter, makes the distinction between recycling (making something old new again) and upcycling, noting that “upcycling makes the relation between the past the future, not novelty itself, the main object of interest” in creativity (p. 183).
  • When reading the chapter on Craft, the reader gets a sense that the “a-ha!” moment or the final creative product is an afterthought, and it’s the “perspiration,” the time, energy, rewrites, experiments, failures, and hours of mastery that are the true mark of creativity.
  • A number of chapters focus on aspects of communication, in particular Language, Translation, and Perspectives.  This entry from the Perspective chapter provides a summary that includes underlying themes for each language concept: “...creativity is much more than generating new or divergent ideas as a purely cognitive exercise…it involves at all times the dialogue and movement between different socially and materially defined positions” (p. 109).
  • The emotion of Fear becomes a conduit for creativity as Luca Tateo explains how its relationship with signs, not knowing, and reification create frameworks for collective behavior and to build cultures.
  • And in one of the most profound entries for me, Reflexivity, the circular relationship between cause and effect, Saint-Laurent and Glăveanu propose that “we need to open our eyes to the social conditions of others and how we might be responsible for them” (p. 126) challenging me to incorporate reflexivity when facilitating divergent thinking during Creative Problem Solving (CPS) facilitations.

Though it was both enlightening and entertaining to read the authors reframed and expanded views on the various concepts—and then to play with the new knowledge myself—I was reminded that action and relationships are already accounted for in various theories, models, tools and techniques of creativity.  The authors brought forth a number of concepts that they deemed “missing” from creativity research that are represented in creativity as I have studied it.  One example is Affordance, which is a term used to describe all actions that are physically possible for an object. Glăveanu discusses how we see objects based on their purpose within our cultural context and to see beyond that purpose, as well as see the object as a deconstruction of its parts, has a place in creativity.  When reading this chapter, I thought of the similarities between Affordance and the CPS technique of Forced Connections as well as the Torrance Incubation Model (TIM) principles of Look at It Another Way and Visualize the Inside. Some of the dynamic concepts brought forth by Glăveanu et al hold a place in the current creativity paradigms, though they are not always as visible or pronounced, researched or studied as the psychological aspects.

I agree with the authors that creativity may be unevenly focused on the individual.  Reading the book reinforced with me how important relationships and action are to creativity. Yet, so are the various aspects of the individual.  Instead of replacing or prioritizing one over the other, I see them as complementary and believe there are opportunities and extraordinary benefits to surfacing elements of the social side of creativity within the current frameworks and models I use as a practitioner.

There were 21 different concepts presented in this book and each brought a unique dynamic, relational, and developmental perspective to creativity.  By simply reframing the concepts I started to think differently about creativity.  Many times the reframing was very nuanced, but just on the other side of the nuance was a profound insight that turned cognitive, emotional, and individual aspects of creativity into material, process, social, and cultural aspects of creativity. I am afraid this book review barely skims the surface on the richness and depth that was presented, and the potential implications for this perspective in the research and application of creativity.  This book is recommended for anyone who wants to dig deeper into the action and interaction associated with creativity and explore creativity from a non-traditional perspective.

MaryBeth Zacharias is completing the final year of her Master of Science degree in Creativity and Change Leadership at the International Center for Studies in Creativity.  She has particular interest in creativity and Creative Problem-Solving from a change and development perspective.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Book Review - Originals: How non-conformists move the world

Nineteen hours before the deadline of my “hot book in creativity” review, I finally began my writing. I have mixed feelings about my timing: I feel guilty for not getting productive until the last minute, but I’ve also learned to trust my procrastination to be the best way to crank a good blog post out of my brain…

What a blessing to learn that procrastinating is actually one of the effective strategies to deliver something original. Maybe not good for productivity, but wonderful for creativity. This was the perfect way for professor Adam Grant to win me over in his new book, Originals, flattering me even more by sharing that I’m in good company. Martin Luther King, Jr. was still writing his most important speech at three o’clock the night before delivering it. He kept rewriting until the minute he got on stage. Where he then improvised those four important words: “I have a dream”.

How is procrastination good for creativity? Leaving things open until the last minute keeps you flexible and open to new and better ideas. People that remain open to alternatives generate more original options than the obvious first ideas. The condition being, of course, that you use procrastination as a deliberate strategy for incubation. When you keep your task in the back of your mind and you keep open to it, you are more likely to diverge on ideas to solve your task while engaging in other activities. This diverging on ideas is only one aspect of what it takes to be an original.

Grant has spent years researching people he calls Originals. These are non-conformists who not only have ideas, but who also act on them. Grant defines them as the driving force behind creativity and change. Originality starts with curiosity, and Grant’s curiosity is exactly that what makes this book so original. Grant asks and researches questions that are so original that they shed a novel light on often-hidden aspects of creativity and originality. And last, but not least, Grant refutes several assumptions around creativity.

For those who are familiar with creativity research and literature, many aspects he considers are not new. But the extensive research and the great examples in the book deepened my knowledge on the topic and made me feel so much smarter. I now not only know the facts, but also feel better equipped to help myself and others act in more original ways. That’s why I urge you to read the book. As a sneak preview, here are some fascinating facts and myths that stood out for me.

Did you know that Apple users with Firefox and Windows users with Chrome browsers perform better than the ones using Safari and Explorer? This has nothing to do with performance of the software. It has to do with rejecting the default and exploring different options. Users who are critical and curious enough to take small actions, like downloading a new browser to use instead of the default Safari or Explorer, are more likely to also have novel ways of fixing issues for customers.

Action is what sets originals apart from others with great ideas. Originals often engage in the act of creative destruction, as doing things differently often requires demolishing the old way of doing things. This may lead you to the idea that originals can be ruthless risk-takers. In fact, they balance risk out with security.  or example, entrepreneurs are known for taking risks to launch their original ideas, but very successful entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs of Apple and the Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have put their eggs in different baskets for years. Balancing risks in different portfolios allows room for originality. To be original in one area, you need emotional and social stability in others. This balance doesn’t mean being moderate in everything. It means taking extreme risks on one end and being extremely cautious on another.

Another myth that Grant wipes off the table is that the lack of originality is caused by the lack of novel ideas. Instead, it’s a matter of poor idea selection. It’s difficult to predict the success of novel ideas. You may know that one way to have original ideas is to have many ideas. But how can you forecast if an idea will become successful? Not through self-evaluation, as research shows that we overestimate our own ideas. Not through management, since managers are often risk averse. Nor through pilots, because the public needs time to get used to novel and unknown ideas. The best way is to get feedback from other creators in your domain. Ask different people in your domain to get diverse feedback.

As previously stated, it’s a smart move for originality’s sake to take time for idea generation. Waiting also proves to be an important survival strategy when marketing new products and services. We often hear how important it is to stay ahead of competition, but research shows that’s untrue. Historically, pioneers that have been the first to enter the market were six times more likely to fail than the slower-launching settlers who have entered the market created by the pioneers. This is because the latter could make investments that the market wasn’t ready to support in the times of the former.

In the second part of the book Grant shifts from individuals to groups. Along with effective communication strategies to help original ideas get embraced, and tips on creating allies (particularly with your “frenemies”), Grant warns about the danger of groupthink, the enemy of originality. Ray Dalio, CEO of the Bridgewater Investment Company, does everything in his power to avoid groupthink. Bridgewater promotes radical transparency to get the best ideas on the table for everybody to challenge. Where most leaders don’t want their employees to bring them problems, but instead encourage solutions, Dalio wants his employees to approach him with challenges, diagnose them, share their reasoning and explore the causes and solutions. A believability score system guards the quality of the problem solving.

The book has many more inspiring examples that help my ambition. Like Martin Luther King, Jr., I have a dream. Mine is to dissect my own originality and use the building blocks to help others unleash their originality. Grant helped me get a better insight in myself. Now it’s my turn to help others gain insight in what it takes for them to be original.

Anneke Veenendaal-de Kort is a master student at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State. Anneke holds a Master in communications in The Netherlands where she lives and works as a communications consultant. Anneke’s drive is to design inspiring communications concepts to move people to move their organization towards new, innovative or just inspiring goals. Before starting her Master, Anneke wrote and published a management cookbook with tasty recipes for creative communications in change.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Book Review - Surprise: Embrace the unpredictable and engineer the unexpected

Book review by Sara Smith

Years ago, my sisters and I were traveling around Belgium and ended up in a little town, its name I have long since forgotten. Speaking no Flemish and having no real plans, we followed a sign that looked like it would lead us to a tourism office. Instead, we found ourselves climbing the spiral, stone steps of a dark tower. When we finally reached the top, we carefully opened an old wooden door to reveal a space filled with dozens of huge metal bells ringing out the most hauntingly melodic song I had ever heard. We walked among them in awe, the music vibrating through us. This probably would be a great memory even if we had planned it, but it is so deeply etched into my heart and mind because of one very special factor: surprise. Think of your favorite story to tell from your life. Chances are there is an element of surprise in it.

That’s because, as Surprise authors Tania Luna and LeeAnn Renninger say, surprise makes you “-er:” happier, angrier, funnier. It intensifies whatever feeling you have. It causes us to be “completely present, wildly curious, expanding our perspectives, and connected with others.” When we are surprised, we feel the most alive.

If that’s not a reason to delve into the science of surprise, I don’t know what is. Tania Luna is the founder of Surprise Industries, a company that creates surprise experiences for individuals and groups, and LeeAnn Renninger has a Ph.D. in psychology, surprise being one of her areas of research. The two met, became fast friends, and the result is Surprise: Embrace the Unpredictable and Engineer the Unexpected.

This book is a delightful delve into the world of surprise and unpredictability. A beautiful balance of science and practical tools, this book is a fun package for helping us to improve our lives with creativity. And the authors don’t just tell you about surprise – weaved in throughout the book are surprises they’ve left along the way, from the line-drawn illustrations opening each chapter that house little hidden objects throughout to the subtle examples included in the text that light up your brain just like they tell you surprise does.

The book begins with the science of surprise – what it is and what it does to us. Surprisingly, our reaction to a surprise is predictable. It follows a sequence: “we freeze, try to find an explanation, shift our perspective, and share our experience.” The authors give details on each of these phases including what exactly happens in our brains during this surprise sequence - how the P300 brain wave spikes and directs all of our attentional resources towards the surprise, creating a cognitive burden we must release through sharing. They describe a figurative see-saw with predictability on one end and surprise on the other - too much of the former causing boredom and too much of the latter causing anxiety. We all need a balance of surprise in our lives.

Next the book moves into a carefully crafted argument of the importance of surprise to our lives and why it is increasingly something we need not only to handle, but master. In our rapidly changing and increasingly complicated world, we need to be able to handle the surprising changes - both good and bad - and also create novelty so we don’t fall into stagnation. Handling surprise is all about tolerating ambiguity. People have generally become averse to surprise because it means we aren’t in control; it makes us vulnerable. But, the authors argue, putting yourself in the position of being vulnerable and open to ambiguity and the unexpected, is how we grow. One of the tools they introduce in section two is “Scenario Plan,” in which you diverge on several possible futures for yourself and then devise a plan that is flexible enough to fit any of them. This is a way to find that balance between control and surprise.

In the last two sections of the book the authors provide tools to help you inject more surprise into your life. We can engineer surprise in order to grow, to capture attention, to create something new, and to connect with others. The authors even go so far as to say, “each of us has the capacity and maybe even the responsibility to surprise the world.” Some readers may wish for more concrete, specific examples in the latter half of the book, but, of course, the only way to really engineer surprise is by using one’s creativity. That being said, a few times throughout the book, the authors start an intriguing story as an example, but never reveal the rest so as to not give away their surprise, which falls flat. Nonetheless, in the tools provided in this section, creativity enthusiasts will recognize and enjoy reading about creativity principles like novelty, tolerating ambiguity, tolerating complexity, risk-taking, incubation, iteration, and connection making, but all wrapped up with a pretty surprise bow. For example, one of the tools is to “practice idea mixology” by having diverse experiences and inserting new things into your life so you can make unusual connections.

Surprise is a great introduction to creativity ideas for the novice, and even for those well-versed in the field, it provides the joy of surprise by packaging creativity principles in a novel way as well as sharing some new tools for your back pocket. Reading it allowed me to start noticing surprise everywhere and how people responded to it. The tools they provide are considerations and perspectives that when applied along with your own creativity, can make magic happen.

This book is a fun, light read, even with all the scientific references, and as an added bonus, includes excellent summarizing “cheat sheets” at the end of each chapter, so that with Surprise close at hand, you can make the world a little more surprising. Maybe your favorite story to tell is yet to come - and just a surprise away.

Sara Smith is a writer and educator. Her passions include creativity, community, and learning. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in creativity from the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State. Her most recent work, LisTEN: an idea journal, was released this August.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Book Review: Wired to Create

Book Review by Tamara Doleman

Has the answer “It Depends”, articulated regularly by the ICSC professors in our creativity classes, ever frustrated you? Have you ever felt confused about what makes a person creative?  Well you are not alone, there are many complexities and contradictions in and within the identified characteristics we believe enable us to be creative. Now thanks to this “hot off the press” book, Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind, Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, a creativity researcher and co-founder of The Creativity Post along with Ms. Carolyn Gregoire, a senior writer at the Huffington Post, explore the paradoxical characteristics, traits and habits of mind that enable us to be creative. Declaring we are all “wired to create” the authors frame creativity as a lifestyle and way of engaging in the world. Developed from Gregoire’s viral article, the 18 Things Highly Creative People do Differently (Huffington Post, 2014) ,  the co-authors highlight 10 important habits of mind that support the fundamental thought processes, creativity skills and ways of being that contribute to one’s creative potential.  At the same time, they emphasize the little bundle of contradictions we will encounter and need to accept within ourselves if we are to maximize and harness the power of our unique creative minds.

The book is part historical non-fiction, part narrative, a tad self-help and a smidge neuroscience.  It draws on extensive academic data gathered since the beginning of time on the characteristics of creativity as they relate to the creative person; as understood within the context of Mel Rhodes’ 4P Creativity framework, in which creativity occurs at the intersection between a (P)erson and their characteristics, a (P)rocess and the environmental (P)ress resulting in an  outcome or (P)roduct (Rhodes ,1961). Kaufman and Gregoire’s investigation of these creative “personality” behaviors draws on research gathered from a variety sources and domains across time and place, brought up to 21st century relevancy with the addition of neuroscientific data and support. The authors synthesize a complexity of information in an easy to digest style that paints a truly comprehensive, contemporary, wonderfully messy portrait of the creative psyche.

At the core of the book the authors highlight that to understand our creative mind, it is necessary to embrace messy contradictions.  Our creativity is not dependent on a single characteristic but rather, a system of interacting characteristics that we possess and exhibit in differing degrees and quantities and at different times. Moreover, these characteristics are plastic, seemingly self-organizing and multifaceted. Creativity is not static. It responds, grows, recoils and relates to its experiences.  Like our fingerprints, our creative profiles are unique and original to no one but ourselves.  Each of us is an original improvisation of these essential interacting characteristic ingredients and it is how we use our creative profiles that shape our unique creative expression and output. It is our unique creativity that provides an opportunity for us to express original and adaptive products that are useful, providing us with the opportunity to experience meaning and purpose.

The book is organized along ten chaptered topics that could be read and digested independently from one another: Imaginative Play, Passion, Daydreaming, Solitude, Intuition, Openness to Experience, Mindfulness, Sensitivity, Turning Adversity into Advantage and Thinking Differently. Each topic is explored in depth and the most interesting ones to me presented paradoxes and polarities. For instance, the authors explained how the average creative writer situates in the top 15 percent on all measures of psychopathology yet, at the same time scores very high on all measures of psychological health. In another example, the authors dissect a professional musician’s paradoxical oscillation between introverted and extroverted personality characteristics They shared that he requires introversion and solitude when writing and creating and extraversion and companionship when he performs. Their example brought to mind the like of Prince and Michael Jackson, both incredibly outgoing on stage yet in interviews barely willing to look people in the eye or speak above a whisper. At the eminent creative level, we observe many individuals who appear almost “Jekyll and Hyde” like in nature. These paradoxical qualities are numerous. The creation process itself oscillates between divergence, or what they equate to a nonconformist mindset and convergence, which employs a highly conscientious mindset. To navigate creation most effectively, a person calls on mindfulness to tend to detail but also requires mind-wandering and imagination to feed the visionary and big picture thinker. Through these interesting examples we learn that highly creative people allow themselves to operate within a continuum of personality traits and behaviors. Their behavior is a reactive or proactive expression made in line with the demands of the domain in which they are creating.

Based on the evidence provided by Kaufman and Gregoire, one comes to understand that our level of creativity is linked to the ability we have to switch between thinking modes, characteristics and ways of being, back and forth as each unique situation or challenge requires. Knowing when and how to use opposing mindsets, traits and characteristics in the creation process, impacts the output of our creativity. The highly creative person is not “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, but rather a shape shifter, one who transforms at will.

Useful for educators, therapists, artists, designers, makers, creators and all people who want to know more about how to maximize their creative potential, this book is a welcomed addition to the plethora of creativity books on the shelf. It is certain to distinguish itself from the others by highlighting the neuroscientific processes observed in the brain that accompany creative characteristics and behaviors. For instance, our dopamine levels are at the root of our motivation and desire to get things done. In a world that holds scientific data in high regard, this book legitimizes the subject of creativity by presenting it as a detectable cognitive process. Something is indeed happening in our brains!  Most importantly one is left believing that there is a place for almost every way of being and behavior within the creative process. There is not one way to be a creative person, there is room for many ways of being. The book helps identify where we can uncover our own creative nature and then challenges us to consider the ways each of us can nurture our strengths and deficits in our unique creative personality. The neuroscientific data points to the benefit of fostering the development and expression of contradictory characteristics and mindsets through practice in childhood to set the brain wiring up to toggle between polarities quickly and easily. However, if you are like me, well into the experience of life, you can rest assured you have everything you already need to be creative. Creative people make the best of the wide range of skills and traits they already possess, so identify yours, read the book. 

Tamara Doleman is the current head of visual arts at Ashbury College and is just two courses shy of completing her MSc of Creativity at Buffalo State University. As an artist-teacher-researcher, Tamara is passionate about supporting all the ways to nurture creativity in schools. She is curious about the factors that contribute to deep learning, collaboration, resilience and self-actualization. 
An art-maker, a loving wife and a busy mother of two bouncing boys, Tamara has discovered that her ultimate goal is to live a creative life. As such, her creation process is one of discovery as she strives to create meaningful work from a place of flow, connection to spirit and to the world around her. She strives to support others to find their passion and to make their own magic.

Works Cited:

Gregoire, C.  (2014, March, 4). 18 things highly creative people do differently. Retrieved from

Rhodes, M. (1961). An analysis of creativity. The Phi Delta Kappan 42(7). 305-310.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Book Review- Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect and Inspire

Book Review written by Judy Bernstein

Bruce Nussbaum seeks an economy based on innovation and believes that creative intelligence can get us there. In Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect and Inspire, Nussbaum describes five creative competencies and a vision for the future, Indie Capitalism, all intended to expand past the “vocabulary” of design and bring a fresh focus to creativity. As a current Professor of Innovation and Design at Parsons School of Design, regular blogger for Fast Company and Harvard Business Review, former Assistant Managing Editor at BusinessWeek and founder of both the Innovation and Design online channel and the quarterly magazine IN: Inside Innovation, Nussbaum directs his book not toward those “just interested in becoming more creative” but rather “for people…who want to create things that change our lives.”  For Nussbaum, Creativity is essential to fuel innovation and an economic system based on innovation will allow us to “reinvent and revitalize our capitalist economy.”    

Comprising three parts plus a short epilogue, Creative Intelligence urges us not just to practice creative competencies, but to apply them toward innovation. Part I, Reclaiming Our Creativity, debunks the myth of “mad genius” and relays some creativity research history. Here Nussbaum provides engaging anecdotes about Keith Richards and references the work of  J. P. Guilford, Teresa Amabile, E. P. Torrance, R. Keith Sawyer, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, among others. In Part II, The Five Competencies of Creative Intelligence, Nussbaum names and discusses the skills and sub-skills associated with Knowledge Mining, Framing, Playing, Making, and Pivoting. Part III, The Economic Value of Creativity, lays out Nussbaum’s hopes for Indie Capitalism and the broad adoption of creativity assessments in arenas as diverse as education, government, the arts and industry. Nussbaum asserts that Creative Intelligence, also called CQ, should be evaluated along with domain specific skills and knowledge. The short Epilogue, Rethinking Creativity reiterates Nussbaum’s call to action, “…we must recognize the value of creative competencies and a creativity-driven society.”  It also relays his conviction that creativity offers a new source for fresh solutions. “All the great challenges of our day are connected to a need for us all to recognize our creativity and hone our creative abilities so we can find those pathways of possibility.” 

While the book seems directed more toward those just beginning to consider creativity rather than those already committed, I find many of Nussbaum’s thoughts both deeply important and appealingly familiar. Just as Keith Richards said and Nussbaum quotes, “…this is not one stroke of genius. This cat was listening to somebody and it’s his variation on the theme” so I appreciate that Nussbaum prizes creativity and identifies creativity skills. Like so many current and past thought leaders in creative problem solving, people such as Sidney Parnes, Ruth Noller, Vincent Nolan, Bill Gordon, George Prince, Gerard Puccio and Min Basadur, Nussbaum seems dedicated to the field of creativity and its advancement.   

However Nussbaum breaks with creative problem solving convention in asserting that current conditions are too volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous to justify “problem-solving approaches.” According to Nussbaum, “problem-solving approaches work – but only when you know the problems. But today there are so many ‘unknown unknowns’ that we don’t know the questions we should be asking, let alone the answers.” He argues that “playfully discovering new answers to puzzles that do not have one right answer is a better approach” and asks us to cultivate not just a playful climate, but also a play-based process. For him, “serious play turns the process of play into an instrument of change.” 

I’m quite taken with the notion of “serious play,” one I first encountered during my training for LEGO Serious Play certification. I do not agree with Nussbaum that problem-solving approaches are only appropriate “in times of relative stability,” nor do I think that the value of serious play negates the value of problem-solving approaches. But, I applaud Nussbaum’s attention to the advantages of “messing around” and the story he tells about an innovation team’s “free interplay” and the way it enabled the team to become “very directed and purposeful in our creativity.” His assertion that “Good teams require trust and skills and knowledge not simply unfamiliarity and modular furniture” strikes me a compelling, although harsh, variation on a theme.

If, as Nussbaum argues, Creative Intelligence can encompass design, five creative competencies (Knowledge Mining, Framing, Playing, Making, and Pivoting) as well as Indie Capitalism, then one would think it should also be big enough to include creative problem solving. I, for one, hope it does. 

Judy Bernstein heads Insights at CBA, a qualitative marketing research company dedicated to using deliberate creativity to unlock not just ‘what is’ but ‘what might be’. She is also currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State. Judy’s fascination with creativity processes and instinct for what lies beneath was first kindled by improvisation and theater and grew stronger with formal training in Creative Problem Solving, Synectics, and LEGO Serious Play. Prior to joining CBA, Judy was a full-time qualitative consultant at Hall & Partners USA, on the Strategic Staff at Ammirati Puris Lintas and a member of the Artistic Staff at the Manhattan Theatre Club. She lives in the New York City area with her husband and sons.