Barbara Oakley – Learning how to learn
Why I think that this talk is valuable for leading workshops?
She separates two ways of thinking. Focused thinking and diffuse thinking. Concisely, focused thinking is when you concentrate on a specific topic or solution, while diffuse thinking when you let your mind wonder and you are not concentrating on anything specific. I will not go into more detail here about what the difference is between the two in regards to creativity, check the video for that. What is more important is how you can use the concept for leading better creative workshops.
Theoretically if you implement small breaks into focused thinking sessions hence give space to diffuse thinking, then you can increase the level of creativity.
Just think about how important this is! It means that in the workshop if you schedule the breaks right, then the participants may not only recuperate and relax, but also come up with more creative ideas because of the time available for them to switch back into diffuse mode.
For example, in a brainstorming workshop I like to have the lunch break after the participants created many solution ideas, but before they would start to elaborate on any of the ideas. By having a longer break after coming up with some ideas the participants go into diffuse mode during the lunch break and they can find more synergies between their previously made ideas.
Deborah Frances-White – The Power of Play – Transforming Work, Learning & Creativity
This video is a bit lengthy, but it is definitely worth to watch. If you are in a hurry, then you can stop around the 22:20 mark as the following part is only her demonstrating her findings with the audience.
Two of her main points to note:
- Work and Play are good for two different things. If you want to come up with something creative, then Play!
- There is a difference in how adults and children use opportunities in sharing their ideas. Children think about the quantity of the ideas and they want many tries to show what they came up with. In contrast adults rather think about the quality of their ideas and they want to be sure to come up with a good one before presenting it to others. Paradoxically, if you aim to have “good ideas” right from the start, then you will produce much less ideas, and less “good ideas”.
How to use this in your workshops?
- When you are running an ideation workshop, aim for a large quantity of ideas first, then pick the best ones from the many. You will get much more “good ideas” in the end.
- “Talent comes from process. Put people in an environment where their talent can thrive, access that talent by changing the process, and only then will the BIG ideas arrive. Create a playful environment!
+1. Simon Sinek – Start with why – how great leaders inspire action
This is an old but gold TED talk about creating a powerful message. The main notion is that communicating the underlying vision and values of a service or product is much more impactful compared to describing the product details first. If you have seen it, it is worth to watch again, if you haven’t seen it, then you are in for a treat.
That is all for today. Feel free to tell me in the comments which idea you liked the most from the videos and why? 🙂