Posts tagged Creativity
The Bliss of a Bizarro Book Club

While book clubs are great for getting everybody on the same page (har har), a Bizarro Book Club is a way to inject more diversity into your intellectual life. I’ve talked before about the importance of high quality inputs to your creativity, and this is my favorite new method for finding stuff that I would never have on my own. It combines the traditional social benefits of a book club with a much more exciting way of engaging with books, and it’s just as easy to do.

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Building Connections with Oral Storytelling

Humans have been telling stories face to face since forever, and doing it well gives you a leg up personally and professionally. Compelling business presentations are critical for success, and natural storytelling techniques can take them to the next level. Even outside of business, stories help you build relationships and entertain your friends. You can improve your oral storytelling today by paying attention to structure, shortening your stories, using your voice well, and supporting what you say with your face and hands. 

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An Expanded Definition of Reading

We tend to think of “reading” as the time we have a book in front of our face, but when you stop to ask why you are reading, a number of other activities suggest themselves as part of the bigger enterprise. If you are reading to learn, simply passing your eyes over the words will only get you a fraction of what’s there. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how to make reading as effective as possible, and below I share my current thinking.

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Journaling as Thinking

Journaling doesn’t just mean recording your life for when you become super famous, you can accomplish a lot of different things by journaling. Sure, you absolutely can create a record for yourself and your family (and future biographers). You might instead want to get the neurotic and depressed thoughts out of your head and onto paper so that you can get on with business. Or perhaps you want to reinforce habits, like being grateful or generating ideas. These are great things to do, and I regularly practice all of them, but today I want to focus on journaling to understand and internalize complex material. In other words, using journaling as a tool for thinking and learning. For these purposes, journaling helps in three main ways: improving recall, figuring stuff out, and improving your chances of making connections.

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Storytelling Part 5: Resources for Digging Deeper

I’ve done my best to share a fantastic beginner’s guide to storytelling with this series, but there is a lot of depth to all of the topics that I’ve touched on. Below, I provide my recommendations on resources for digging into Story Structure, Effective Practice, Public Speaking, Oral Storytelling, Writing, and Visual Storytelling. In each section, I’ve provided a handful of my favorite “how to” resources, whether books, blogs, videos, or courses along with a section of illustrative examples applying the lessons you’ll learn from the how to books. These lists are by no means exhaustive, and if I’ve missed any of your favorite works on storytelling, please let me know, as I am always hungry for new insights on the topic.

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Virtual Mentors

High performers frequently emphasize the importance of quality mentors, and we’ve all experienced the value of learning from people who have been there and done that. Finding a great mentor can be a big challenge, though. Luckily, you can benefit from the wisdom of impressive people you with  “virtual mentors”.

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Maximize the Value of Your Creative Inputs - Creativity Part 5

In the previous posts on creativity, I’ve mentioned “inputs” pretty frequently, but I haven’t gone into much detail about them. Today, I’ll talk about what I mean by inputs, why they’re important, and share some rules for maximizing their usefulness. I’m very excited to be sharing this with you, because I think it’s an often overlooked aspect of creativity that can have huge effects on your work with very little effort.

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Two Creativity Frameworks - Creativity Part 4

In our last installment in this series, we talked about divergent and convergent thinking. Keep that in mind, as it will be central to everything we discuss below. Today, we’re going to talk about frameworks you can use to structure your creative efforts - one for teams and one for individuals. You can use either framework in the other situation, but I find them better suited to different applications.

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Practicing Divergent & Convergent Thinking - Creativity Part 3

Okay, so I had planned on covering all of the exercises in one post, but when I broke them out, I realized I would be delivering a gigantic, hard to digest mess. So I broke it up. Our next few posts will cover all of the exercises associated with the building blocks we covered last time, starting with Divergent and Convergent thinking today. It’s a great place to start, because if you develop your ability to separate these two ways of thinking, everything else will flow naturally.

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The Building Blocks of Creativity - Creativity Part 2

Last time we came up with a definition of creativity, and today we’re going to talk about some of its core building blocks, from deferring judgment to the inputs you take in. These fundamental concepts will give you the raw materials you need to understand and undertake specific exercises to be more creative yourself - some of which we’ll detail in our next installment of the series. 

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Creativity Part 1: Defining Creativity

When I sat down to write a post about innovation, I quickly realized we had an unwieldy topic on our hands. So, instead of a single post on innovation and the future, I’ve decided to kick off a short series on creativity. To begin with, I’ll provide my favorite definition of creativity and step through each piece of it and what it implies for applications down the road. 

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