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CREATIVE CAFFEINE

A dose of creativity stimulation

 to ignite fresh thinking

From the Information Age to the Imagination Age

Uncategorized Nov 25, 2021

We have entered an exciting new age of civilisation. We have moved from the Agricultural and Industrial Age to the Information Age where factory workers from the Industrial Age moved into the knowledge economy and services took over from products as the main activity. Now, in the Imagination Age, knowledge work and analysis is being left to the machines. People are working in areas that can’t be done by computers –  these include power skills such as imagination, creativity, and emotional and social IQ.

Imagination is far from a whimsical indulgence. It is essential for progress and for finding new solutions. Top business minds around the world are recognising the importance of imagination and creativity. Harvand Business Review authors, Martin Reeves and Jack Fuller write,

“We believe imagination — the capacity to create, evolve, and exploit mental models of things or situations that don’t yet exist — is the crucial factor in seizing...

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Get on the road to creative confidence

habits Nov 04, 2021
 

I'll never forget what he said.

I heard him say it on a podcast. It was a talk about getting to where you want to go. The voice coming through my earphones was Andy Stanley and he was talking about how to achieve your goals. He said something so profound that it changed my behaviour immediately. Yet, when you read what it was that he said, you may be surprised at how simple it is (or how simple I am!)  

What he said was, and I'm paraphrasing: if you want to get to Cape Town, no matter how fast you drive or how determined you are, if you are on the road to Durban, you are not going to arrive at Cape Town. 

Drop the mic. 

No seriously... it suddenly made so much sense to me. What it comes down to is getting yourself onto the road that will take you to your destination. It seems so obvious, but so many of us have dreams and hopes and desires, but have not yet steered our car onto the road that will take us to the place where we achieve them. We...

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New Study: The Creativity Premium

Nina and I were excited to receive an email from Professor David Gill, telling us about his new paper that clearly demonstrates that creativity measured in childhood predicts future success.

Professor Gill wrote to us saying, "I've just finished writing a new paper where we show that creativity measured in childhood predicts educational attainment and success in the labor market, over and above the effect of traditional cognitive ability. Incredibly, we are not aware of any other work that links creativity in childhood to labor market outcomes!"

This is indeed extraordinary given society's huge interest in childhood creativity. Sir Ken Robinson's talk "Do schools kill creativity?" is the most watched TED talk of all time and has been downloaded more that 71 million times.

We would like to thank Professor Gill for sharing his excellent paper with us and would like to share his key findings with you. The quotations that follow are from his academic paper entitled "The...

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Inspiring women

In celebration of Women’s Day in South Africa, we would like to shout out to some of the incredible women in our network who inspire us. These creative thinkers are using their skills and insights to help women around the world grow and by showing us what is possible.

Kgomotso Matsunyane, One Man Studios

Kgomotso is a multi-talented producer, writer, director, editor, businesswoman and television presenter. She hosted the late-night TV shows Pillow Talk and  Late Night with Kgomotso, and afternoon drive radio show, Uncaptured, on Kaya FM. She is a serial entrepreneur and director of production company, One Man Studios. 

Kgomotso uses her influence and network to advocate for Positive Sexual Health through her Golden Triangle Initiative. She has also established a free, public, multimedia Feminist library that archives, documents and celebrates feminism, especially African Feminism.

Kgomotoso introduced us to the THNK School of Creative Leadership, where she attended...

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Work together. Even trees do it!

collaboration Aug 03, 2021

Everything in nature is part of a system

When it comes to creativity, we have a lot to learn from nature, especially when it comes to working together to achieve a better outcome.

German forester, Peter Wohlleben, shone a light on how trees work together in forests his 2016 book, The Hidden Life of Trees. Over a period of 20 years, Wohlleben studied the lives of trees whilst managing a forest in Germany. He learned that trees communicate complex information to one another via smell, taste, and electrical impulses. Rather than standing as lone organisms they form a strong community sharing nutrients via their root systems, ‘nurturing’ younger trees, supporting sick or aging trees, and warning each other of danger.

 

Wohlleben describes this incredible warning system:

“Four decades ago, scientists noticed something on the African savannah. The giraffes there were feeding on umbrella thorn acacias, and the trees didn’t like this one bit....

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How to build Olympian perseverance

Imagine the feeling: You have dreamed of this moment since you were young. You have trained until every muscle in your body has ached. You have pushed through disappointments and overcome obstacles. You’ve hung on through uncertainty and setbacks. Now you are finally here. You enter the brilliantly lit Olympic arena with your teammates, flags flying, smiles beaming. This is it!

The Games show us what’s possible

I love the Olympic Games. I love how people from all over the globe become united by the joy of sports and the thrill of competition. I love being reminded how strong the human spirit can be.  Perseverance is a key element of the creative mindset, and the Olympic athletes have it in spades. Olympians embody the creative edge of pushing past what is possible in terms of human performance. They remind us what we are made of.

There’s another reason the Olympic Games are special to Celia and I; our mother is an Olympian! Our mum, Susan Leuner (nee Roberts),...

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Creativity's Secret Sauce

How to build perseverance and be more creative

One of the qualities I admire most in our great, former president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is his patient and courageous perseverance. Despite huge obstacles and setbacks, he never gave up working passionately for his people. He is quoted as saying: “The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days.”

When we look at what is happening in South Africa, the obstacles to moving forward can seem oerwhelming. Yet, if we take it one small step at a time and persevere, we are going to recover and rebuild, then grow and thrive. St. Francis of Assisi put it so beautifully when he said:

“Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

Perseverance is a key to creativity

Perseverance is one of the key mindsets of creative thinkers and innovators. Since creativity pushes us out into the unknown where outcomes are uncertain and risks...

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Yearning to create

I have a fluffy white Maltese-ish dog. Her name is Popcorn. I say ‘ish’ because she is a rescue dog and apparently, she is a mixed breed. She is super cute. I thought I adopted her, but it seems she has adopted me. I am her Person. She follows me everywhere. She is always at my heels. She hops in the car and rides with me wherever I go. She is so cute.

Listen to me! I am supposed to be a cat person, not a dog-person! And not a small-dog person! I don’t know how this happened.

If Popcorn gets shut out of my office somehow, she pines at the door. It’s a forlorn, melancholic sound. She just sits there and yearns, yelping quietly until she gets let in. Oh gosh, she is doing it now. Let me go and let her in…

 

When last did you last have that yearning feeling? (Not the small, craving, like the hankering after your favourite food, but the deep yearning of your soul.) Can you identify what you were yearning for?

Yearning is a kind of...

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Start using creativity-enhancing mind mapping

 

The mind mapping skills that Nessa Temlett learned on our Creativity Wake-Up workshop was the inspiration for her thriving landscaping business.  She told us that the mind maps that we practiced in the workshop reminded her of succulent plants, with their whorls of radiating leaves.  She used the mind mapping techniques to plan her new landscaping business, which is now flourishing. She named her new business, Flourish Gardens by Nessa, and she specialises in succulent and water-wise plants. Nessa says that she continues to use mind mapping to brainstorm new ideas, products and to plan new projects.

It all started with a mind map!

Nessa's successful landscaping business started with this mind map.

“A Mind Map is the ultimate organisational thinking tool. It is the easiest way to put information into your brain and take information out of your brain. It is a creative and effective means of note taking that literally 'maps out' your thoughts,” Tony Buzan, author...

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Discover your creative sparks

When I was about eight years old, I started my first journal. It was a squat, little book with a puffy cover, plain pages and a lock and key. I loved capturing my thoughts on paper, documenting events of the day, articulating prayers, and writing out ideas. Since then, I’ve kept a journal for most of my life.  At school I won a writing competition and had a piece published in a local story compendium. However, it was not until recently that I’ve truly recognised writing as a passion of mine. 

How do you recognise a passion?

A passion is a strong enthusiasm for something. It makes you feel alive. It ‘sparks joy’ for you. It’s something that you don’t get bored of; on the contrary, it often grows stronger over time. Your passion could be for a particular subject matter (e.g. music, birds, or prayer), a sense of mission (e.g. to clean up local rivers and parks), solving problems (e.g. developing low-cost medical supplies), or for people...

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