Build a Kalideascope for creative thinking

In my last post I cited James Webb Young’s definition of an idea as being a new arrangement of existing elements. He goes on to suggest having an idea is like using a kaleidoscope. As I explain in this second video on creative thinking, in my teaching I encourage participants to create their own kaleidoscope dedicate to generating ideas – a Kalideacope.

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What is an idea?

This week I have begun creating a series of videos to share my teaching on how to have ideas. The videos start with what simple question, what is an idea. The definition I use, provided by James Webb Young in his 1965 book ‘A Technique for Producing Ideas’ is pragmatic – it gives us tangible ways to work on improving our creative thinking.

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Good enough for now: the philosophy of Lego sorting

With our household suddenly in self-isolation pending results of a Covid test, my daughter and I are back playing lego together and I’m revisiting that recurring question: how best to sort our Lego? But this time I think I have landed on a method that is standing the test of time, and one which has wider philosophical benefits.

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The magic moment when learning and teaching come alive

It is the moment I look for on my training courses. It is when participants switch from general interest in the topic or material to a moment of clarity about where they are now, what they want to be able to do and what stands in their way. For me this is when teaching and learning come alive because we have clarity of purpose, a goal which provides both motivation and a clear end point and a challenge that we can sink our teeth into.

When we reach these conditions we can enter into a space of joint experimentation (as my colleague Søren Willert would call it) where neither of us necessarily know what is going to happen but we have confidence that our efforts will be worthwhile.

Culture of climate emergency

If you are interested in understanding how your organisation should perform in the climate emergency then you should be interested in organisational culture. An emergency is a state in which we require people to behave differently to normal and take urgent action.

We can understand organisational culture as the way a group of people get things done. If we want people to behave differently in the climate emergency then we need to change our organisational culture to one that is more appropriate to the urgency of the situation.

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Training with audio in the age of Zoom.

In March 2020 we were all sent home and we discovered we could meet using video conferencing instead. Suddenly our wide-angled world was sliced to a quarter of its width. Our body language receptors had to cope with just head and shoulders rendered in a tiny square. And our brains had to work much harder to make sense of this reduced world view.

Just because we have lost something doesn’t mean we have to replace it anew. Just because we can substitute IRL for Zoom doesn’t mean we always should.

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