After a week that started with all things AI at CogX, had us admiring how Radiohead not only beat the cyber hackers but also had the smarts to turn it into a positive, and saw some of our work on removing single-use plastic continue to go well in a large supermarket trial…we, like anyone, have been feeling a little creatively spent. Which is why this issue of Sparks&Kindling is designed to be a tonic to reboot your creativity before heading into the fray again
All organisations, big or small, reach points where the juices are no longer flowing, the innos are not vating and the ideas pipeline is as dry as the Los Angeles river. In a useful quick read, Fast Company has pulled together examples of how some of the most recognizably creative global companies face this situation with some formalized group rituals to lift teams and their leaders out of the rut and challenge them to experiment, be open to the stuff which isn’t business as usual and even to celebrate failure, all in the name of being more creative
For most of us the pursuit of creativity is often a solo endeavour, far removed from some of the elaborate fun and games outlined above. That doesn’t, however, mean that some ideas of how to boost our imagination, originality and inventiveness wouldn’t be welcome. So, when you are all showered out and the dog refuses to walk any further , here are seven other tips on how to enhance your creativity. It even comes with an inspiring quote from Samuel Beckett if you can believe that
First an admission. We at Where There’s Smoke towers love music and we particularly love Annie Clark better known as St. Vincent. As you will read, her album Actor has just turned 10 but, rather than writing a puff piece on how brilliant and easy the whole thing was, she chose to talk about just how difficult the creative process was for her. Some of the musical references, we admit, are more for the nerds but the raw emotional honesty of what it felt like to not be able to articulate what was in her head and the difficulty of letting someone touch songs at the stage of what she calls ‘no hair on its head shall be disturbed’ has a resonance for anyone who has struggled meeting a creative assignment. This is not a eureka story but, as she describes it, one of painstaking creativity. So not your usual business case study but we hope no less instructive for it.
No newsletter would be complete without an Artificial intelligence article. This one optimistically presents the case that AI will not be replacing human creativity any time soon but by taking over more mundane tasks and finding patterns in existing works which push the human creatives further than they might otherwise have gone. It gets a bit scary for us when professors of computation creativity talk about programming in imagination and being appreciative, but see what you think.
No-one can resist a dialogistic quiz, so to end with, here is a pretty good one hosted by Adobe so it should be free from any Cambridge Analytica type shenanigans. So why don't you see if you are The Visionary, The Thinker or even The Adventurer