From: L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.
Announcing the newest Book


Creativity starts with thinking.  When you think, you create ideas.  That’s why the quality of your thinking determines the quality of creativity.  When do you think?  When you have a goal to achieve and when that objective is blocked.  We call that a problem— something thrown in your way.  This landscape of creativity— outcomes, problems, solutions, and innovation—has many variables —the creative space, the creative strategy, the attitude of loving problems, your singularity, risk management, implementation, and more.  These are the components of the creative process from dream to creative solution to implementation.

What makes this practical is that each of these landscapes is managed by a creative conversation—a collaborative conversation by which you can gain new perspectives, mobilize needed resources, handle innovation risks, etc.

Creative solutions drive business, enhance groups and culture, and define how we evolve.  Discover in Creative Solutions the rich complexity in the creative experience and strategy. Discover its vital engagement and joyous pleasure.  If you’re ready to discover how to tap your own creative powers, become a creative person, enjoy the flow and joy of creating, and how to coach others through creative collaborative conversations—this book is definitely for you.

NSP: Neuro-Semantic Publications
Single copies of the Book: $25 plus shipping
Shipping is $6 in the USA and $34 outside of the USA

Content of the book:

Foreword                                                                                                        4

Part I: Understanding Creativity

1:  What is Creativity?                                                                                    8

2:  Coaching Creativity                                                                                 19

3:  Living Creatively                                                                                       27

 Part II: Creative Vision

4: The Outcome Conversation                                                                   33

5: What Stops You?                                                                                      41

6: The Creative You                                                                                      49

7: Going Meta for Creativity                                                                       60

8: Creative Frustration                                                                                 72

9: Creative Stages                                                                                         78

10: Creativity’s Thinking Space                                                                  91

11: Creativity as Experimenting                                                               101

 Part III: Creative Problems

12: Problems: The sine quo non of Creativity                                        108

13: Learning to Love Problems                                                                 121

  1. The Well-Formed Problem Conversation                                           134

Transition:                                                                                                   145

First Vision,

Then Problem Statement

Then Solution Process

Part IV: Creative Solutions

15: The Strange World of Solutions                                                        146

16: The Well-Formed Solution Conversation                                        154

17: Developing the Solution Question                                                    167

Part V: Creative Innovation

18: Finding Your Creative Singularity                                                       176

19: Personal Innovation: Translating

from Mind into Neurology                                                                 182

20: Getting into the Creative Zone                                                          197

The Creativity State

21: Innovative Readiness                                                                          208

22: The Well-formed Innovation Conversation                                     217

23: The Risky Conversation                                                                      227

24: The Performance Conversation                                                         237

25: Measuring Your Innovation                                                               242


A: The Neuro-Semantic Precision        Funnel                                        255

B: Principles governing Problems, Solutions, an Creativity                 256

C: Multiple Intelligences                                                                           261

Bibliography                                                                                                262

Index                                                                                                            266


“Every new idea starts out as blasphemy;

Every new idea begins as a minority of one.”

Anthony de Mello, Awareness

Originally I aimed to focus this book on the inside-out nature of creativity.  Given that it is the person who creates, who comes up with new ideas and translates these ideas into a practical and useful products, services, or information.  Having written other books with that theme, namely, Inside-Out Wealth and Inside-Out Persuasion, I thought Inside-Out Creativity would be a good choice.  But I changed my mind.  Upon reading and reflecting on Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi’s argument that creativity is not an individual achievement, but a psycho- social-cultural one, the inside-out frame seemed too limiting. Yes, one aspect of creativity is inside-out and yet that’s not the full story.  Creativity is also social in several ways as you will discover.

I next decided to focus on authenticity and to title this work, Authentic Creativity. That idea came as I was finishing the book on unleashing authenticity, Get Real (2016).  After all, while some novel ideas are new, they are also impractical and unrealistic.  Such “creativity,” if we can call it that, is actually pseudo-creativity so that in the end nothing is actually created.  Then there’s the person who fails to study a field or do the required literature search—the due diligence in that domain, and then sets out to reinvent what’s already been invented—that’s another form of pseudo-creativity.

Then in reading and researching creativity, in training workshops on Creativity and Innovation, I came across a comment that captured my attention.  Michael Michalko mentioned it in Cracking Creativity (2001) and he mentioned it almost as an aside.  He noted that Einstein, Pauli, Heisenberg, and Bohr made incredible creative breakthroughs through simple, open, and honest conversations.  They met and conversed with each other for years.  Treating each other as colleagues, they exchanged ideas without trying to change each other’s mind. He then commented that this illustrates “the staggering potential of collaborative thinking.”1

Ah, here authentic and social creativity come together in conversations —as collaborative creativity.  That got me thinking, where and in what context do new creative ideas come from?  Do they not ultimately come from conversations?  It could be a conversation with yourself as you puzzle over a problem or a curiosity.  It could be a conversation with some aspect of the world of nature or human nature.  Yet mostly they come from conversations with colleagues, friends, and loved ones.  New ideas that have creative potential of workable solutions arise from conversations—collaborative conversations.  They arise from conversations that make us think.  It was physicist John Wheeler who expressed this colloquially:

“If you don’t kick things around with people, you are out of it.  Nobody, I always say, can be anybody without somebody being around.”2

Creativity as a Coaching Conversation

Now if new creative ideas arise mostly, if not exclusively, within and from conversations, then we could coach creativity.  Now there’s a creative idea!  Can creativity really be coached?  Could we enable, empower, and facilitate those who make their living with new ideas—namely knowledge workers and those who lead the minds and hearts of people —so that they become more creative and innovative?

If so, is there such a thing as a creativity coach?  Could there be?  If that is possible, what would coaching creativity entail?  And if a person wanted to become a creativity coach, what would that person have to know, learn, and experience to be an effective creativity coach?

  • Could we facilitate one or more coaching conversations with those who are not creative, who don’t think of themselves as creative, who feel low creativity, and yet who want to be creative?
  • Can the creative process itself be coached?
  • What kind of conversations would you facilitate if you were to evoke creative ideas in someone?
  • Can people learn how to have collaborative conversations about ideas?

The answer to all of these questions turns out to be Yes!  And to facilitate that, you will find nearly two-dozen coaching conversations which you can use to coach the many different aspects of creativity.

Coaching as Creativity Conversation

Coaching itself is a conversation—it is a very personal, focused, and sometimes fierce conversation that gets to the heart of things—the person’s meanings and meaningfulness.  That conversation then enables the person to translate his highest meanings into practical creations.  This actualizes her meanings so they become her lifestyle.

As a conversation, coaching both inspires and challenges a person to step up to become all that one can become.  Given that, a professional coach is uniquely trained and capable of facilitating the unique kind of conversations that tap into potentials and mobilize one’s inner and outer resources.  When this happens, the person changes.  She grows to become more self-aware and self-determining.  He transforms to become more emotionally intelligent and to step up to the choice point of assuming his full responsibilities in life.

Let’s now put these together—coaching and creativity.  Creativity itself is essentially a collaborative solution-focused conversation because to “think” is to create and coaching is designed to get you to think—to really think about goals, problems, solutions, and implemented innovations.  In fact, these four experiences define the landscape of creativity.  They give you  four fundamental conversations that support creative products and services.

In this way, even those who do not think of themselves as creative can become creative.  Non-creative people who are easily bored, passive, and unable to focus their attention for very long can become creatively fascinated and engaged.  People who think, feel, and live as if they are victims—depressed, frustrated, and wanting to be entertained—can discover their creative powers to live with passion.  Those who fear change, fear new ideas, fear risk, etc. can move beyond their fears to the courage to create.  Those who are rigid, inflexible, and only want the status quo can become creatively adaptive.

As a book in the Meta-Coaching series, this one highlights the use of coaching to evoke creative solutions and creativity as a conversation.  Here you will find a series of creative coaching conversations that you can use to tap into and unleash creative potentials in yourself and others.  You will discover the nature of these conversations, the questions that drive them, and guidance in how to use them.


What can you expect with this approach?  Expect to tap into your own creativity.  Expect to discover that creativity is fun and exciting and that it puts zest and vitality into life.  Expect that it will give you a highly valuable resource for wealth creation, business, entrepreneurship, and leadership.  As an employee, when you are creative you give your company a great competitive advantage.  Expect that creativity and creative solutions will enrich every aspect of your life as it gives you that ability to see the world with fresh eyes and operate from a vision of possibilities.

Expect that with creativity you will become much more of an agent in your own life as you work to create the desired outcomes that you want.  Creativity makes you more self-directing, response-able, empowered, at cause.  Expect also that as your creativity grows, your future will become increasingly more of an opportunity and not a threat.

Here’s to the creative solutions that will renew and fulfill the joy and vitality of your life!

End of Preface Notes:

  1. See Michalko, Michael. (2001).  Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius, p. 355.
  2. Quoted by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in Creativity (1996), p. 66.