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:
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
- The Well-Formed Problem Conversation 134
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
“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:
- See Michalko, Michael. (2001). Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius, p. 355.
- Quoted by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in Creativity (1996), p. 66.