Diagnosis – the key to a sharp strategy
If you want a sharp strategy, you must diagnose your current situation well. The best strategies I see are the ones that are elegant in their diagnosis of their current situation. Without a shared, tight, description of the challenges and opportunities you are facing, you will founder in trying to work out what to do. This […]
“Prince’s muse … contained multitudes”
(Photo above – Prince in Brussels in 1986 By Yves Lorson from Kapellen, Belgium – Prince, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4171922) Psychologists describe the years between 15 and 25 as the “reminiscence bulge”. These are the years we will go to when asked to tell stories about ourselves. Between the ages of 1
Is creativity a “discovery” process or a “construction” process?
When I create something new, do I construct it myself, or was it “out there” already and I just happened to be the one to discover it? This may seem like impractical philosophy, but it does have impacts on how you go about creative work. For example, this paper from 2007, by A Alvarez and […]
Reframing as a fundamental tool of creativity – lessons from a game of backgammon
Reframing a situation remains one of the best ways to see a new solution in strategy. As I said a few weeks ago, because strategy occurs in the domain of “wickedness”, the way you choose to describe the strategic problem you’re facing will drive the solution you come up with. But reframing is a fundamental […]
Don Draper and “subconscious work”
My family and I are belatedly catching up with “Mad Men” on Netflix – we missed it the first time round. Something that Don Draper said to Peggy Olsen the other day really struck me. You’ll recall that Don Draper is the (anti)hero of the series: the experienced ad executive. And Peggy Olsen (who I […]
The creativity secret from our family guinea pig
Our family guinea pig, Fili, (named by my younger daughter after the dwarf) recently reminded me of one of the key secrets to creativity. But perhaps not in the way one might expect. Every day Fili (pictured above) gets put out in her run – which is basically a large cage with no floor or top. She […]
Need great ideas from your team? Give them a good frame.
We’ve all been in meetings where people are asked to come up with ideas to solve a particular problem. At times the silence can be deafening. At other times, the ideas are pedestrian, and everybody knows it (but they don’t have the heart to point it out). So what to do? One of the best […]
Is it possible to combine creative and critical thinking? Yes, actually.
Critical thinking and creative thinking are often taken to be opposites. You can be good at one, but not the other. Or, a task that requires you to use one, won’t require you to use the other. I suspect this is less the case than we think. For example, there is at least one intellectual discipline […]