Will, Skill, Drill

Mindcamp Random

by Tim Hurson

Being more creative is all about will, skill and drill.

First, you have to want to. That’s the will. You have to have the attitude that there’s always a better way. You have to be dissatisfied. What that means is that every itch is an opportunity. You don’t have to look far to find something ripe for improvement, whether a product or a service, a relationship, or the way your life is unfolding. Opportunities for creative and productive thinking are everywhere. There are lots of sessions at Mindcamp that illuminate the will dimension. Check out John Sedgwick‘s %&#$* It’s BROKEN!, Kobus Neethling‘s Courage, Steve Shama‘s Difficult People, or Tim and Laura Switalski‘s Climate Change.

Once you have the will, you need to develop a set of skills. One of my favorite quotes is by Jerry Hirschberg, former CEO of Nissan Design. He said, “Creativity is not an escape from disciplined thinking. It’s an escape with disciplined thinking.” In other words, you have to learn how. A very few people learn that by themselves, but most of us need help. We start with creative heuristics developed by others — thinkers from Leonardo to Edison to Torrance to Parnes — and to quite a few of the people who will be leading programs here at Mindcamp. Here are just some of the sessions at Mindcamp that will give you tools you can use to think better: Branko Broekman‘s Idea Box, Dan Bigonesse‘s Structured Thinking, Chris Barlow‘s Matrix Multiplicity, Guy Aznar‘s Rainbow Ideas, and Kevin Byron‘s Turning Japanese.

Finally, you have to drill. In other words, you have to practice. No one becomes a first-rate golfer or tennis player or musician overnight. And no one becomes a first-rate creative thinker overnight. It takes work and mistakes and corrections and more work again. Eventually you start to make a few minor breakthroughs. In time you have something to build on. And you keep going until you’ve got something that works, that’s really new, that really makes a difference. One of the most important things we at ThinkX tell our clients is, “Stop thinking there are magic bullets that will make your people more creative in an instant.” The notion of quick fixes and instant creativity is actually one of the biggest barriers to developing creative capacity. Here are a few of this year’s Mindcamp programs that put the practical in practice: Liz Monroe-Cook‘s Resist Intuition, Dimis MichaelidesLeading Innovation, Mary Ellyn Vicksta‘s Give Me an iPad, and Whitney Ferré and Bill Olsen‘s Create your Life.

I’ve only been able to list a very few of the over 80 programs Mindcamp is offering this year. But you get the idea. If it’s will, skill and drill you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.

See you at Mindcamp!

Tim Hurson presents Leadershift: To change what you see, change where you stand at Mindcamp 2012.