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Marianne-Carr-PhotoListening. It is one of the best ways to get creative.

But listening seems to elude most of us during the day. We are busy talking, formulating thoughts, reading emails, and other activities such as looking at stuff, and tasting, smelling and touching. So why increase listening? And how? Here are some Creative Clicks that may help.

Remember to click on the headlines for these creative clicks to link to the articles. Enjoy! – Marianne Carr

What if Medium were a Podcast?

“There is one big problem on Medium for me: So many great articles posted every day, but so little time to read them all. I listen to a lot of podcasts, shows or talks in the background while I work or when I walk to the office, and I think it could be awesome to do the same thing with my saved Medium articleslisten to them as audio instead of reading them as text.”

I have become Podcast Crazy lately. It reminds me of something maybe you youngins don’t know too much about – RADIO!  I think this idea about listening to Medium Articles is just great. Listening is a gift we can use when doing something else. Of course, having the written word to go back to for quick reference is a real asset. Did you know you can read faster than you can listen? I like the way this can combine the advantages of both.

Magical Effects of Music

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“Effects of music include improving verbal IQ, aiding in heart disease treatment, evoking colours in the mind and even helping you see happy faces all around. Every fan knows the tremendous effects of music and the power it can have over both thoughts and emotions.”

Do I really need to add anything?

Messy mind? Clean it up with a tip about Listening

Five Ways to Declutter Your Body and Mind – “When I am particularly overwhelmed by negative thought clutter, and it seems as though the ruminations won’t end, I like to recite a poem. I literally recite my favorite poem (which I committed to knowing by memory for this very purpose), which happens to be Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver. I become so engaged in reciting the poem, mindful of both the rhythm and meaning of the words, that I let go of all other thoughts. My brain can’t both recite a poem and ruminate at once! You don’t have to use a poem…you can use a favorite song, monologue, etc.”

Listening to poetry is a great idea to take a break. Reciting it out loud, or in your head is the perfect way to combine speaking/thinking with listening to refresh. What’s your favorite poem? One of mine is “The Road Less Traveled” by Robert Frost. After reading this tip, I am going to memorize it so I can listen to it when I need it.

Listening to an advisor, but be sure it’s a good one.

Why Every CEO Should Have at Least One Trusted Advisor – “Having a trusted advisor eliminates the risks associated with working in isolation or at warp speed. To accept the advice of your advisor, however, you must have a sense of humility. You must accept that you could be wrong, you might require course correction or you might even have to start all over again.”

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Sometimes listening to others, really listening, can save your soul. Or job. What works about this article is it outlines the kind of advisor to seek out. My Mother often has advice for my professional life, but is it worth listening to?

Listening to the Wisdom of the Ages

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“Get inspiration from the best in (this) SlideShare. The collection of 50 motivational quotes on what good leadership truly means will not only help you be a better leader, but a better coworker, mentor, manager, employee, and even a better person.”

Why re-invent the wheel? Those that don’t study history, are destined to repeat it. Etcetera, Etcetera.

Managing the Noise of Social Media: Infographic

“Chances are you spend a pretty substantial amount of your life on social media. Be sure that you are getting the most out of your experience.”

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It’s not a Creative Clicks without an Infographic. This one has helpful hints for managing your listening to and interacting with the top Social Media sites. Including muting on Twitter, a.k.a. not listening anymore.

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Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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There was a Brainzooming posse in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday as Marianne Carr and I attended ConfabuLarryum, the Lawrence festival of creativity. In just its second year, Ben Smith’s brainchild increased its attendance 4x to more than 5,000 adults and kids.

What a fantastic event celebrating creative thinking skills of all kinds!

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The only disappointment was I didn’t get to spend any time with the incredible array of activities and demonstrations. With a noon time slot to speak, I stayed in the auditorium to see the presentations before mine, getting a read on the audience, the room, and what content would work most effectively.

I presented a mini-workshop on Busting Creativity Barriers. One of the audience questions from a fourth grade teacher was on  how to help kids stop editing their creativity and new ideas for fear of being wrong.

My response was that’s clearly a challenge in a school environment where we are grading kids on their academic performance and monitoring all their actions and behaviors for conformity to expectations. Talk about a recipe for teaching children to edit their creativity and curb their creative thinking skills! It takes a full-blown creative rebel to survive creatively in that environment. And that survival will likely be VERY rocky because a student putting up enough of a fight to hang on to their own creative thinking skills and instincts will be going dangerously against the grain.

How about establishing a grade-free zone to cultivate creative thinking skills?

My spontaneous idea and response to her question was to create a grade-free zone in the classroom. This would be a spot where children could go to experiment, imagine ideas, and explore their creative thinking skills without ANY grading or correction.

Thinking about it, the grade-free zone might be a physical location in the classroom, a condition (i.e., a certain day or days), a situation (i.e., a child could call for grade-free zone time to create), or maybe all three of these.

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What else might need to be in place for a successful grade-free zone?

Those are some initial thoughts from someone who ISN’T a childhood educator; they are based, however, on how we try to create what are essentially grade-free zones inside creative thinking workshops. It would be interesting to see how my friends at the Boulder Journey School would address the question!

Two other thoughts emerged later:

  • Perhaps rather than being grade-free, the zone should be an all-A zone. That would be akin to conductor Benjamin Zander’s statement that he only teaches A students.
  • Even though ConfabuLarryum WAS a grade free zone filled with all kinds of creative outlets, I heavily edited my workshop presentation before starting, inserting stories that weren’t part of the presentation when I walked in the building and taking out a number of pieces.

I guess being grade-free is harder than it initially sounds.

What do you think of the idea, and how would you approach helping students to stop editing their own creativity? – Mike Brown

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Have you ever attended an event where it promises to be incredibly creative and fun, and you don’t know EXACTLY what you’ll be getting into, yet that’s completely fine?

Confabularryum

That’s what the second annual ConfabuLarryum promises to be this Saturday in Lawrence, KS!

As it bills itself, ConfabuLarryum is the “Lawrence Festival of Creativity.” The agenda includes such diverse creative activities as:

  • Maker Spaces
  • A Drone Zone
  • Cardio Drumming
  • A “How to Play Air Guitar” Demo
  • LEGO Serious Play
  • Redondo, a Group Drawing Game
  • Virtual Reality Demos
  • Adults Learning from Kids
  • Thinking Like a Scientist
  • A Creative Bootcamp

Amid these those incredible creative experiences, I’m presenting at 12 noon on “Busting Creativity Barriers.”

Given all the other activities people can be doing at noon (including hitting up food trucks), I’m hoping to can hang creatively and offer folks ideas for busting creativity barriers right and left.

If you are somewhere in Eastern Kansas, Southern Nebraska, or Western Missouri you HAVE to change whatever plans you have and get to ConfabuLarryum. Twelve hundred people attended last year, and with this line-up, even more people are sure to come out this year for the Lawrence Festival of Creativity.

Even in if you aren’t in the immediate vicinity, you’ve got a few days to get to Lawrence, KS and experience ConfabuLarryum for yourself. If you do decide to come, be sure to grab your lunch at 11:30 so you have some free time at noon….just saying.  – Mike Brown

 

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Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBook to help you generate extreme creativity and ideas! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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This week I did an experiment. I wanted to see how inspired I could be through creative clicks on Twitter in about thirty minutes. These are links to some of the creative clicks that stood out for me.

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You can see my original re-tweet by searching @mbwcarr #CreativeClicks.

Remember to click on the headlines to link to the articles. Enjoy!  –Marianne Carr

Orange you glad I said Brainzooming?

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If you have read my past creative click on color you know how I love color. This gives some practical ways to apply color.

Your Brain on Logo

Here’s another way to understand the way your brain works in marketing.

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SQUIRREL!

“The human brain is powerful, but even it cannot make sense of the entire sum of stimuli that bombard our senses,” said Vincent P. Ferrera, PhD, the study’s senior author. Dr. Ferrera is a principal investigator at Columbia’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Bran Behavior Institute and associate professor in the department of neuroscience (in psychiatry) at CUMC. “Instead, it selects and prioritizes information based on what is needed at any given moment–this is called attention. And while attention is a fundamental characteristic of human cognition, and something that we use all the time, the underlying brain circuits that give us this ability remain largely unclear.”

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Huh? Did you say something? The human brain really IS the final frontier.

Jury Duty like the Rest of Us

A fellow juror, Sheri Coleman, told The Dallas Morning News that No. 43 was “very personable, very friendly, just ‘hey I’m here to serve.'”

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This inspired me because no matter who you are, where you are, or when it is, it’s always good to show up! And smile!

#POTUS #Entrepreneurship #Diversity #Awesome

President Barack Obama announced new public and private-sector commitments to attract diversity in entrepreneurship and technology. This included the winners of Small Business Administration competitions, federal partnerships to increase training efforts by the National Science Foundation, and expanding the TechHire initiative, where cities and states partner with employers in recruitment.

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Another reason to be inspired.

#iLookLikeAnEngineer

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While this ad campaign also featured several male employees of OneLogic, the image of the female engineer immediately began attracting attention after it went up in BART stations throughout the Bay Area. People didn’t believe the ad.

This is a shout out to all my Engineer friends. Love you, you diverse, interesting, creative group of people. Except when you try to teach me how to play Settlers of Catan. I’ll stick with Scattergories or Apples to Apples, thank you very much.

Creative Clicks to Find the Picture of Success

This simple yet beautifully illustrated animation, titled ‘What Is ‘Success’’, captures the nuances in the definition of success, and the importance of making it a fulfilling journey.

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This week I saw a post on LinkedIn of an infographic of habits of successful versus non-successful people. Stuff like “keeps a journal.” It didn’t sit right with me. This amazing little short animation does. My sister, who inspires me everyday, gave me a great piece of advice once, “Be your own yardstick.”  Hope this inspires you, too.

 

 

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Remember to click on the headlines to link to the creative thinking articles. Enjoy! –Marianne Carr

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Creative Thinking Boosters – Why do I feel these next three clicks work well together?

Playfulness and High School Kids

Looks like Bueller was right all along. But we knew that.

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The Creativity Pill

Wow, this is fascinating. What would it have been like if Spicoli had been on this instead?

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Here’s Why You Should Doodle

I have been visually “taking notes” since High School. Sister Mary Elephant just didn’t understand creative thinking, man.

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Read this Blog even if you don’t need help.

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Learning is never about being right or wrong; it’s about understanding. Learning with your team means putting on someone else’s glasses and seeing the world through his or her eyes. What you extrapolate is exactly what you should share. – Paul Jun, Growth team at Help Scout.

This organization does content marketing right. I don’t even need a help desk and I read the blog posts. You should, too.  Here’s this week’s and it’s about learning. The criteria for learning together to occur, and I concur, are explained well: Humility, Empathy, A Schedule, and A Safe Environment. I also like the thoughts about writing.

Creative Thinking Down in the Weeds Part 1 and Part 2

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Avoiding the weed patch is usually advantageous — except when it isn’t. Just as some desirable plants do sometimes grow among weeds, ideas that truly are treasures sometimes appear only when we take trips down into the weeds. That’s why examining the detailed structures underlying the big issues is a useful thing to do. What is usually less useful is doing so when we’re supposedly doing something else. – Rick Brenner, Chaco Canyon Consulting

The Chaco Canyon e-newsletter was one of the first newsletters I ever signed up for, and, to date myself, I think it was when I was using Netscape! Rick’s email newsletters aren’t pretty nor has it changed the format in 20 years, but they are good sources for team work, meeting management and project management creative thinking.

Around the World Designing for Change

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Love the Illinois Institute Technology (IIT) Institute of Design. I have been to several of their conferences in Chicago, so I anticipate this World Tour approach will be well executed and worth following.  I hope I can get the t-shirt!

The Best Use of Creative Thinking — Inspiring those that need it most.

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In full disclosure, I have never been to a PechaKucha event. I don’t even know how to pronounce it (Puh-chalk-cha?). Makes me think of that famous Pokemon character. But I like what this organization does. It has a big heart and a lot of creative thinking. This series of supporting global catastrophe zones is inspiring to me. It is beautiful what individual creative minds from around the world create. Why does this program make me more cynical about Ted Talks?

And Now for Something Completely Different…

And I quote, “Here’s an appealing idea: candy containing small amounts of fish.”

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This article, Fruit candy that tastes like salmon by Patrick ST. Michel, Special To The Japan Times, Jul 24, 2015, is short and sweet(?!). Reading articles about Japan from Japanese sources allows me to explore the ever-changing world of fads and trends that this wonderful country offers. I find myself Oooooing and Ahhhhing every day. –Marianne Carr

 

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Most futile words you can ever utter over the phone while standing in an airport security line: “Delete those tweets.” Seriously . . . Best line ever delivered before a hang up on a phone conversation taking place in an airport security line: “I’ve been up since 5 a.m., dude. Deal with it.” . . . Both of these were delivered by the same guy . . . I was reported to TSA for suspicious activity in the security line. I wasn’t completely apoplectically pissed off about traveling. THAT is suspicious . . . It’s rare you get a fun person next to you in the TSA line. I had one next to me the other day, and I went over to him after we both got through to shake his hand and thank him for having some fun while we were standing in line . . . By the way, I’m not sure why Omaha, NE has security lines that would rival Midway airport. Can anyone explain that to me?

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It’s fascinating how you can make seven decisions all intended to save travel dollars, but in total, they wind up costing you more than if you had made a few more expensive decisions along the way . . . Big thanks to my neighbor for going on a road trip with me for the sole purpose of driving my workshop supplies to Nebraska since I’d be flying to Nebraska (and couldn’t take them along) two days later. It made a potentially wasted afternoon so fun . . . Even if everything else is okay, getting to your hotel room at 1:15 a.m. is a clear sign of bad planning . . . And btw, bad planning for your connecting flights used to be a $50 deal. Now it’s like a $500 deal and not worth the trouble of making a change . . . Does anyone else suspect the percent of people in airports with bad tattoos HAS to be higher than in the general population?

At a dinner the other night, we had to go around the table in a crowded restaurant and share our stories. While a quiet, mild-mannered man from California at the other end of the table told his story, I leaned over to the person next to me and said, “I think he said he shot a man in Reno once, just to watch him die.” She said I was deranged . . . The difference between driving from St. Louis to Carbondale, IL at 55 mph vs. 80ish mph is night and day . . . I handed out orange TicTacs claiming they were creativity pills, and they seemed to work to make people more creative. Go figure!

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Lesson learned during this recent trip: When you’re doing a media event, look at the cameras. Ignore the people, and look at the cameras. I’ve got that for next time . . . At the start of a Brainzooming workshop the other day, the video person (a woman) and I spent about 90 seconds unbuttoning and buttoning my shirt and playing around with my pockets trying to get two microphones placed on me. In a moment of exasperation, I told the audience, “That’s the first time a women was undressing me that really wasn’t that exciting.”

It’s amazing (let me repeat…AMAZING) when you can get together with a college friend you haven’t seen in decades and have a dinner conversation that is a pure delight. AND you want to continue the conversation later . . . And how crazy is it when you see a teacher you had for one week in grad school completely by chance and recognize him decades later? THAT is a blog post all on its own . . . Self-talk: That wasn’t me. No matter what you might think, that wasn’t me. I promise . . . You hear more bragging and unbelievable stories on a Southwest flight on Thursday night than Monday morning. Do you think THAT many people had THAT good of a week? Yeah, me neither.  – Mike Brown

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.

 

ebook-cover-redoBoost Your Creativity with “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation”

Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBook to help you generate extreme creativity and ideas! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Download Your Free

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Marianne-Carr-PhotoLast week I was challenged by some of my friends after reading my last two creative thinking posts. The challenge was – Where are the Women?  GOOD POINT! Women are inspiring leaders in so many ways for innovation, creative thinking, and marketing.  Here are Creative Clicks by Women, and in some cases, about Women. Hope you are Inspired! – Marianne Carr

A Note on these Creative Clicks by Gal Friday, Marianne Carr: Click on the Creative Thinking Headlines to Get to the Creative Thinking Original Post. 

Who in the Universe is Vera Rubin?

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“Instead of advice, I offer my hopes for you. I hope you will stay alert and heed the words of Yogi Berra: “You can see a lot by just looking.” I hope your lives will be filled with health and peace, that you understand there is much work to be done in the world and that many of you will choose to join with those who work and lead. I hope you will disdain mediocrity and aim to excel in whatever you do. I hope you will love your work as I love doing astronomy. I hope that you will fight injustice and discrimination in all its guises. I hope you will value diversity among your friends, among your colleagues…” Vera Rubin addresses the graduating class of Berkeley, 1996  Bright Galaxies, Dark Matter

If you are not reading  www.brainpickings.org run, don’t walk to your device of choice and sign up for blasts – email or in Facebook or Twitter. Do it noooow.

Oh, and it’s written by a woman  Maria Popova. She is a rock star to me.

Color, Color Everywhere and Lots of Stuff to Think

As a self-described Color Freak, (Lori’s title, not mine) I have been enjoying reading Lori Sawaya, Color Expert and Strategist, Facebook posts www.facebook.com/TheLandofColor for years now.  And of course, her thoughts are a natural fit for Pinterest,  www.pinterest.com/TheLandofColor/ with STUNNING posts that if you like color, and I know you do, you will eat up like candy.  Lori has 82 boards with trends and information. Her boards dedicated to just one color, are, dare I say, provocative. Also you can learn some great history from Lori. Her page Haint Blue the Legend includes Ghosts and Southern Mansions. Hopefully you get the picture why this colorful expert is an inspiration to creativity.

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In honor of Mike.

Women and Innovation and 18 Pages of Articles about Women, Girls and Social Innovation

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“The world is waking up to the economic power of women. A growing number of studies have indicated that gender-inclusive companies are more successful, that women’s participation in the labor force has had measurable effects on economic growth—indeed, that women’s leadership benefits the economy and society on every level. Despite this, traditional investment opportunities—both in the for-profit and the social sector—have excluded women from access to capital and done little to further gender equity in the workplace. In recent years, a movement towards “investing with a gender lens” has emerged. This movement encourages the use of capital to deliver financial returns…

Says the intro to the Webinar on The Rise of Gender Capitalism. And isn’t that what Innovation is all about? Making Money. Make some noize Girrrrls! Woot Woot!

Women Blogger on Innovation at Innovation Excellence

I researched  “Women Bloggers on Innovation,” and the Innovation Excellence site has several good woman bloggers.  One notable is Saga Briggs. Saga tends to focus on Learning and Education.

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Here are two recent posts from Saga:

 

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