Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Goose and the Commons

The law doth punish man or woman
That steals the goose from off the commons,
But lets the greater felon loose
That steals the commons from the Goose.
Anonymous folksong, 1764

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Orchestrating Collaboration

I've been writing lately about creativity at work and collaborative creativity, and those are the subjects of the book Orchestrating Collaboration At Work: Using Music, Improv, Storytelling, and Other Arts to Improve Teamwork by Linda Naiman and Arthur Van Gundy, both well-known in creativity and innovation circles. The book was published in 2003 by
Wiley/Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, but is now available through Linda's website as a .PDF download for $48.99.

This is a hefty book -- 265 pages -- chock full of exercises that can be used for teambuilding, ice breakers, energizers, and to stimulate creativity, to teach teams to work through change, think strategically, and collaborate more effectively. I downloaded it, printed it out, and had it comb-bound, and now my copy is now is full of sticky notes on exercises I've vowed to try for various client projects and training sessions.

Those who have to defend the use of the arts in business will find a lot of help here as well. The first part of the book lays out th authors' argument that the arts are just what business needs today. A sample:
"Businesses today want to break away from their limitations, aim higher, and be a creative force for good in the world. We need the transformative experiences that the arts give us to thrive in a world of change."

This section includes interviews with luminaries such as John Seely Brown, and case studies from companies such as the World Bank and Lexis-Nexis.

Van Gundy and Naiman did not make up every single exercise -- approximately 35 others contributed exercises as well. The resulting variety is a welcome breath of air after the shelves of books available that set forth a theory for creativity and then offer exercises that don't vary much. In addition to many exercises, the authors' contribution is in the extremely useful and clear presentation of these exercises. They're divided into section according to the art form used -- music, drawing, painting, collage, storytelling, improv, poetry, and others. And each one includes a clear statement of the objectives, the uses (team-building, change management, etc.), the time required and materials needed.

Bottom line -- this is well worth the $48.99. I have spent many times that amount to go to week-long conferences that didn't give me anywhere near this much useful information that I could take back to my work.

Orchestrating Collaboration At Work:

Renee Hopkins Callahan
Idea Flow

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Creativity at Work

The American Creativity Association will hold it's International Conference on March 22 - 25, 2006 in Austin, Texas.

What will this conference mean to your organization and your employees? You and your employees will gain skills and knowledge that will increase their value to your organization while enhancing their self-growth. They will have opportunities to learn from and network with renowned national and international experts – including:
  • Peggy Van Pelt (Walt Disney Imagineering, Los Angeles, CA)
  • Andrew Ouderkirk (3M Corporate Scientist, 3M, Minneapolis, MN)
  • David Pearce Snyder (Independent Consulting Futurist)
  • Michael Beyerlein (Director of the Center for Collaborative Organizations, University of North Texas, Denton, TX)
  • Sam Stern (Dean, School of Education, Oregon State University, Portland, OR)
  • Doug Hall (Founder and CEO, Eureka Ranch, Cincinnati, OH)
  • Kirpal Singh (Professor, School of Economics & Social Sciences, Singapore Management University, Singapore)
  • Ann Herrmann-Nehdi (CEO, Herrmann Brain Dominance Institute, Lake Lure, NC)
  • Alex N. Pattakos (Director, Center for Personal Meaning, Santa Fe, NM)
  • Abdullah Alsafi (Professor, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia)
  • Ta -Wei Lee (Professor, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan)
  • Betty Otter Nickerson (COO, Lance Armstrong Foundation, Austin, TX)
  • Mitchel Stoller (CEO, Lance Armstrong Foundation, Austin, TX).

A few of over 70 sessions offered in four session tracks plus Master Classes:
  • Enabling Collaborative Creativity at Work
  • The Athlete Mindset: Learn and apply the same creative methods used by professional athletes to succeed in pressure situations
  • Using TRIZ Lines of Evolution to Predict and Unfuzzy the Fuzzy Front End
  • Creativity, Innovation, and Global Competitiveness
  • Innovate On Purpose™
  • Creative Ways to Recruit a Creative Workforce – A Case Study
  • The Birth of Novelty: Ensuring New Ideas Get a Fighting Chance
  • A Study of the Applicability of Idea Generation Techniques
  • Risk Taking as factor of Creative Thinking
  • Top Ten Tips for Capitalist Creativity Success
  • A study of the relationships among gender, group size, personal creativity, and group technological creativity
  • Trends in Collaborative Creativity & Innovation
  • Creating an Innovation Commons

Contact Barry Silverberg for special rates for groups of 3 or more from the same organization.
(512) 223-7076

ACA's International Conference 2006 takes place at the beautiful Hilton Austin Airport Exhibition dates are: March 22nd through March 25th

We understand that location is everything in business, which is why ACA will place exhibitors in the flow of conference traffic. We want to help you succeed in the creative environment.

How much will it cost me to exhibit during the entire conference?
$500 for a full table $275 for a half table

How big are the tables?
6 foot & draped

Will there be a secure room to store my materials?
Yes. All three days

Can I exhibit without having to staff my table?
Additional or substitute promotional set-ups may be arranged so long as they remain contained within the area reserved for the specific exhibitor.

To contract for exhibit space and arrange payment by check or credit card e-mail:

Exhibitors wishing to participate in the conference and/or meal functions, contact:

Advertising Opportunities
A printed Conference Program will be distributed to all Conference registrants and include resource information that will lead registrants to retain the Program for future reference. Accordingly, advertisers have the opportunity to share their message at and beyond the Conference.

The Conference Program will be printed in black and white on white stock in a 8.5" x 11" portrait format.

Advertising options include:Full page - $750Half page - $500Quarter page - $250

To contract for Conference Program Book advertising, and arrange payment by check or credit card, e-mail