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Why Anyone Can Be Creative

February 12, 2013 by Jeff James, Vice President & General Manager, Disney Institute

Yesterday on Facebook we mentioned a common misunderstanding in regards to creativity and innovation: when faced with the task of starting something new or re-thinking something that already exists with a fresh perspective, it’s easy to sit back and think, “I’m not creative.”

Of course, creativity knows no bounds. Someone who works as a customer support specialist can be just as creative with their problem solving solutions as an artist who puts an idea or concept to paper. Anyone can be creative.

The second misnomer stifling creativity comes from the thought that someone’s ideas are attached to the person submitting them. This thought lends itself to a “my idea against yours” mindset and can be detrimental to the collaborative process.

Remember, your ideas are separate from your identity. Your collaborative culture will be strengthened when your team understands and believes that value is derived from each individual for being who they are and bringing ideas to the table; they are valued simply for expressing their ideas.

What is your approach to idea sharing? How do you encourage everyone to participate in creative brainstorming sessions?





Posted in Creativity & Innovation | Tagged Creativity & Innovation, Creative Thinking, Innovation Management, Culture of Collaboration | 2 Comments


2 Responses to Why Anyone Can Be Creative

  • Kedron says:

    on February 12, 2013

    As a software designer, I prefer sharing ideas visually, wrapped in narrative. I have found that storytelling is an effective way of sharing ideas with team members and clients. Garnering participation during the generative phase of designing software can be a challenge. I'll often organize a collaborative sketching session with clients and colleagues. The team is presented with a specific challenge to solve for, and given a short window of time (3-5 minutes) to sketch interface solutions to meet that challenge. The goal is to generate as many ideas as possible within the short amount of time, followed by sharing those ideas with the team. We'll repeat this process once or twice per challenge in order to itterate and expand on team members ideas. The sketches vary in fidelity, which is encouraged, and inevitably results in buy in as the team converges on a workable solution.


  • Sharon says:

    on April 25, 2013

    What is your approach to idea sharing? How do you encourage everyone to participate in creative brainstorming sessions? I am a former Cast Member who has experienced the wonderful creative culture at Disney. I'm also a certified brainstorming facilitator and hold frequent brainstorms and workshops in my role as Principal Copywriter where I work. I work within the User Experience group for a major retail brand, and in our group we have a host of disciplines - project managers, information architects, designers, writers, and so on. It's an eclectic group with diverse backgrounds. I start out each session by getting people comfortable in their own skin. So I begin with a fun ice breaker exercise that gets everyone's head in the room. People up on their feet, greeting people eye to eye and having a good laugh. And before we dig into anything, we have a list of "Brainstorming Guidelines" posted on the wall. Here are a few of them... • Any idea, big or small, is a great idea. DO SHARE • Laptops and Cell phones in the bin by the door and turned off. • Try to phrase your ideas with "What if," or "We could." • The word "No" has not been invited to our brainstorm • Have fun!!!!!! That's just a few. And as a facilitator, I make sure to be the keen listener and observer helping to guide the ideas and garner feedback from each and everyone. It's the most rewarding role I've ever played. Sharon Also, I pepper the tables with treats and hand-held objects to play with so the mind stays engaged.


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