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Smart goals or better systems?

If you’re working toward some sort of collective goals — as an organization, network or even as an individual — you’ve most likely been asked to use SMART goal setting to frame your task. While SMART is a popular tool for management consultants and scholars, does it make sense when you’re looking to make inroads […]

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Decoupling creators from their creations

The world is transformed by creators — the artists, the innovators, the leaders — and their creations are what propel change and stand in the way of it. Change can be hard and its made all the more so when we fail to decouple the creator from the created, inviting resistance rather than enticing better creations.  […]

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A Beautiful Idea

Is what you do, where you work, or how you organize, beautiful? Among the many words used to describe our work lives the most neglected and maybe necessary might be described that one word: it’s time to take it seriously.  For those working in design one of the biggest challenges is getting people to understand that […]

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The Ecology of Innovation: Part 1 – Ideas

There is a tendency when looking at innovation to focus on the end result of a process of creation rather than as one node in a larger body of activity, yet expanding our frame of reference to see these connections innovation starts to look look much more like an ecosystem than a simple outcome. This […]

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Creativity and Craft, Myth and Muscle

Creativity is a word shrouded in myth that has been held up as this elusive, seductive object that will reveal the true secrets of innovation if ever reached. Creativity is something we all have, but not all of us are craftspeople and knowing where these two are separate and meet is the difference between myth […]

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Reading Innovation and the New Economy

Economic changes are transforming business and work itself in ways that are having consequences well beyond supply chains and jobs, but the way employment spurs learning. A look at a recent change at a Toronto bookstore hints at a future that suggests we may want to think about what kind of economy we want not […]

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Tips to Maximize Creativity at Work

Originally posted on The Creativity Guru:
  These tips, from Scientific American Mind, are all also found in the book Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity: Become an expert. You need a solid knowledge base. (Zig Zag Chapter 2: LEARN) Observe. Carefully study how people use what they currently have, and what problems…

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Hacking the Classroom: Beyond Design Thinking

Originally posted on User Generated Education:
Design Thinking is trending is some educational circles.  Edutopia recently ran a design thinking for educators workshop and I attended two great workshops at SXSWedu 2013 on Design Thinking: Hack Class: Shape Your Ecology, Empower Learning The Problem Finders: Design Thinking Across School Design Thinking is a great skill…

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Creativity in the Wild: How Wilderness Exposure Enhances Problem Solving

Originally posted on The Creativity Guru:
I just read about a fascinating new study* that examined 56 people who went on an Outward Bound wilderness expedition. No electronic devices were allowed on the trips. Of the 56 people, 24 took a creativity test before they left for the trip. The other 32 took the test…

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Designing Creative Spaces for Learning

Originally posted on The Creativity Guru:
I’ve just spent two stimulating days with a small group of architects, university professors, and creativity researchers, at a beautiful old lakeside estate called Marigold Lodge, in Western Michigan. Our goal: To collect everything we know about how to design spaces that maximize learning and foster creativity. With funding from the…

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