Robert Alan Black : Little Things Can Stop Creativity
Little Things Can Stop Creativity
By Robert Alan Black, Ph.D.
"No money can stop a creative project."
"No resources can stop a creative project."
"No support can stop a creative project."
Yes major things or forces can stop creativity. Yet when we look at the history of invention or in
general the history of new ideas we can discover that these major forces truly do not stop the devoted,
No money, resources, support did not stop:
One key difference for them was their determination. Yes eventually money, resources and support came
or was acquired. They enabled the creative person to take their idea and turn it into a larger
Yet the little things are what stop most of us from utilizing our creativeness long before we get to
tapping the big resources for future giant
While reading Alexander Lockhart's book: POSITIVE CHARGES, recently I came
It got my attention as another small thing that often stops my creativeness or the creativeness of
others I know
Being creative produces change. Many to most people resist change or at least resist being
"changed". Being creative often requires that we take a chance or chances. Being creative
requires that we venture into unknown territory and
To be more creative we need to accept change and chance and that with either the other will occur. If
you change something you take a chance of potential failure. If you take a chance change will normally
be the result. Examine the changes your ideas will produce. Explore and test the chances you will be
taking. Do not let change or
About a 18 months ago I had an aha that came from another small difference. While teaching
Fundamentals of Marketing courses for the American Management Associations one issue that I stressed,
similar to many presenters, speakers, and professors; was that as Americans we tend to be REACTIVE
rather than ACTIVE or better yet PROACTIVE. An emphasis and purpose of marketing and marketing plans is
to help people take charge
Often becoming PROACTIVE requires many paradigm shifts for individuals, departments and entire
The "Aha" I had was a simple change. Instead of being REACTIVE, simply rearrange one letter
in the word and become CREA TIVE or creative. I have always found it much easier for people to be
creative than for them to change and stop being reactive
Still another simple change has to do to a major barrier to success or creativeness.
I can't be creative I can't draw. I can't sing. I can't dance. I can't understand computer software.
If you are a fan or reader of motivational books you no doubt have read the quote always accredited
Making the philosophic choice could be a simple chance that would greatly affect
That is not the simple change I am referring to related
Look at the word "limitation." It has 10 letters. 9 of the letters are the root cause why
so many people are not creative. The 9 letters spell "imitation." Too often we copy, mimic,
reproduce and do not think for
Still another simple change can be discovered by examining the word "RECREATION." Back up in
linguistic history and respell the word as it would have been originally spelled as a
Re creation. Creating again.
Many highly creative people discover that when they experience "a blank wall," "writer's
block," "creative staleness" or other forms of creative blocks that if they simply stop
and take time to recreate they will then be able to re-create and re-tap their creativeness
Graham Wallas referred to the space between the second and third stages of his creative process as a
good time to relax and play or recreate. By doing this you allow your subconscious to work on the challenge
and provide you an aha or enable you to be in a state that makes you open to
Oz Swallow in 1978 shared a simple change that has major implications and effect on the creativeness of
people. One night as a group of 100 or more people crowded into a small classroom at Buff State College
during the Annual CPSI meeting, Oz
"Change the metaphors in your life."
He followed by explaining that all words in all languages (nouns, adjectives, and adverbs used as
adjectives and possibly verbs) are metaphors. They are not the thing or action but rather a word referring
to your interpretation of it. Therefore he suggested that we examine the words we use. See them as
metaphors. Then change our metaphors. Or change
An example I have used with students from elementary school to college and with participants in
workshops of a range of ages
"I Can't Draw!"
First we clearly defined the word draw as making lines, shapes, marks, or shaded areas. In turn the
results could be used to represent existing or imaginery things. Then we would redefine the act of drawing
as the making of lines, shapes, marks, or shaded areas with materials such as pencils, pens, chalk,
crayons, etc. using our hands, feet, arms, teeth, etc.
The simple change in this case is establishing a realistic defintion and comparison. Most people tend
to compare themselves and their actions or skills with the "giants" in the particular field such
as art, music, dance,
To learn to draw is a simple act.
To learn to draw at the level of a major artist
Still one more simple change that can be discovered by examining the word we use. Most to all of us
have problems with daily communication. The root cause for most of us is poor listening, either on our
The change. To improve your communication listen. To better listen simply re-arrange the letters
Listen becomes silent!
Therefore to improve your creativeness...
Look for your own "small changes" that will release and expand your creativity
Being creative is your choice! •
© 1990 Robert Alan Black, Ph.D.
Robert Alan Black, Ph.D. is a Creative Thinking Consultant and his company is Cre8ng People, Places & Possibilities. More »