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Creativity or Awkwardness?
  Business     Expert Design Thinking     Expert Entrepreneurship     Expert Innovation      Leadership      Management    

Where does creativity come from?  It’s an important question any leader should ask---often.  Whether in the private sector, the public sector, the education industry, or literally anywhere else.  How can we stimulate an environment where new ideas blossom?

After thinking about this for a long time, as a manager and teacher, I’ve come to the conclusion that deeply ingrained misconceptions and societal blocks stunt creativity.  Taboos, you may call them.

One of my favorite parts of my business master’s classes is “the farm experience.”  This entails classmates finding a partner and making the sound of farm animals --- pigs, cows, chickens --- as loud as they can while staring at each other.  Weird?  Maybe.  Helpful?  Oh, yes indeed.  Prof. James Adams has done this activity at Stanford for many years, with great results.

Why?  Well the answer is simple.  It breaks down the social and interpersonal anxiety of doing and saying “awkward” things.  There is no way in the world that creativity can sprout without people being willing to break with what’s normal.  What is “normal” anyways?

I’m looking forward to hearing from all of you about this, and in the process, congratulate KnowDo for offering the forum to do so!  Until next time…

Date: 06/02/2013
Hello Federico! I love that activity! Based on your personal experience (you have lived in different countries), how do people from different cultures respond to the farm experience? Thanks!

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