Some More Quotes

As it has been about a month or so since we last published some quotes, we thought it timely to publish some news ones. Like before, it contains quotes from various acclaimed individuals from the worlds of advertising, philosophy, science, literature and education. So, go ahead and immerse yourself in creativity – intelligence having fun!

It is easier to tone down a wild idea than to think up a new one.— Alex Osborne, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity. – Albert Einstein

Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything. – George Lois

If one advances confidently in the directions of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. – Henry David Thoreau

Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. – Isaac Asimov

An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it. — William Bernbach, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Creativity is as important as literacy and numeracy, and I actually think people understand that creativity is important – they just don’t understand what it is. – Ken Robinson
 
If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original. – Ken Robinson
 
I believe this passionately: that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out if it. – Ken Robinson
 
Many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not – because the thing they were good at at school wasn’t valued, or was actually stigmatized. – Ken Robinson

Hopefully making a ruckus, one blog post at a time!

Be sure to check out my other blog,Joe’s Journey, for personal insights on life and its detours.

Happy Thanksgiving to All!!

 

Leave it to Charlie Brown and Snoopy to bring out the goodness in all of us. Plus, a chuckle or two as well. As we give Thanks today, let us remember the “small” things along with the larger items on our Thankful List. I’m thankful I can still chuckle! I’m thankful for lunch and dinner invitations so I don’t have to cook. I’m thankful for good cooks. I’m thankful for fellowship with good friends. I’m thankful for meeting new friends.

So as we sit down to Thanksgiving Dinner today, let’s remember it was only last year that most of us couldn’t have an in-person visit with family and/or friends. Today, most of us can. Bring on the turkey and the stuffing along with the pumpkin and pecan pies. Don’t forget the hearty appetites and the good cheer to spread. Enjoy your Thanksgiving. We deserve it. Oh, yeah, leave room for seconds and leftovers!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

 

Hopefully making a ruckus, one blog post at a time!

Be sure to check out my other blog,Joe’s Journey, for personal insights on life and its detours.

Creative Tidbits and Other Advice

 

The other day when I was putting some luggage back up into the closet, I came across a small notebook with a few items written in it. Must have been some of my notes from a long-ago seminar I attended somewhere. These statements are in no particular order and only one is attributable to someone. Take them for what they’re worth. Who knows, they may be able to help enhance your creativity.

Wasting time is usually resistance to writing

Be violent and original in your work, but be orderly in your normal life

Get quiet — be still and apply yourself

Creativity: Sudden cessation of stupidity

Most good ideas come fully formed

Celebrate small victories

“No” is a complete sentence

We have no art. We do everything as well as possible.

“Everything is art direction.” — Lee Clow

How to suck less: It’s not about concepts; it’s about execution (how we work)

Enemies: Laziness and Arrogance

“Effort and struggle to create simplicity and grace lives on in the soul.”

 

Hopefully making a ruckus, one blog post at a time!

Be sure to check out my other blog,Joe’s Journey, for personal insights on life and its detours.

 

 

Ye Olde Creativity Survival (Tool)Kit

Last week I posted about my upcoming trek to Baton Rouge and shared a list of creative guidelines to keep in mind when enhancing one’s creativity. That was what I shared with the ad club of Baton Rouge last Friday. One of the main items I shared was the Creativity Survival Kit and that’s what I’d like to review on this post, especially for folks who have no idea what I’m talking about.

One of several different colored Creativity Kits the Baton Rouge ad club made as giveaways.

The Creativity Survival (Tool) Kit is simply any container or bucket filled with items that make you feel creative or think creatively. The contents can be almost anything depending on the individual.

They can be notes that remind you of various things, especially those items that are too large to fit into your bucket. They can be serious or silly. No judgements here; after all, it’s YOUR kit.

One of the main elements in the Kit is a stack of Post It Notes. The timed exercise, lead by a moderator, is thus: Whatever problem confronts you to be solved, needs a specific question to be asked that may help solve it. The more specific, the better.

The challenge is to come up with, say, 50 ideas in five minutes or, if you dare, 100 ideas in ten minutes. Once this is done, pick your 25 best ideas and, are you ready for this . . . TRASH THEM! Then from the 25 remaining, select your next 20 best ideas . . . and . . . TRASH THEM!

I know this is not what you’re used to doing, but trust me, this is a different take on a standard way of drilling down to the best idea. I call it the Evil Twin Technique.

Now, you’re left with five “maybe not-so-great-ideas.” For the purposes of this exercise, select three of them that you feel are good and, you know the drill, TRASH THEM. From the two remaining, trash one that you feel is better than the other one. You have one idea left. It may not have been one you thought about when you first began or one that you paid little or no attention to during this process.

You’ve come upon your Evil Twin. Whether or not it pans out as a worthwhile idea to help solve your problem remains to be seen. Your due process may bear that out. If you can combine this exercise with the more standard approach (instead of trashing the “best ideas,” keep them and simply narrow the list down to just one), it will be interesting what types of solution approaches one could come up with.  

Some other items in my kit include

and my certification

along with my alter ego, Snoopy, and his pal, the Energizer Bunny. What can I say, I have an eclectic tool kit!

As my business card states, “Crayons. The essence of creativity.” Crayons are colorful and so should your world of creativity. Similarly, your Creativity Survival Toolkit should reflect your colorful personality and lend itself to enhance your creative world.

Hopefully making a ruckus, one blog post at a time!

Be sure to check out my other blog,Joe’s Journey, for personal insights on life and its detours.

Creativity Guidelines as Presented to the Baton Rouge Ad Club

Because some of you won’t be able to make my presentation tomorrow to the Baton Rouge Chapter of the American Advertising Federation, I thought I might include some of the tips I’ll give to the group in this blog post.

Regardless of how you may be involved in this industry, we all share in the design and development of our own creativity. These tips will hopefully sharpen your current set of skills so that you’ll be better equipped to address challenges as they arise.

Enjoy your dip in the pool of creative tips!


 Always think of yourself as creative! If in doubt, think of this: If you can challenge your own imagination and
stimulate thoughts leading you to a new level of solution, you’ll be realizing your own sense of creativity.

 

Creativity needs to be synonymous with “FUN!”

 

Don’t manage creativity; manage FOR creativity. Provide an environment that is open and
receptive to new ideas. Acknowledge error or failure in a constructive and supportive way, build
it into your culture as part of the process; don’t ridicule it; honor and embrace it.

Consider adopting the “suckless mentality” – When presented with something that doesn’t quite
measure up, say something to the effect of “Gee, that really sucks. However, if your tried this or
that, it might suck less.”

 

Chief Marketing Officers must have creativity in themselves, for the good of the business and
their own teams. “Creativity as a weapon of business is under-leveraged not for lack of ideas, but
for lack of courage to use them or refusal to give up on them. The phrase, ‘We don’t have time for
creativity,’ is not something you would ever hear in the most successful businesses,” says Mark-hans
Richer, former Sr. VP-CMO Harley-Davidson.

 

Trying to satisfy everybody never got anybody anywhere. Focus on what’s important, then do it.

 

The strategy must be clear, concise and on target. Your message is going to be screwed up if the
creative is too cute, too complex, doesn’t follow strategy or is just plain dumb.

 

Don’t let the execution bury the idea. The computer and software are just tools to enhance the
idea, not to compete with, replace, or screw it up. Use your own computer – your brain.

 

Take time to think. There’s always more than one way to do something. That’s creativity!

 

Do not bring a DEAD CAT without a shovel! In other words, never present a problem without
bringing the shovel – at least two possible solutions. In doing so, you save time if one of these
solutions is the one adopted, and you can share your creative thinking while learning more about
what’s important to your boss; remember, you may not know all there is to know.

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Hopefully making a ruckus, one blog post at a time!

Be sure to check out my other blog,Joe’s Journey, for personal insights on life and its detours.

Quotes Times Ten . . .

The ones who see things differently…who are not fond of rules…they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. — Steve Jobs

Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been. – Alan Alda

Where there is shouting, there is no true knowledge. – Leonardo da Vinci

I think it’s better to be overly ambitious and fail than to be underambitious and succeed in a mundane way. I have been very fortunate. I failed upward in my life! – Francis Ford Coppola

Meetings are all too often the burial grounds of great ideas. — Keith Reinhard, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

You cannot force ideas. Successful ideas are the result of slow growth. Ideas do not reach perfection in a day, no matter how much study is put upon them. – Alexander Graham Bell

The most dangerous phrase in the language is, We’ve always done it this way. – Grace Hopper

If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. – Albert Einstein

We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely. – E. O. Wilson


There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. — Ernest Hemingway

Hopefully making a ruckus, one blog post at a time!

Be sure to check out my other blog, Joe’s Journey, for personal insights on life and its detours.

Who is the creative individual and where is he/she?

While we are all creative in some aspect, some people are more creative than others. How do we distinguish one from the other or do we? What should we look for when searching for creative people? While reviewing several research articles on creativity, I ran across one that might shed some light on this “creative people search.”


Creativity can be defined as the capacity to come up with new ideas to serve a purpose. Think of it as intelligence having fun! As such, creativity serves a vital role in both our personal and professional lives every day.

No wonder employers want creative employees in areas where it is essential to come up with proposals for new products and services, and new ways of doing things.

The Creative Personality

Professor Øyvind L. Martinsen at BI Norwegian Business School conducted a study some years back to develop a personality profile for creative people: Which personality traits characterize creative people? The study was conducted with 481 people with different backgrounds and consisted of various groups of “creative” people.

  • The first group of creative people consisted of 69 artists working as actors or musicians in a well-known symphony orchestra or are members of an artist’s organization with admission requirements.
  • The second group consisted of 48 students of marketing.
  • The remaining participants in the study were managers, lecturers and students in programs that are less associated with creativity than marketing.

Seven Creativity Characteristics

In his study Martinsen identified seven paramount personality traits that characterize creative people:
1. Associative orientation: Imaginative, playful, have a wealth of ideas, ability to be committed, sliding transitions between fact and fiction.
2. Need for originality: Resists rules and conventions. Have a rebellious attitude due to a need to do things no one else does.
3. Motivation: Have a need to perform, goal-oriented, innovative attitude, stamina to tackle difficult issues.
4. Ambition: Have a need to be influential, attract attention and recognition.
5. Flexibility: Have the ability to see different aspects of issues and come up with optional solutions.
6. Low emotional stability: Have a tendency to experience negative emotions, greater fluctuations in moods and emotional state, failing self-confidence.
7. Low sociability: Have a tendency not to be very considerate, are obstinate and find faults and flaws in ideas and people.

Among the seven personality traits, associative orientation (#1) and flexibility (#5) are the factors that to the greatest extent lead to creative thinking. “Associative orientation is linked to ingenuity. Flexibility is linked to insight,” according to the professor. The other five characteristics describe emotional inclinations and motivational factors that influence creativity or spark an interest in creativity. “The seven personality traits influence creative performance through inter-action,” Martinsen points out.

Less Sociable

The study shows that the artists who participated scored much higher on associative orientation than the other participants. They have a substantial need for originality and are not particularly stable emotionally. The personality profile of the marketing students was quite similar to the artist profile and also differs from the other participants in the study. The artists in the study also scored lower values for ambition than the others and are not particularly sociable.


“An employer would be wise to conduct a position analysis to weigh the requirements for the ability to cooperate against the need for creativity,” Martinsen believes. He also emphasizes that creative people may need help to complete their projects. “Creative people are not always equally practical and performance-oriented, which is the reverse side of the “creativity medal.”

Since a good eight years have passed from when this study was done, it would be interesting to learn what differences, if any, a newer study would reveal toward creativity aspects in individuals. Given that the creative landscape itself has changed, it shouldn’t be too surprising to find that the new study results would reflect that.

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BI Norwegian Business School. “The hunt for the creative individual.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2013. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130402091133.htm.

Hopefully making a ruckus, one blog post at a time!

Be sure to check out my other blog, Joe’s Journey, for personal insights on life and its detours.

A Dozen Tips to Enhance Your Creativity

• Creativity needs to be synonymous with “FUN!”

• Idea Tub – can be a physical place or thing and/or an electronic file. It’s a compilation of all ideas
ever submitted since you started keeping track, but organized as to be readily accessible.

An elaborate Idea Tub

• Don’t let the execution bury the idea. Your message will be diluted and possibly even confusing if
the creative is too cute, too complex or just plain dumb. Think napkin, not computer.

• Realize your own sense of creativity by challenging your imagination and stimulate thoughts to lead
yourself to a new level of solution.

• The idea, for best results, should be media and discipline neutral. Otherwise, you limit yourself.

• Focus on how you’re going to make the idea work and be relevant. But, never fall in love with it.

• Don’t ever underestimate the power of the mind or your imagination. Don’t ever be afraid to ask,
“Why, Why not or What if . . .?”.

• Ye Olde Creativity Survival Kit — Any sort of container in which you place whatever makes you
FEEL creative and THINK creatively. In this industry, silly is sometimes serious business.

• Thinking at Warp Speed – Generating ideas at breakneck speed is a great way to capture ideas on
Post-it Notes (one per note) in answering a specific question to solve a problem. Remember Giant
Post-its for your “idea wall” which can foster brainstorming and open-door policy idea addition.

• Drill Down Technique – Discovering THE idea. In this unusual method choose your five best ideas
and ELIMINATE THEM, choose five more and ELIMINATE THEM. The last idea Post-it may or
may not be the best, but it’s one to which you normally would not have paid much attention. Go play.

• As ideas are developed, make sure their essence is refined. Make sure your ideas are clear and
you can explain their basic value in about 20 seconds. If you can’t explain it to an 8-year old so they’ll understand it, you need to refine your idea more.

• Don’t manage creativity; manage for creativity. Provide an environment that is open and receptive
to new ideas, and that builds failure into the process. Acknowledge error or failure in a constructive
and supportive way.

Hopefully making a ruckus, one blog post at a time!

Be sure to check out my other blog, Joe’s Journey, for personal insights on life and its detours.

Ever Been on a Creative Hot Streak? A New Study Finds That It Involves These Two Habits

At one time or another, we’ve all been on a creative hot streak even if we didn’t realize it. The words flowed freely, the design snapped into place magically making for very impactful creative. But how did that happen? How does one get on a “hot steak” of creativity? A new study from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University may have a road map.

The secret involves experimenting with a wide range of subjects, styles, and techniques before perfecting a specific area of one’s craft—what the authors describe as a mix of exploration and exploitation.

“Although exploration is considered a risk because it might not lead anywhere, it increases the likelihood of stumbling upon a great idea,” the study’s lead author, Dashun Wang, said in a statement. “By contrast, exploitation is typically viewed as a conservative strategy. If you exploit the same type of work over and over for a long period of time, it might stifle creativity. But, interestingly, exploration followed by exploitation appears to show consistent associations with the onset of hot streaks.”

Wang’s findings, published in the journal Nature, sought to identify periods of intense creativity in the work of visual artists, as well as film directors and scientists. The team used image recognition algorithms to analyze data from 800,000 artworks from 2,128 artists, including Jackson Pollock, Frida Kahlo, and Vincent van Gogh. The rest of the study was based on Internet Movie Database (IMDb) data sets for 4,337 directors, and publications and citations on the Web of Science and Google Scholar for 20,040 scientists.

Creative trajectories and hot-streak dynamics: three exemplary careers. Data analyzing the work of Jackson Pollock, Peter Jackson, and John Fenn.

Creative trajectories and hot-streak dynamics: three exemplary careers. Data analyzing the work of Jackson Pollock, Peter Jackson, and John Fenn.

Pollock, who achieved widespread popular and critical success with his groundbreaking drip paintings from 1946 to 1950, is one of three creators singled out as examples in the paper.

Director Peter Jackson, who famously made the “The Lord of the Rings” epic fantasy trilogy after experimenting in genres such as horror-comedy and biography is another.

John Fenn, who won the 2002 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work with electrospray ionization, having previously studied numerous other topics is another.

The paper identified patterns in the creators’ work over time—changes in brushstrokes, plot points or casting decisions, or research topics. It noted the diversity both in the period leading up to a hot streak, which typically lasts about five years, and at other times in the subject’s career. Five years?!

I found this to be surprising in that most hot streaks I’ve personally encountered have been anywhere from a few hours to several months. I’ve never thought of them in terms of years. Anywhoo . . .

In all three fields, the trend tended toward a more diverse body of work in the period before a hot streak than at other points in time. Then, during the hot streak, the creators tended to continue to work in the same vein, suggesting “that individuals become substantially more focused on what they work on, reflecting an exploitation strategy during hot streak.”

So when is your next hot streak coming up and will you know it when it hits you?

This post is based upon the article by Sarah Cascone of Art Net News.

https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2015/12/Jackson-Pollock-1950_L2011001166.jpg
Jackson Pollock at work in 1950. Photo: ©1991 Hans Namuth Estate Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, the University of Arizona.

Creativity Tip #24: Trying to satisfy everybody never got anybody anywhere. Focus on what’s important, then do it.

Hopefully making a ruckus, one blog post at a time!

Be sure to check out my other blog, Joe’s Journey, for personal insights on life and its detours.

More Quotes

Since it’s been a few weeks when Quotes last appeared, I thought it was time to bring them back. Mostly advertising folks below but a few that are just as memorable. Everyone comes from a different perspective. Enjoy!

Conceit is God’s gift to little men. — Bruce Barton, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance. — Bruce Barton, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

A good ad should be like a good sermon: It must not only comfort the afflicted, it also must afflict the comfortable. — Bernice Fitz-Gibbon, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

It is easier to tone down a wild idea than to think up a new one. — Alex Osborne, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Some questions don’t have answers, which is a terribly difficult lesson to learn. — Katharine Graham, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

The heart of creativity is discipline. — William Bernbach, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

If you can’t turn yourself into your customer, you probably shouldn’t be in the ad writing business at all. — Leo Burnett, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information.
— David Ogilvy, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Advertising, to be successful, must understand or anticipate basic human needs and wants and interpret available goods and services in terms of their want-satisfying abilities. This is the very opposite of manipulation. — Charles H. Sandage, Advertising Hall of Fame

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? – Vincent Van Gogh

Creativity Tip #34: Start fooling around. Splash the paint on. Scribble the words down. Sing.



Hopefully making a ruckus, one blog post at a time!

Be sure to check out my other blog, Joe’s Journey, for personal insights on life and its detours.