So can you have enormous fun and learn as well? (part II)

In the first part of this blog post I told you about how we designed a creativity lecture for AUBG for their AAA Lecture Series. Actually, all we did was give them the possibility to co-create on the spot with us, which, I have to tell you, takes a great deal of risk. Of course, we assumed this risk with the open mind of the experimentators that we are.

So, what is it that we learned from the audience?

First, never assume anything about your audience - neither that they will be very open and friendly, nor the opposite. Just take them as they are and always be ready with several Plan B’s.

Secondly, even at a lecture, as human beings we all want to talk rather than listen. Give them the possibility to talk and listen to what they have to say. Only in this fair exchange can co-creation happen.

photo by Nikolay Trifonov

And, thirdly, have fun. I had tremendous fun facilitating this exercise and the feedback afterwards was that it was contagious. So if you are authentic and enjoy what you do, the audience will respond.

Now, it’s excellent for us at Creative Shower to learn these things, but what is it that our audience learned from us about creativity?

First and foremost, it’s that anyone can be creative. Anyone. Period. We had accountants and auditors and marketing people in the audience, and all of them shared the same A-ha moment: “Wow, I never believed I can actually be creative”. And yet, they came up with very cunning sex toys based on rather interesting insights of a couple’s sex life.

Thus, the second thing that they learned is that in order to be creative you have to be observant. Open minded, curious and observant about life around you – be it in your bedroom, or in the public transport, in your office, etc. Only if you look for ideas and opportunities, will they present themselves to you. And only if you look for the dots, can you really connect them.

photo by Nikolay Trifonov

And the third thing they learned is probably the most powerful tool of creativity that is. It is the fact that creativity is all about cross-pollination. That you can combine two seemingly unconnected objects – like a baseball glove and a stress-relief ball -  and come up with something that adds value (or pleasure in our case ;-)).

So whenever you are in a brainstorming session, don’t just look at the obvious connections to your topic - explore the unrelated ones. You never know what you may find out.