Give your creativity a boost!

Building Creative Capacity

 Introducing Creativity Boost

How did they come up with that?!

Have you ever been so struck by the originality of a colleague’s idea that you wondered how in the world that person was able to conceive of such a thing? What is the source of inspiration? And how do I get me some of that?

Our work constantly demands creative solutions. We need to work around a variety of parameters and limitations to achieve our goals, and those whose learning and development activities we support all demand something new and different to pique their interest and hold their attention – no less to support the learning they need to achieve desired outcomes. That is partially why our work can be so energizing – there are always new challenges, new techniques, and new tools.

To seek to be inspired is a lovely way to live.
~ Lin Manuel Miranda

But many people doubt their creative capacity. They see what others do and dismay to think that they would never have come up with that particular solution or anything that good. They may come to believe that everyone else has some deep well of creativity that has not been granted to them. Does this kind of thinking resonate with you?

I have had those feelings myself. I’ve been determined to study creativity, to unlock its mysteries a bit. I’ve listened closely to highly applauded creators talk about their process and their inspirations. I’ve read the research on creativity and put into practice a number of creativity-enhancing techniques. I still think there is an element of genius that spurs the people who create blockbusters, but I am confident that some of what they do to feed their creative energies are disciplines that I can practice as well. You can, too.

There are seven disciplines that turn out to be important in generating a creativity boost. These disciplines are:

  • Creativity Boost LogoLearning – Developing mastery in your field of practice
  • Sensing – Gathering inspiration and seeking ideas, both ongoing and as needed
  • Framing – Defining the goal and the parameters within which you need to work
  • Conversing – Seeking input and testing reactions to ideas
  • Playing – Applying creative techniques and processes
  • Incubating – Giving the mind a break from a project to allow background rumination
  • Daring – Demonstrating boldness, recovering from difficulties, adapting to meet challenges, and managing risks

Learning, Sensing, and Daring provide core background for generating ideas and becoming willing to try them out. Framing, Conversing, Playing, and Incubating encompass activities that creatives employ during the creative process to expand and improve their ideas.

In my upcoming e-book, Creativity Boost, I’ve put together a set of detailed exercises you can use to strengthen your creative muscles. These exercises are developed specifically for people who work in learning and development roles – designers, facilitators, faculty, consultants, and learning leaders. They often riff off activities that are employed by highly applauded creators like Lin Manuel Miranda (composer), Ed Catmull (filmmaker), Twyla Tharp (choreographer), Brandon Sanderson (author), Liz Gilbert (author) Jim Henson (muppeteer), and more. And these exercises are grounded in the research on creativity – what we know about what works.


Get a preview of Creativity Boost by downloading the attached document for free. In it, you’ll get just a small sampling – one exercise in each of the seven disciplines. I’ll let you know when the full e-book is ready, anticipated in May of 2017.

I’ll also be talking about nurturing your creativity at spring L&D conferences:

Morning Buzz: Strategies for Boosting your Creativity
Wednesday, March 23, at Learning Solutions 2017 in Orlando, Florida
This session is more a conversation than a presentation, in collaboration with Connie Malamed.

Concurrent session: Nurturing Creativity: Inspired by Blockbuster Creators in Entertainment
Tuesday, May 23, at Association for Talent Development International Conference in Atlanta, Georgia

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. Share your stories, your great ideas, your frustrations, and your questions. I’m on Twitter @L4LP or write me at

//  New workshop now available  >
Creativity Boost – How to build your creative capacity

Supporting the learning needs of today’s workforce demands creativity and innovation. This workshop explores catalysts of creativity, and it offers implementable research-based techniques, skill-building activities, and inspiring stories of ground-breaking acts of creation. Practices and stories are drawn from genius-level creators like Lin-Manuel Miranda (composer of Hamilton), Ed Catmull (CEO of Pixar), and Twyla Tharp (choreographer of Movin’ Out), among others.

  • Learn about activities and behaviors that fortify some of our most respected creative geniuses
  • Develop habits of mind that can deepen your capacity for creativity and innovation
  • Reference techniques for nurturing your own creativity and moving past a creative dry spell

To discuss a customized workshop for your team, please contact me at I am able to craft  interactive webinars and engaging workshops in time frames from 1 to 3 hours.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”