Thursday, February 9, 2017

Fostering Creativity

If you know of John Cleese, it is probably through British television shows like Monty Python or Fawlty Towers or movies like A Fish Called Wanda. In addition to being an actor, he is also a screenwriter. Cleese also has thought quite a bit about the creative process. Below is a link to a video on YouTube in which he discusses how to foster creativity. The context is a business setting, but the ideas in the speech are easily applied to all disciplines. A significant point is that creativity is not an innate talent, but the result of a process. We can facilitate being more creative by setting aside regular, fixed, time intervals for brainstorming and resisting the urge to come up with solutions prematurely. What is essential is giving yourself the freedom to play with ideas and persistence. As Cleese says, "if you just keep your mind resting against the subject in a friendly but persistent way, sooner or later you will get a reward from your unconscious."