Innovation is universally acknowledged as a critical element in the growth and success of any organization. Yet there is continued resistance to innovation for a variety of reasons including the perceived safety of the status quo and a fear of the unknown. Adding to this resistance are several pervasive myths about the innovative process that serve as obstacles to embracing innovation. I thought I would take a moment to debunk three of the biggest myths around innovation in the hope that this will ease the reluctance around incorporating innovation into your organization. 

Myth #1 – Innovation is only for a specialized few

There is an image of the “innovator” as a kind of mad scientist with a mystical connection to creativity that allows them to pull ideas and inspiration out of thin air. In my work with organizations, I’ve come to expect that I’ll be told by high-performing executives that they’re not creative. I’m convinced, however, that we’re all creative and that creativity is simply a matter of giving the proper tools to bright, accomplished individuals in order for them to succeed. All children are creative and it’s only when the emphasis gets placed on productivity that people tend to let their creative muscles atrophy. The good news is that with practice and intention, innovation is simply another skill we can all nurture and develop.

Myth #2 – Innovators have to go it alone

When I ask participants in my songwriting/innovation workshops what concerned them the most when they were told they’d be writing a song, I almost always hear that they were afraid they’d have to write the song on their own. I’ve found that this is the analogous fear that executives face when they think about innovation. The reality is that collaboration is a significant part of the innovative process. It is specifically the work of diverse teams  and individuals that gives innovation its breadth and depth. On top of leveraging different talents and abilities to bring new and interesting perspectives to the process, collaboration quite simply makes innovation less daunting. Knowing you can rely on others as well as yourself to come up with new ideas and approaches makes the entire process significantly less forbidding.

Myth #3 – Innovation has to happen all at once

One of my favorite expressions when it comes to the tackling of seemingly monolithic tasks is “eat the elephant one bite at a time.” Of course innovation will feel daunting if the expectation is that a solution be found immediately. The reality is that any innovation project can be broken down into its component parts and achieved one small step at a time. This is precisely what I demonstrate to my workshop participants when I break down the “impossible” task of writing a song into metaphor, verse and chorus. All of a sudden, the stunned and concerned expressions change to those of focus and delight as the songs begin to take shape.

Conclusion

Innovation is one of those words that conjures a preset series of beliefs that can end the conversation even before it begins. It has become my mission – by bringing songwriting to organizations in need of a new way to think about innovation – to demystify the innovative process. Hopefully by removing some of the false ideas around how innovation is achieved, I can open minds to the possibility that we’re all much more capable of innovation than we might believe.

 

Find out more about Cliff’s innovation & creativity workshops for business teams and organizations.

It’s been clearly recognized that teams with members from diverse backgrounds and experiences are the most likely to succeed in innovative and creative areas. That being said, this diversity can add a layer of complexity given how important it is for teams to quickly establish a common ground from which to execute. In my close to a decade of working with teams in areas as diverse as banking, computers and biotechnology, I’ve discovered several constants when it comes to bringing teams together as quickly and effectively as possible. 

1. Take them out of their comfort zones

One of the great levelers when it comes to teams made up of members not only from different organizational silos but also from different levels of seniority is to take everyone out of their comfort zones at the same time. When I explain to my teams that over the next hour, they’ll be writing (and singing!) a song, it’s safe to assume that without prior songwriting experience, everyone from the CEO to an administrative assistant will be temporarily at sea. This discomfort, albeit intentionally brief, is designed to make sure that everyone understands that they’re all beginners and working from the same blank slate.

2. Give them an “impossible” project

For almost all of the organizations and teams with whom I work, songwriting is not only “uncomfortable” as I mentioned above but it can also feel practically impossible given the lack of my participants’ musical experience. What this does so beautifully is that it makes it abundantly clear that the team members will have to rely upon each other to get through the project. When I debrief with my workshop participants after the songwriting workshop and ask them what they were most scared of when they heard they’d be writing a song, one of the most common responses I get is that they were afraid they’d have to do it alone. Team members demonstrate a palpable relief when they’re told they’ll be working together. This sets the stage for a fruitful and evenly distributed collaboration.

3. Set a tight deadline

In my experience, one of the most destructive elements to team unity is perfectionism. If even one member is dead set on making things perfect, it can either discourage or silence the remaining team members. By setting a tight deadline to complete their “impossible” task, I don’t leave room for my teams to write a “perfect” song. This allows everyone to feel like they can participate without fear that their answers won’t be perfect as they’ve only got a few minutes to come up with a minimum viable product. I’ve found that this tends to unite the individual members of the team in a way that taking a full day (or even a few hours) would not allow.

Conclusion

Teams are fickle entities. When everything is running smoothly, the results can be significantly greater than the sum of the team’s individual parts. However, teams made up of diverse members have to find a way to gel before they can hope to succeed. Even the most well-intentioned team members will always need a way to find common ground with their peers. Hopefully, by applying the above tips, your team will achieve its full potential.

 

Find out more about Cliff’s innovation & creativity workshops for business teams and organizations.

Over the years, my work with business teams has brought me into the realm of highly seasoned and successful executives. It’s no surprise to me why these accomplished people are where they are. They’re smart, tightly focused and in control. These are all exceptional, even critical, qualities for leadership. However in order to stay ahead of the inevitable changes that come for any and all businesses, it’s also essential that from time to time even these high-functioning leaders reawaken their often long dormant beginner’s mind. This is precisely what I do for them when I teach leadership teams to write songs in an exploration of their most pressing challenges and goals. I’ve listed some of the powerful benefits of employing a beginner’s mindset below.

Beginner’s mind prevents perfectionism

While I’m sure it would be nice to be perfect, it’s an elusive goal. The danger in striving for “perfect” is that progress and productivity are sacrificed at the altar of perfectionism. What beginner’s mind offers is a chance to free ourselves from that pressure since we’re new to whatever challenge or idea we’re exploring. Being a beginner is the ideal way to approach innovation challenges given that there’s no need to find an immediate solution. Innovation is often about the willingness to accept and learn from a chaotic situation without feeling the need to fix it/make it perfect right away.

Beginner’s mind awakens curiosity

Once we’ve been in business long enough to become experts in our fields, there’s significant inertia preventing us from being open to new approaches and ideas. We’ve worked long and hard to find approaches that work for us and deliver the expected results. While this is true, it’s only effective if the world around us stops changing which, alas, it never will.  A beginner’s mind rekindles our innate curiosity in a way that can help us develop important new skills and approaches we might otherwise have avoided.

Beginner’s mind provides new solutions by avoiding familiar approaches

One of my favorite quotes (paraphrased) is Abraham Maslow’s “if the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.” Senior leaders get to where they are by having very effective “hammers.” While, there is no doubt that there are many situations in which a hammer is the perfect tool, there are times when a hammer will cause more problems than it solves. We need to turn to a beginner’s mindset to see the issue in a new light. While this approach can be uncomfortable, leaving our expert comfort zones from time to time is not only a good idea but also an ideal way to add new tools to our problem-solving collection.

Conclusion

There is a belief that the status quo is safe. If we just keep doing the things we’re doing – which are working just fine thank you very much – then all will be well. Unfortunately, all our hard-won expertise can fall by the wayside when the world changes around us. Embracing a beginner’s mindset, in spite of all the time and effort we’ve spent becoming experts, is a strategic hedge against the inevitability of change where we’re all beginners even if it’s against our will. Better to build our beginner’s mind “muscles” on our own terms so that when we’re forced to use them, we’ll be ready.

 

Find out more about Cliff’s innovation & creativity workshops for business teams and organizations.

The beauty of the status quo is that everything is clear and predictable. The danger in the status quo is that the world refuses to stand still and without a willingness to embrace change, things can quickly become stale and, for example, business teams can lose their motivation. In my work with teams over the past decade, I’ve discovered several highly effective ways to break through the inertia of the status quo to recharge and motivate listlessly performing teams.

1. Scare them a little (just a little)

One of the best ways to set the table for motivating a team is to take them out of their comfort zones. When I tell a group of executives that they’re going to write (and sing!) a song, I can safely say I’ve taken them beyond what they typically encounter at work. After this brief moment of shock, however, I’m quick to set up a psychologically safe environment where everyone feels equally encouraged to contribute. The idea behind scaring people a little at the beginning is that it grabs their attention and all other distractions tend to fall away in service of the task at hand. Then once the task is accomplished and the fear has dissipated, a blend of relief and exhilaration steps in to take its place.

2. Give them a challenge they’ll need each other to complete

The power of teams is in their combined ability to achieve. When a team is demotivated, it often has to do with forgetting the inherent power of collaboration. Asking an individual who’s never written a song to do it on their own would be a recipe for confusion and likely a certain degree of resentment. However, bringing a team together to contribute their individual experiences and skills to the challenge results not only in great lyric-writing and a good amount of laughter but also in an elevated sense of accomplishment. Sometimes it’s as simple as reminding a team how well they’re capable of performing when they rely upon each other.

3. Bring in someone from the outside 

One of the things I enjoy most about working with business teams is that when I’m brought in, I rarely know anything about the internal dynamics of that day’s team. This enables me, as the facilitator, to treat everyone equally without fear of straining a work relationship by not showing the proper deference. In order to get a team back up and functioning well, each participant needs to remember that they need the others to be at their best. By being immune to any and all office politics, an outsider, such as myself, can help level the playing field and improve team morale.

Conclusion

Teams are the lifeblood of productive and profitable organizations. However, they are not a “set it and forget it” endeavor. Teams need to be nurtured and challenged in equal measure in order for them  – and the individual members – to thrive. When a team’s motivation flags, it’s a clear sign that attention must be paid. Motivation, more than the skills of any individual team member, is critical to a team’s – and ultimately a company’s – success. The above recommendations are designed to help bring demotivated teams back up to their high-functioning best.

 

Find out more about Cliff’s innovation & creativity workshops for business teams and organizations.

Innovation and creativity are often assumed to be the domain of a gifted few who are endowed with a natural ability that the rest of us don’t have. However, I’ve made a career out of proving to myself (and now others) that we’re all creative and capable of innovation. Since I’m often my own my test case, I thought I’d mention a few of the mistakes I made around creativity – which apply equally to innovation – when I was starting out. My hope is that by explaining how these errors trip us up, I can remove a few of the obstacles that prevent all of us from exploring and developing our ability to innovate and create.

1. Waiting for inspiration

I’m going to begin this section with one of my favorite quotes by mega-successful author, Stephen King. “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” This was absolutely my mistake in my early songwriting efforts. The conditions had to be just right and then the heavens would have to open up and THEN I’d start writing a song. This was just fine when I wasn’t trying to make a living as a songwriter but the moment I realized that hoping I’d be inspired wasn’t exactly a business plan, I changed my approach. I had to learn ways to go out and get inspiration so that I could create consistently. For example, I’d write down an idea for a song title every morning so I’d never be starting with a blank page. Making your own inspiration is all about small, actionable steps.

2. Trying to make things perfect

When you’re truly invested in the creative process, there’s a natural tendency to want to make things exactly right. I used to agonize over single words in a song to the point where I would bring my creative process almost to a standstill.  I believe this comes from the best of intentions. After all, if you genuinely care about your work, why wouldn’t you want it to be perfect. The irony is that the harder you try to make something perfect, the worse it generally becomes. Innovation and creativity require a willingness to live with chaos, confusion and even failure before the good stuff presents itself. If you’re constantly trying to perfect what you’re doing instead of placing the emphasis on moving forward and gaining momentum, you’ll find yourself frustrated, stuck or even worse, giving up. Be easy on yourself in the early stages of innovation and save your perfectionism for later. I love the quote that has been falsely attributed to everyone from Hemingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald to James Joyce. “Write drunk, edit sober.”

3. Thinking you should do it alone

The image that often comes to mind when we think of innovation and creativity is the lone genius toiling away in their laboratory but, in my experience, this is what scares many of us away from attempting to innovate in the first place. One of the great joys in my career has been the long list of amazing collaborators with whom I’ve been able to create and innovate. The reality is that innovation and creativity are much more likely to be team-based than an individual effort. Collaboration is about playing to each others’ strengths and diversity of experiences to come up with novel and useful ideas that we could not have created alone. I resisted collaboration early in my career which not only made the creative process harder but also made my songs decidedly less inspired. Once I realized the power of a great co-writer, my songs and career improved dramatically. This is not to say that alone time to ideate isn’t valuable but I’ve found my best ideas and had my greatest successes via collaboration.

Conclusion

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard the phrase “I’m not creative” from members of high-performing business teams and organizations and, yet, given the proper direction each of these participants ends up undeniably demonstrating their innate ability to innovate and create. Part of the reason is that I’m there to help them navigate – based on my own experience – the unfamiliar terrain fraught with the mistakes above, however, the simple awareness of these mistakes is a good first step towards getting out of our own way on the road to innovation and creativity.

 

Find out more about Cliff’s innovation & creativity workshops for business teams and organizations.

There is a moment in the workshops I lead for business teams and organizations that changes everything. It’s not when I get up on stage with my guitar because who doesn’t want to sit and listen to a little music? Instead it’s the moment when I tell my audience that they’re going to be writing and singing a song. I love this moment for the way it politely but firmly pulls seasoned executives (or scientists or accountants or attorneys) out of their comfort zones. It’s a given that the groups I work with are all very accomplished in their chosen fields but I’m there to show them that by leaving their comfort zones for the duration of my workshop, they’re going to emerge better for the 90-minute experience. Below are a few of the reasons why.

1. It levels the playing field
Team dynamics can be tricky with some members clearly deferring to others whose expertise they require for a particular sought-after solution. However, when faced with a task that no one in the group knows how to accomplish, all of a sudden the paying field is leveled. Now, it’s not about prior expertise but, rather, about a willingness to dig in and explore a new and unfamiliar terrain with our peers. This is a very powerful dynamic and one that, in the very best way, humanizes all the members of a team so they can work together as equals to achieve something completely new.

2. It prevents perfectionism
With high-achieving individuals who are already good at a particular task, it’s often not enough to simply get that task done. It becomes about making that particular job “perfect.” However, when no one on a team has ever written a song, there aren’t any benchmarks for what is perfect. Instead, the creative process is allowed to run its course without being hampered by countless edits and “improvements.” I’m a big believer in the removal of our inner editors when it comes to innovation and creativity. So when a team leaves their comfort zone and has to keep the process moving forward, there’s just enough room for ideas but not enough for squeezing the life out of the process.

3. It’s a reminder that there is always more to learn
The danger in continually playing to our strengths is that we can fall into the trap of believing we’ve learned/grown enough to get by. Holding on to the status quo might feel comforting for a while but given that change is inevitable it can be a genuinely dangerous way to approach not only our businesses but our lives. One of my favorite quotes is “change is what happens to us but innovation is what we do to them.” Taking my teams out of their comfort zones and teaching them a new approach to problem-solving is my way of showing them that there’s always more to learn.

4. It’s exhilarating to achieve something “impossible”
Finally, let’s not forget how thrilling it can be to achieve something new that we’ve previously considered beyond our capability. I get a vicarious thrill from showing bright executives who don’t consider themselves creative that, given the proper guidance, they are indeed deeply creative. It’s always a pleasure to see the faces of my participants – so somber at the prospect of leaving their comfort zones – light up with the joy of accomplishment once they’ve done so.

Conclusion
All of this to say, it is never my intention to make business teams and organizations uncomfortable for an extended period of time but, rather, just long enough to reap the benefits of exploring unfamiliar territory in a curated and constructive manner. And, of course, one of the best parts of leaving our comfort zones is when we come back, we’re stronger for the experience.

 

Find out more about Cliff’s innovation & creativity workshops for business teams and organizations.

My experience in working with leadership teams is that confidence, in a general sense, is practically a prerequisite for top business performers. However, there’s a difference between the confidence that comes from countless hours of work and years of experience in a chosen business field and believing in yourself creatively. My work is centered around showing bright, high-achieving individuals that creativity and the confidence that comes from uncovering – and trusting – that creativity, can yield dividends that elevate even the most productive performers. Below are three significant areas where creative confidence leads to long-term gains.

Increased problem-solving skills

In the – slightly paraphrased – immortal words of Abraham Maslow, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.” Problems come in all shapes and sizes and solving them all via the same approach is a recipe for sub-standard results. Given that there are problems and challenges you will face that don’t even exist yet, it’s unreasonable to think that your existing problem-solving approach will automatically be viable. With increased creative confidence, you’ll be willing to explore new and innovative ways of solving future – and even current – problems. Creative confidence adds new tools to your toolbox along with the effective but not foolproof “hammer” mentioned above.

Improved Collaborations

In order to make the most of any collaboration, faith in your own creative ability is a must. It is only with a belief in your own creative capabilities, that you can not only contribute your ideas but also comfortably make room for the creative contributions of your team members. And, just as important, the creative confidence of your collaborators will allow them to feel good about adding their insights and points of view to the mix. An environment of creative confidence and trust can yield results far beyond the individual contributions of each team member.

Willingness to take risks

Innovation is consistently referred to as a critical part of a healthy business but, again and again, there is resistance to new, creative approaches when the current business model is working well. This is simply because taking new approaches feels risky. However, it is precisely when things are going well that your creative confidence will encourage you to explore new and innovative ideas in spite of the apparent risk. There is an institutional belief that the status quo is safe but over and over it has been proven that it isn’t. As I’ve heard it put, “Change is what happens to us and innovation is what we do to them.” Change is inevitable but with creative confidence and the subsequent willingness to take calculated risks, you can successfully navigate the ever-changing landscape of your particular business.

Conclusion

Creativity is not the domain of a gifted, chosen few. We are all creative. Whether or not you choose to honor and develop your innate creativity could be the difference between feeling stuck and exploring new and exciting horizons. A seemingly small daily investment in your creativity can, over time, result in a renewed sense of creative confidence which will broaden and significantly improve the quality of your work and life.

 

Find out more about Cliff’s innovation & creativity workshops for business teams and organizations.

Creativity in the broader sense can feel, to the uninitiated, like a monolithic and seemingly impossible pursuit. But as someone who has spent decades in the creative trenches, I’m here to tell you that creativity is made up of smaller more manageable steps which allow any – and all – of us to access our innate creative ability. That being said, there’s more to creativity than breaking it down into its component parts. Creativity is also highly dependent upon your process. A flawed or unexamined process can lead to frustration and unsatisfactory results. One of the best ways that I’ve found to improve the creative process is by striving for and maintaining momentum. Below are a few reasons why momentum in your creative work can be particularly powerful.

1. Momentum prevents perfectionism

The creative process is often messy and unpredictable. A natural response to this chaos is to try to perfect what you’re working on as a way of returning a little order to the proceedings. There will be a time to reestablish order but early on in the process is definitely not that moment. By encouraging yourself to maintain forward progress instead of bogging down by trying to perfect the details, you’ll find that you make much greater gains in your creative pursuits. Momentum prevents you from editing and perfecting too soon which can inhibit the flow of ideas. Allowing yourself to move forward with “good enough” will give you a much better chance of fleshing out your ideas totally before you go back to polish to “great” what you’ve created.

2. Projects get completed

A creative idea that doesn’t see the light of day is not going to bring anything new to your work or the world at large. Creativity is at its best when the project gets done and others can benefit from the results. By maintaining your momentum beyond a simple idea and following through until your creative project is completed, you’ll have tangible proof of your creative work that otherwise would have just been another unrealized brainstorm or idea. Keep the finish line in sight and use momentum to keep pushing you forward until you’ve reached it.

3. Momentum begets momentum 

It can help to think of your creative process as a flywheel that builds up speed and power with every small creative effort you make. To continue the metaphor, starting a creative project can feel overwhelming much like the first turn of a flywheel but the more consistent your efforts, the greater the momentum you’ll achieve. This momentum is not only important inside the scope of a singular creative project but also from one project to another. The more you’re able to move forward with your creative projects the easier it will be to move on to the next one and the one after that. Using the momentum of a successful creative project to inspire you to tackle another is a great way to build your creative practice.

Conclusion

In my experience, the only way to become better and more consistent in your creative work is to keep doing it. To that end, building up momentum can make the entire process not only easier but also more fun. It doesn’t hurt to remember that the creative process can be enjoyed, too. Momentum will allow you to look back and take stock of your growing body of work and find the necessary motivation to keep you moving onward and upward.

-Cliff

Find out more about Cliff’s innovation & creativity workshops for business teams and organizations.

 

For those of you who are relatively new to creative collaborations, it can be difficult to know what to expect when you get together with another person to combine your efforts. As a veteran of over a thousand songwriting collaborations, I thought I’d put down a few of the indicators you should be noticing if – and when –  your collaboration is working well. Another way to put this is that if you aren’t experiencing these things, it might be time to look for other collaborators.

1. You feel comfortable/secure expressing yourself

The foundation of all successful collaborations is trust. If you can’t trust your fellow collaborator with your suggestions and ideas, then it’s pretty much game over from the start. You need to feel safe suggesting potentially ridiculous things while brainstorming so that you can ultimately get to the good stuff. Conversely, you, too, will need to be patient and trust that while all of your collaborator’s suggestions won’t be great, you’re going to get there together. There’s no room for negativity  or nonconstructive criticism in a healthy collaboration.

2. You’ve got complementary skill sets

One of the best scenarios possible arises when you and your collaborator are strong where the other is weak and vice versa. If visual ideas come easily to you but your copyrighting skills are lackluster, you’d be best served working with someone who has a gift for writing but might struggle with visuals. It’s been my experience that the talent of your collaborator in their given speciality will also help you up your game in yours. In other words, your writing will work even better when paired with your partner’s brilliant images. The key here is that you easily fall into your respective roles and, together, create something that is better than either one of you could have done on your own.

3. Things move along quickly and easily

Another hallmark of a successful collaboration is that the creative process is a smooth one. Instead of agonizing over what comes next, you find yourselves steadily moving through the entire process and watching it come together naturally and efficiently. This isn’t to say that there won’t be difficult days no matter how good your collaboration may be but, typically, when a collaboration is good, things tend to move along at a nice, steady pace.

4. You’re having fun

Don’t underestimate the value of enjoying yourself during a collaboration. As a collaborator of mine once said, “We should be having fun here. After all this isn’t air-conditioner repair school.” The reality is that if you’re enjoying yourselves, that’s a great indication that you’re working at your peak creativity and capacity.

Bonus Indicator: You’re both proud of the work

When you’re fortunate enough to be in a great collaboration, you’ll both end up feeling strongly about the quality of the work which is not only great for morale but also makes the less romantic prospect of communicating your work to others more appealing.

Conclusion

Let me be clear. Not every collaboration is a great one. The reason, in fact, that I feel qualified to write this article at all is that I’ve spent enough time in crummy collaborations over the years to know unequivocally how the good ones look and feel. However, just because you’ve experienced a bad collaboration is no reason to give up on the concept all together. Stay at it and if you keep the above indicators in mind, you’ll be sure to know when you’re on to something great.

 

Find out more about Cliff’s creativity & innovation workshops for business teams.

I should begin this piece by stating that you won’t find a bigger fan of technology in general than I am. Starting in the earliest days of the personal computer all the way up and through the internet of things, I’ve always been fascinated with how technology can make life both more efficient and richer in general. 

I believe we’re at the earliest beginnings of what ChatGPT and other generative AI companies will be bringing to the creative table and I’m genuinely excited about it. However, I’m also a professional creative and I’ve spent the last thirty years on my own creative journey from amateur to GRAMMY-recognized, hit songwriting professional. To that end, while I don’t yet know how far generative AI will go towards truly stunning creative accomplishments, I do believe there is an area where we, as humans, will be better off without generative AI. Specifically, our participation in creative process itself.

To refine and simplify my argument, I’m going to use lyric writing as my example as it’s a creative arena with which I’m intimately familiar. It is now possible to prompt generative AI to write a lyric about any topic from any point of view using any metaphor and end up with – to my genuine amazement – a very solid result. A result that is better than most amateur songwriters could hope to achieve. As an experienced professional, I might quibble with the placement of certain lines or see places where the lyric could be further refined to add emotion but, overall, it would be hard to argue that the lyric provided isn’t as good as the majority of what’s currently being written by the majority of human songwriters. 

Also, I should state preemptively that I’ve never been a stranger to using technology to assist me in my songwriting process whether it’s text editing documents, rhyming dictionaries, drum loops or any other technological device to maintain and even enhance the creative flow during a writing session. 

However, the thought of being presented with a completed song lyric simply by giving an AI a series of prompts misses that entire point of choosing a creative profession in the first place. I believe that it is the creative process and not the end result that shapes us and our experiences just as much as our experiences shape our creative process. Having generative AI write your lyric is the metaphorical equivalent of buying a finisher’s medal for a marathon. You’ll have the medal but you’ll be missing every lesson about willpower and endurance that comes from the months of training (and the race itself) as well as the sense of accomplishment and hard won insights gained by exploring your own limits. 

I absolutely believe there’s a place for generative AI in creativity but in order for that creativity to have any meaning to the creator and, subsequently, the audience for creative work, the creative process itself must remain a fundamentally human one.

Everything about who I am and what I do for a living has been shaped by my journey and exploration of the creative process. I know that I couldn’t have done it alone nor would I expect anyone else to but I will always be glad that it was ultimately my process – mistakes and all – that got me to where I am today.

-Cliff

Find out more about my creativity & innovation workshops for business teams.