The evolution in any career from novice to expert looks a little different for everyone but one thing remains the same. If you’re paying attention to your work and skillset, over time you’ll develop an opinion about what works well for you and what doesn’t. That’s very much how I came to the realization that I had something to say about creativity. After thirty years of writing songs, articles and books, I’ve found that there are certain behaviors and practices that consistently deliver the results I’m seeking. In examining my journey to this point, I’ve identified three specific reasons I came to teach creativity that might offer some insight into my process.
1. I’m not a creative genius
In my years of writing songs, I’ve come across a handful of songwriters who are so naturally gifted that it’s almost as if a finger came out of the clouds and bestowed them with a level of insight and inspiration that is far beyond what can be taught or learned. I can safely say I’m not that guy. Instead, I’ve spent decades slowly but surely developing my craft and learning how to improve my admittedly weak early creative efforts. However, my path is exactly the reason I have a deep understanding of my creative process and creativity in general. Over the years, I’ve had to learn how to consciously access and shape my inspiration in order to make it my livelihood. It is my painstakingly gradual growth that has allowed me to understand what creativity looks like from the inside and enhanced my desire to share it with others.
2. I’ve learned to break down creativity into its component parts
Creativity as a monolithic goal can feel overwhelming. For example, the task of writing a song feels impossible to my business teams at the outset of my workshops. However, I’ve found that breaking down songwriting into its component parts of metaphor, verse and chorus immediately inspires the confidence of my workshop participants to participate and, ultimately, write their songs. I’m a big believer in taking small yet consistent steps forward towards any goal and creativity is certainly no exception. I love the vicarious exhilaration I feel as my business teams celebrate their creative wins.
3. I’ve deeply examined my own process
There’s nothing like putting together a lesson plan or workshop outline to bring you face to face with what you’ve learned and how you plan to explain it. The quote attributed to Albert Einstein applies here. “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough.” I’ve spent my entire working life examining the creative process so that I can break it down and explain it to business teams. Taking bright people who don’t think of themselves as creative and showing them that they are never gets old.
Teaching creativity to business teams provides me with an endless source of joy and satisfaction. It is precisely my years of effort including countless mistakes and failures along the way that give me the motivation to stand up in front of groups of smart and accomplished professionals from varied disciplines and introduce them to the world of creativity. I take their trust and bravery seriously and I’m always grateful for the opportunity.
Find out more about my creativity & innovation workshops for business teams.