Episode 83: Rediscovering Creativity

Experts agree that creativity is an essential future skill, but too few of us know how to sidestep common thinking traps so we can enhance creativity and unlock innovative potential. This conversation explores proven strategies and techniques that helped drive innovation at organizations such as Microsoft, Disney and NASA.

Chris Griffiths is the founder and CEO of OpenGenius. He has helped thousands of people worldwide drive business growth using highly practical innovation processes, including teams and individuals from Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies, the United Nations, the European Commission and Nobel laureates. His latest book is titled The Creative Thinking Handbook: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Problem Solving in Business.

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Episode Highlights


The essence of creativity


Characteristics work environments that foster creativity


The red herring of "embracing failure" and systematizing creativity


Why brainstorming gets a bad rap


Why the best ideas don't come from brainstorming sessions


Sidestepping a common derailer for creative ideation


The power of reverse brainstorming


The right time to switch from ideation to analysis


Does innovation require people to return to the office?

Chris’ view on the greatest unmet wellbeing need at work today

"It's changing the way leadership works with their teams.

So what we need now is positivity. It's infectious. It gives you energy it reduces stress It helps you solve problems and make decisions. Bringing positivity into the workforce in so many different ways can have such a great impact on people. And that that really starts at the top. So you need, you need a new breed of optimistic leadership.

If you have leaders that have that sense of optimism, that sense of curiosity, the ability to not make people feel pressured over making mistakes, the ability to see people's strengths, the ability to help people develop, to create supporting structures and environments that allow people to grow and flourish, that's going to have the greatest impact on mental health and mental well being.

Because if you're starting from that position, then helping others to learn, grow, create, it is always going to be of paramount importance, not [just] looking at strategic goals within an organization. Because obviously, it's a cliche, but it's true: it's the individuals within an organization that are going to make it succeed. And if they're put in the right environment, and it's an environment that is designed to help them grow and flourish, then they're going to be more successful."

What “working with humans” means to Chris

“We are what we think. And my passion and background has always been to look at it from a meta-cognitive level. So, if we can help people to think better, to create, innovate, to learn, then we are going to be more human, and we are going to be more effective. We are going to be more productive. So to me, it would be all about focusing on how people think, not on how people work. [It's] one of the quickest ways of being more human I guess.”


Follow: Chris on LinkedIn
Visit: the OpenGenius website
Read: The Creative Thinking Handbook: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Problem Solving in Business

Michael Glazer is the creator and host of Humans At Work. His purpose in life is to make well-being at work a globally-accepted, basic human right. Learn more about Michael here.