Friday, February 08, 2008

Creativity Guru - Robert Alan Black

Creativity Guru - Robert Alan Black

Enjoy part four and the final part in this engaging interview with Robert Alan Black.


Who are your creative heroes?

Van Gogh, Gunnar Birkerts (architect, ex-employer), Charles Kettering, Nicholai Tesla, Steve Wozniak, O'Henry, Bill Waterman (Calvin and Hobbes) the cartoonist of ZITS!, the cartoonists who create MADAME & EVE in South Africa, and so many other men and women from around the world in all fields and occupations

What scares you most about creativity?

The suppression of it, rejection of it, negating of it.

Left brain or right brain – which should we listen to?


Both individually and in an integrated combination of ways. The right brain has been mislabeled for almost 45 years as the main source of creativity. The supposed skills and abilities of human beings listed as right brain are some of those needed for creative thinking. Many of the reported skills and abilities of the left brain, the limbic brain, the medulla and the other smaller sections of the brain all play a part in creativity.

I have discovered over the past 25 years that every field, profession or occupation as its giants that represent 4 primary creative thinking styles, 2 are extremes of left and 2 are extremes of right brain type thinking. We as human beings tend for many reasons to develop our own styles of creative thinking and can learn to appreciate and develop others throughout our lives.

Should we hire creative people or train them to be creative?



How can an individual learn to be more creative?

Begin by deliberately trying to think original thoughts. Then deliberately focus on generating many ideas become more fluent before choosing or finalizing on a single solution.
Follow that with deliberately striving to be flexible in your thinking. One easy way is to choose to think like other people may think or strive to see things through other's eyes or from their perspectives.

This is only the beginning of what can be a life-long process as it has been for me in my nearly 62 years.

What frustrates you most about the topic of creativity?

The resistance to it. The fear of it. The unwillingness to try something new at least in an experimental way to see if it might be better.

Are creative people unbalanced?

That is a narrow minded perspective and an example of black and white, polar, rigid thinking. Balance is one option in the universe of infinite possibilities.

Think about this...human beings are about the only form of life that seem to require that their environments be fixed, rigid, predictable most of the time.

The opposite narrow view to that one is "balanced people" are generally boring, placid, staid. If that works in your life, than do it. My only concern is, “What will happen when things change around you especially in the 21st century which is already showing us many examples of a rate of change in many professions, industries, businesses that is geometric in measure and rapid?”

There you go George.
Thanks for the great questions.

Robert Alan Black


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