Archive for the 'Creativity' Category

Practice makes perfect

Keith September 25th, 2008

I wrote earlier this year about “Practice, Communities and Technology“.  This post stressed the importance of the “practice”: 

For a CoP to be successful, the community must become part of the practice itself… the community needs to become part of how they do their job.

People in an organisation will just not do things that aren’t part of their job accountability and that they see no point in doing. 

Just today I hit on a really neat metaphor to illustrate this…

Ares

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Knowledge as an asset

Keith September 3rd, 2008

The slide pack I presented at the Web Content Management Forum in Sydney this week is now available on SlideShare. It’s about Managing knowledge as an asset and building a knowledge transfer toolkit, and includes ownership and currency maintenance.  (Interesting to note that my pack from the last conference has now had 539 views on SlideShare.)

Jonathan Cooper of the Art Gallery of New South Wales was one of the other speakers there yesterday morning.  They are doing some interesting things at myVirtualGallery – and he also introduced a few other interesting web sites:

Something else I picked up from Twitter – see how popular your name has been over the last 100 years (in NSW) at The Baby Names Explorer.  (Interesting to see that my name was ranked number 8 – in the 1920s.  Since then, the popularity of the name dropped to almost zero by 2005, but it is making a slight recovery now.)

Diversity, creativity and innovation

Keith July 31st, 2008

“Every really good creative person in advertising whom I have ever known has always had two noticeable characteristics. First there was no subject under the sun in which he [sic] could not easily get interested – from, say, Egyptian burial customs to modern art. Every facet of life had fascination for him. Second, he was an extensive browser in all fields of information.”
 - James Webb Young in A Technique for Producing Ideas (1965)

There have been a number of discussions on and off about what makes a good knowledge manager.  In various discussions, I have always been interested to note the amazing range of backgrounds people come from – and usually a somewhat chequered career path – to get to this point.  Personally, I have come via an IT degree, Project Management, Telecoms Consultancy, with a dash of adult learning and communications thrown in.

As “knowledge management” is such a broad church, there are a range of disciplines such as librarianship, information management, content management and IT that you would expect to see, but why are there so many zoologists now working in KM?  I must admit that I haven’t met too many in the field from an advertising background (as per the quote above – highlighted in actKM a while ago), but these fields may well share a preference for diversity – and creativity. 

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The power of openness

Keith July 23rd, 2008

How An Unknown Artist’s Work Became a Social Media Brand Thanks To the Power of Community – another story about the power of sharing, and social media: The Fail Whale.

This story shows the value of open content. By making an artwork freely available, an artist “is now going to profit in more ways than if she had simply made the art available for purchase.”  See more of the artist’s work here.

I just love these stories.  This again highlights the new direction for life and commerce made possible by social media.

Subversion is in the eye of the beholder

Keith July 18th, 2008

“… officials held a press conference to alert law enforcement officials of a dangerous new hallucinogen…”

Kakadu – Life at a different pace

Keith July 13th, 2008

While you sleeping
you dream something.
Tree and grass same thing.
They grow with your body,
with your feeling.

The first day…

Keith May 1st, 2008

So – today is my first day post-Telstra!

I have spent the day in Sydney delivering a half-day workshop at the Data Quality conference, and spent some time catching up with Matt Moore in the evening over a refreshing drink or two – and a $10 steak.  We had a very small group for the workshop, but everyone seemed to get something useful from it.  It was actually quite fun having the small group – we only needed one table, so I came and sat at the table as well, and delivered the session from there.  More fun in the city tomorrow.

By odd coincidence, last night was also my first night at a Creative Writing course at CAE, which I am attending with my daughter Renée.  One of the exercises at the course was to write continuously – about anythng – for ten minutes.  You can imagine what was the first thing that came to mind.  So, just for fun, here it is – completely unedited:

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Laughter – the stress medicine

Keith December 10th, 2007

“Creativity and humour are identical.  They both involve bringing together two items, which do not have an obvious connection and creating a relationship.  Laughter improves creativity.  Laughing… is a very sophisticated brain function, which sweeps our entire cerebral cortex, and is terrific for improving mental flexibility.”

This quote is from the web site of Humour Australia, an organisation that “inspires positive change and healthy working relationships.”  (Aka “HA!”)  Thanks to Frank Connelly and the VPS CIN for bringing this to my attention!

This is based on some fairly impressive research.  I am particularly interested in the connection to creativity, bearing in mind earlier posts here about the importance of creativity in knowledge work.

Also interesting to see the research on stress:

“Humour and laughter affect a physiological response, which is actually opposite to the effects of stress, according to Lee Berk & Stanley Tan – Loma Linda University School of Medicine.”

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The Humpty Dumpty view of Knowledge

Keith May 3rd, 2007

“When I use a word it means exactly what I want it to mean.” 
    – Humpty Dumpty.

There has been further discussion at actKM about the definition of “knowledge”.  One contributor gave this definition: “Knowledge is solutions to problems”.  I disagree with this definition – I see it as too narrow.

This seems to ignore the use of knowledge in creativity and innovation, but it was further stated that these can also be viewed as just a different form of problem resolution.  Joe Firestone stated that “non-routine creative learning is a response to a problem.”  I struggle to accept this point of view.  This is stretching the meaning of “problem” a long way.  I do accept that creativity in the business world may be seen to be more limited than in pure art.  (Is it always?  Should it be?)

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Moving mountains

Keith February 15th, 2007

I just picked up a great Einstein quote at a workshop today: “We are boxed in by the boundary conditions of our thinking”.  The workshop was delivered by a team from “MoveMountains”.

We did an exercise in creative art.  An artist gave us instructions, and in less than two hours we each created our own pastel landscape.  Great fun!  And, along with the rest of the material delivered, very instructive in what you can actually achieve – in spite of the usually negative opinion we often have of our own ability in some areas.

Before I learnt anything about these principles, I used to think that I was not very creative.  Both my mother and my sister were good artists.  My mother, at 93 years of age, is still painting the occasional oil landscape.  My sister Pam, who passed away in 2000 at 55, was a very gifted artist.  I never had any such gift!  Even though I had a very positive upbringing, I nevertheless took on the idea that – because I couldn’t paint or draw – I was not very creative. 

Some years later, I realised that this was a very limiting statement.  In fact, I now believe that I am very creative – but mostly in other areas.  I have played guitar for about 38 years, and have found many other creative outlets.  Even the photo at the top of this blog site shows some creativity!

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