The following is an email I wrote today outlining a course entitled The Creative Mindset which I wish to begin delivering at a local adult education college
This course will be based on the same principals that underpin the work I do with my business clients. I’m sharing the email here because I want to practice what I preach. The mission of Sabre Tooth Panda and No Wrong Answers is to make the world a more creative place and this is a baby step in that direction.
Would you attend a course like this?
I would like to propose a new course that I would design and deliver in collaboration with my wife, Ladina.
I am full time self employed as a creativity coach and consultant having worked for seven years in innovation and communication centric roles for a large IT company. Ladina is a business process specialist currently working as a senior Lean practitioner for Bupa. She also holds a Masters in creativity. Between us we have over 20 years of both practical and academic experience in creativity, business change and related fields.
The Creative Mindset (working title) would equip students with a practical understanding of how creativity works, beginning with a brief overview of the main academic points, running through the general tools and skills of creativity before getting to the main thrust of the course; how to unlock, develop and apply the creative mind.
The Creative Mindset differs from the toolset and the skillset of creativity in that rather than treating creativity training as a knowledge transfer activity it focuses on the qualities of mind that are necessary for us to express our innate creativity in everyday life. This could be understood as akin to the challenge of healthy eating. Learning what is good for you and how to cook is relatively easy but your capacity to apply that knowledge depends on your relationship with food; in the moment, whether you will choose the steamed greens on the chips comes down to your attitude and emotions more than your knowledge.
This element of the course will help students recognise different types of creative challenge, correctly select the appropriate mindset for that challenge, understand the elements of mind associated with that mindset and apply practical steps to bring the appropriate thinking style to bear.
For example, many will recognise the Blank Page problem – that is to say, starting a new project can lead to creative blocks as the subject is paralysed by the overwhelming number of unknowns or by the number of potential directions any given project can take. Such a challenge requires a mindset typified by curiosity and playfulness, a willingness to make mistakes (often called Beginner Mind) alongside an awareness of what those mistakes may teach us (an idea popularised by The Lean Startup). In our course we will explore various strategies for dealing with this and other challenges using coaching methodologies, mindfulness and game mechanics to help students develop and sustain the mindsets necessary to be creative under any circumstance.
We believe this course will be appropriate for anyone seeking to live and work more deliberately and more creatively, anyone who has ever felt trapped in a loop, repeating the same mistakes and grasping for a way out. We do not believe that learning about the Creative Mindset is a miracle cure! But we do believe that it can form a valuable part of anyone’s journey of personal or professional improvement. We also think it will be great fun.
Founder – Sabre Tooth Panda