Unlocking Creativity

Exercises to overcome the common barriers to creativity
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Learn exercises to help you and your team overcome the common barriers to creativity. Through hands-on activities designed and practiced by creative experts at IDEO, you’ll gain practical skills to help you learn from failure, find inspiration, and get unstuck. This class will help you grow your creative confidence and unlock the creative potential of those around you. Gain the tools and mindsets to break patterns, generate new ideas, and take creative leaps.

Course Outcomes
  • Increase your creative problem-solving skills with exercises you can use again and again.
  • Change work and behavior patterns to inspire new thinking and new ways of working.
  • Break through creative blocks and generate new ideas by embracing a creative mindset.
  • Create cultural conditions that help others feel comfortable trying new things and learning from mistakes.
Part of Certificate Programs
Advanced Design Thinking Certificate
Course Themes
Creative Inspiration Brainstorming Getting Unstuck
Price
Regular price
$199
Sale price
$199
Unit price
per 
Start Date Start Anytime*
Quantity
Time 8-10 Hours
Format Self-Paced Course
Download Syllabus

*90-day access from date of purchase.

What You'll Learn

Introduction

Learn why creativity has become a competitive advantage.
Watch a sneak peek
  • Unlocking Creativity—Sneak peek of the class
3 Video Lessons
  • Creativity Now—The heart of innovation
  • Creative Confidence—Unlocking your full potential
  • Meet the Cast—Why creativity matters

Lesson 1: Learn from Failure

Flip failures into opportunities to learn.
2 Video Lessons
  • From Fear to Courage—Daring to learn from mistakes
  • Instructor Perspectives—The fear of failure
1 Assignment
  • Warm-up—Failing fingers

4 Activities
  • The Really Bad Ideas Brainstorm—Good ideas are great, but bad ones can be just as good. Those impossible, terrible, groan-worthy ideas open up the imagination and help us get in touch with creativity.

  • Get Out of Fail Free Card—What would you try if you knew you wouldn't get in trouble for failing? Encouragement and permission go a long way toward inspiring us to pursue what's creative and bold. That's why you're going to design your very own Get Out of Fail Free Card.

  • Under the Rug—Thinking of our failures often makes us cringe, but spending some time working through them can make us feel way better about them in the long run. It's hard, though, to revisit embarrassing, disappointing moments. Under the Rug is a quick exercise to help us own our failures—and learn from them.

  • The Failure Museum—It's easy to feel like you're the only one who has ever messed up. But as we know, that's simply not true. The Failure Museum is a great way to make the point that everyone messes up, and that it's OK. Really.

Lesson 2: Find Inspiration

Diversify your experience to get to fresh ideas and find space to embrace curiosity.
2 Video Lessons
  • Finding Inspiration—Paving new pathways
  • Instructor Perspectives—The lack of inspiration
1 Assignment
  • Warm-up—Musical musings

4 Activities
  • What More Can We Find—Learn how the technique of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) can help us stretch our thinking, look differently at the world, and validate our observations with evidence.

  • Pain Challenge—Really understanding the experience of others is a powerful way to break down existing assumptions and tune in to their needs. That's the role empathy plays in design and creative problem solving.

  • Step Outside Your Context—One of the best ways to get inspired and solve a problem creatively is to look at something really different—something you might never expect to be helpful or relevant to the task at hand.

  • Inspiration Walks—The world is rich with inspiration, but too often we walk right by it. This exercise is an invitation to tune in, get curious, and look more closely at the world around you.

Lesson 3: Get Unstuck

Get beyond assumptions that prevent progress.
2 Video Lessons
  • Getting Unstuck—Don’t get ready, get started
  • Instructor Perspectives—Stuck in in-action
1 Assignment
  • Warm-up—Cap-tain Crumple

3 Activities
  • Hunch Hour—This exercise will help crack open "the way we've always done things around here" to come up with something creative, powerful, and new.

  • Spaghetti Challenge—This activity is classic introduction to prototyping and getting your hands dirty. Because making is often more fun than thinking. And it builds your creative confidence.

  • Wacky Ways to Fill a Stadium—This activity will help you to invite conversation around wacky, early concepts that might inspire more viable solutions.

Meet Your Instructors

Suzanne Gibbs Howard

Partner at IDEO and the Founder & Dean of IDEO U

As one of IDEO’s senior leaders, Suzanne founded IDEO U and has led work in organizational design, corporate innovation, and design for education. She pioneered many of the techniques now at the forefront of design research. Suzanne has degrees in Archaeology, African Studies, and Anthropology.

More About Suzanne

Deepen Your Learning

Loved by Learners Across the Globe

Shannon Vossler
Shannon Video/Media Producer St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Camilo Barria
Camilo Filmmaker & Creative Director Freelance
Bernie Pilgram
Bernie Sr. Manager Advanced Analytics Infineon Technologies AG
Cara Tomko
Cara Tomko UX Manager ICF Next
Unlocking Creativity
Self-Paced Course

“This class is especially great to do at your own pace. I desperately needed the creative pick-me-up and my own bit of fun and inspiration and 'kick in the pants.' The energy and thoughtfulness brought by the instructors was just what the Creativity Doctor ordered. Their brightness, openness, and joyful spirit (coupled with the super detailed and awesome activities workbook) will be incredibly inspirational in helping get my team back on track!”

Shannon Arlington, VA
Unlocking Creativity
Self-Paced Course

“IDEO's way of presenting new approaches to creativity is mind blowing and far away from traditional teaching methods.”

Camilo Los Angeles, CA
Unlocking Creativity
Self-Paced Course

“I discovered and learned new things. I found ways to extend and combine what I had been practising so far with new learning from this class to deepen my creative confidence.”

Bernie Munich, Germany
Unlocking Creativity
Self-Paced Course

“Courses are engaging and flexible and I love that I can begin practicing what I learn right away.”

Cara Tomko Fairfax, VA

Go Deeper with Certificate Programs

Unlocking Creativity is part of a certificate program:

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