Exercises to overcome the common barriers to creativity
“Belief in one's personal creative capacity is at the heart of innovation.”
—Suzanne Gibbs Howard, IDEO Partner & IDEO U Dean
We believe that everyone is creative and everyone can be an agent for change. Creativity is not a fixed trait, but more like a muscle—something that you can strengthen over time through practice and effort. In this class, you’ll 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.
Introduction Learn why creativity has become a competitive advantage.
- Debunk myths around creativity.
- Reflection: What did your creativity look like when you were a kid? What does it look like now?
- Meet the cast.
Learn from Failure Flip failures into opportunities to learn.
- Create cultural conditions for people to try new things.
- Reflection: What's one valuable lesson you've learned from failing?
- 4 Activities: The really bad ideas brainstorm, Get out of fail free card, Under the rug, The failure museum
Find Inspiration Diversify your experience to get to fresh ideas and find space to embrace curiosity.
- Tune in and empathize with others and discover new things through inquiry.
- Reflection: When you're feeling stuck, what do you do to get yourself unstuck?
- 4 Activities: What more can we find, Pain challenge, Step outside your context, Inspiration walks
Get Unstuck Get beyond assumptions that prevent progress.
- Get out of your head and into your hands and experiment with multiple angles to mitigate risk.
- Reflection: When you feel paralyzed or overwhelmed by a task, what prevents you from getting started?
- 3 Activities: Hunch hour, Spaghetti challenge, Wacky ways to fill a stadium
Learn from IDEO Partner & IDEO U Dean, Suzanne Gibbs Howard
Suzanne Gibbs Howard is a Partner at IDEO as well as the founder and Dean of IDEO U. Her work focuses on transforming individuals and organizations through teaching and sharing thought leadership.
As one of IDEO’s senior leaders, Suzanne has led the Systems and Organizational Design Studio, a business unit focusing on influencing change in public, private, and social sectors. She has designed award-winning online learning experiences and corporate innovation labs. She also led IDEO’s global Insights capability, pioneering many of the techniques now at the forefront of practice today. Suzanne has written and spoken about designing social movements, scaling innovation, and design for education.
She has a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, where she studied Archaeology and African studies, and a master’s from the University of Chicago, where she focused on Anthropology. She has worked in Zimbabwe, Israel, China, and India and is a passionate traveler, educator, research geek, climber, sailor, and mom.
Why Take Unlocking Creativity
Creativity is not just for artists, musicians, and designers—everyone is creative. And in the age of automation, creativity is increasingly important for businesses and humans (not machines) to thrive. This class will give you a set of activities to help you get through creative blocks and practice creative problem-solving skills beyond brainstorming.
This Class Will Help You
- Learn exercises you can use again and again to increase your creative problem-solving skills work.
- Change work and behavior patterns to inspire new thinking and new ways of working.
- Create cultural conditions that help people feel comfortable trying new things.
- Gain techniques to help your team and organization reduce the fear of failure and learn from mistakes.
- Grow your creative confidence and the creative potential of those around you.
Sneak Peek of the Class
Ever thought of having a field trip with you team or holding weekly inspiration shares? See a few quick ideas from IDEO designers on ways to foster a culture of inspiration on your team.