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Don't preach to the converted!!!!

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From E-Learning V

Richard Attenborough. A life in film

An extraordinary life and a surprising documentary - here's someone who packed in such a huge amount into his 90+ years. Worth viewing and reviewing. The phrase that currently rings in my ears is 'don't preach to the converted!' as the opposite of this 'preach to the converted' was exactly what I had rammed down my throat from the advertising industry. Attenborough did the opposite and in so doing challenged the unwary and disinterested to take to make the effort and to take an interest.

This does have a bearing on learning: can we make it all too easy, too forgettable, too tailored to well manicured personas that it risks being bland, part of the fog, familiar and so easily digested and forgotten?

Teaching will always be an art, before it is a science. 

BBC Desert Island Disks

Moving to be married for close to 70 years, though we've had people who have made it to 80 years married featured recently. 'She is always right' say the husbands. 

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Using Kolb's experiential learning cycle to assess a creative workshop I gave in 2012 as part of the long gone, though brilliant module 'Creativity, Innovation and Change'

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 4 May 2014, 09:17

 

Fig. 1. Kolb’s ‘Experiential Learning Cycle’ reversioned.

I did something …

This is my take on Kolb’s ‘Experiential Learning Cycle’ which I will use to explore what I ‘did’. I ran a creative problem solving workshop. The motivation for attendees was to pick up some creative problem solving techniques, to solve a problem we had with using social media and to do some team building. The objective for me was to crack this problem and to introduce a more creative and collaborative approach to problem solving.

Fig. 2. Coach to Olympians running a workshop - part class, part ‘pool side’

I couldn’t help but draw on experience as a Club Swimming Coach planning programmes of swimming for a squad swimmers and as the ‘workforce development’ running training programmes for our club’s teachers and coaches. Planning and preparation when you are putting athletes in the pool several times a week over months is vital. On a smaller scale this workshop required a schedule, to the minute, with some contingency, allowing you to build in flexibility for both content and timings.

 

Fig. 3. Planned to the minute - my creative problem solving workshop

The plan was for five to six creative problem solving techniques to be used, top and tailed by, using terms from swimming, a ‘warm up’ and a ‘warm down’. The modus operandi of the Residential School had been to introduce, experience and play with as many creative problem solving techniques as possible.

Fig. 4. As a prop, food and aid memoir a bunch of bananas has multiple uses

‘Bunch of Bananas’ is a creative problem solving technique that suggests that you include in the group a ‘plant’ - a person over whom other’s will slip, like the proverbial banana. My take on this was to introduce two outsiders - a Russian academic who would bring a different take on things and the a mathematician and senior programmer.

Fig. 5. ‘Mother-in-law, Samurai, Tiger’ is a great warm up.

We did a warm up called  ‘Mother-in-law, Samurai, Tiger’. This is the team equivalent of ‘Paper, Scissors, Stone’ where two teams face each other and on the count of three, having agreed what their response would as a team, they either 'Tut-tut’ and wag their finger like a mother-in-law, 'growl' and get their claws out like a Tiger, or shout 'ha!' while posing like a Samurai warrior brandishing his sword. This is the ‘warm down’ to stick with the swimming coaching metaphor was to have participants get into the ‘streamlined’ position that swimmers adopt - essentially a stretching exercise.

Fig. 6. Human Sculpture and Timeline are useful ways to have people look at and feel a problem in a different way and from a different angle.

In between we did a mixture of physical and mental activities, including Human Sculpture where one person becomes the sculptor and uses everyone else to form a tableau or sculpture that expresses their talk on the problem. Another was timeline where you imagine looking at the problem from the perspective of the past and future.

Now, stand back  …

Standing back I’d say that running a workshop for colleagues has advantages and disadvantages. How would a director or line manager feel about their views being exposed like this. On the other hand if well managed it becomes a team building exercise too.

The challenge is to know what risks to take and how to build in flexibility, not just in timing, but in the kind of activities. This requires that despite the plan you are alert to signals that suggest an activity should be developed or dropped. Workshops and seminars I take have a common element - there is ‘hands on’ activity.The goal is that at the end of the session people feel confident that they could do these things themselves. I’m less comfortable about teaching where the communication is one way - me talking and them taking notes. I value encouraging self-discover and people being on their feet, interacting and having fun.

The workshop was experiential

It was collaborative and iterative, it was problem-based learning that used communication skills.

How did you feel about that ?  

Fig. 7. How we like to be ‘in the flow’ rather either bored or stressed from being too challenged. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1975) Mental state in terms of challenge level and skill level.

I felt ‘in the flow’ for most of the time, suitably challenged and never bored. Though anxious and surprised when a colleague gave me a drubbing the day after feeling that they had been tricked into attending. This came as a surprise, the other surprise was how away from their desk and computers the apparently introverted could become so animated and responsive.

I felt like a party planner. I was hosting an event. The atmosphere of controlled enthusiasm would be down to me. I would be, to use a French expression, the ‘animateur’ or ‘realisateur’ - the one who would make this happen and bring it to life.

Fig. 8. For all the playful activities, we are still reliant on Post It Notes and flip charts

Now what ?

On this occasion we delivered a couple of distinct responses to the problem. People reflected on the experienced and felt it was both enjoyable and of practical value. The request was not that others would host such an exercise, but that I would do more. I was subsequently booked to run a few more workshops on specific topics with different groups in the faculty. The question that we couldn’t resolve was whether were  a ‘creative organisation’ ? My own conclusion being that we quite palpably were not.

REFERENCE

Ackoff, R.L. (1979) The Art of Problem-Solving, New York: Wiley

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (1975). Beyond Boredom and Anxiety: Experiencing Flow in Work and Play, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0-87589-261-2

Experiential learning theory. (Available from http://www2.glos.ac.uk/gdn/gibbs/ch2.htm. Accessed 22FEB14)

Gundy, A.B. (1988) Techniques of Structured Problem Solving, 2nd ed, Van Norstrand Reinhold. Te hniques 4.01, 4.06, 4.57

Henry, J and the course team (2006, 2010) 'Creativity, Cognition and Development" Book 1 B822 Creativity, Innovation and Change.

Henry, J (2010) ‘Set Breakers’ Henry (P. 96)

Kolb, D.A. 1984 Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

McCaskey, M.B. (1988) ‘The challenge of managing ambiguity’, in Pondy, L.R, Boland, R.J and Thomas, H (eds) Managing Ambiguity and Change, new York, pp 2-11

Henry, J & Martin J (2010) Book 2 Managing Problems Creatively

Schon, A.A. (1983) The Reflective Practioner: How Professionals think in Action, London: Temple Smith

Tassoul, M, & Buijs, J ( 2007, )'Clustering: An Essential Step from Diverging to Converging', Creativity & Innovation Management, 16, 1, pp. 16-26, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 22 February 2014.

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H818 Activity 7.1 Networks, Groups and Sets

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 27 Feb 2014, 16:32

Fig.1. My groups, sets, nets and collectives ... based on an article (unpublished 2014) by Dron & Anderson.

Groups: Any OU Tutor group - you are put in it, you don't, in an informed way, form a group or elect to join one group over another. I also belong to a 'group as cohort' of some 16-20 postgrad students on the university of Birmingham's First World War (British Military History). Here only by default of signing up in 2013. But also groups you join or form yourself. Or is a set a sub-group?

Sets: OU Tutor groups can become 'set-like' and 'net-like' - it depends wholly on serendipity that would only be resolved through psychological profiling to ensure a mix that would foster team work! An example of a set that is becoming a networked group are the reader review forums in Amazon. In the last year threaded discussions, particularly on controversial books, have become heated, protracted and informative. I belong to such sets related to Elearning as well as books coming out to mark or exploit the centenary of the First World War.

Nets: ?

Collectives: a writers group that formed between 1999 and 2002 in Diaryland, a group with interests related to grandparents and great-grandparents who were either combatants in the Machine Gun Corps the Royal Flying Corps or during the Third Battle of Ypres, 'Passchendaele'; applied eLearning in business (corporate eL & D), probably a still quasi-association of OpenStudio links of the more active and reciprocally linked students - especially if and where these have 'leaked' into external social platforms (LinkedIn and WordPress blogs).

Whilst the terms are interesting they are open to considerable debate and constant change. Instead of terms, network theory should be brought in to give the number, strength and 'vibrancy' otherwise we risk being stuck in a debate on semantics. Web 2.0 connectedness is too big, too messy, too fast changing ...

Creating things in a social context - construct, connect, social cognition - is not new. Think of university student amateur theatre groups from uni, to the Fringe and 'Beyond the Fringe'. The greater the sharing, the greater the benefits - unless that becomes your modus operandi and the assessment process is out of kilter, typically reverting to an essay rather than the artefact as a product of a collective effort (such as an end of term play, exhibition, film or other event that is conducive to collective enterprise).

'Permission to make mistakes' is the creed of creatives and entrepreneurs alike. Connectedness equates also to distraction - at some stage you have to close yourself off, shut the doors and turn off the Internet. i.e. for all the networking writing is a lonely and singular task. Team tsks are a different story.

We have needed typology since Noah's Ark, to try and agree terms so that conversations can be succinct and make sense. The risk here, and I've seen it in learning design, is that the terms become set in concrete in the minds and in the usage of an exclusive handful of academics and so ceases to be pertinent to others who cannot speak in that rarified language - this article shows a creep in that direction.

The likelihood of 'creativity' emerging from the kindle formed by the twig-like links between groups and sets, the natural 'serendipity' of creation evolving from mistakes and exposure to a myriad of ideas has been put on speed by Web 2.0.

Do you understand the same thing from Dron and Anderson’s four terms?

On the basis of definitions provided by the Merriam-Webster dictionary it is difficult to distinguish between groups and nets as both contain people that are connected in some way, or between collectives and groups, as a collective is a group. A set suggests belonging or use, which also makes it group-like, though less ‘connected’. For these reasons I disagree with the way Dron & Anderson (2014) try to define these terms.

Were these categories useful?

No. There are other and more suitable ways to look at how people relate to each other … and relate to themselves (there are internal relationships that allows the individual to take sides, and have an internal debate). Activity Theory tries to show how groups, also called nodes are connected; Yrjo Engestrom has developed the idea to talk not of ‘networks’ but of ‘knotworking’, the tangle of attachments that form where a node connects. Better though would be to think move on from a debate about the terms which will always be ill-defined and contentious and think of network analysis as a science. Networks are of interest because of how much they tell us about the way systems behave, so much so that it is considered a science worthy of study. The ‘read-write Web’ as the authors call it, or the Semantic Web or Web 2.0 is readily suited to network analysis.

What additional questions would you like to ask them?

Independently of sets, groups, collectives and nets ‘memes’ as ephemeral artefacts are also nodes that represent ideas that float as it were between the connections between people. Identifying such memes and seeing how they connect and how such connections and links shift is of interest. This might identify people in ‘sets’ taking as its meaning to ‘set course’ or take a direction … this movement in a common direction towards or with the meme is what identifies this aggregation of shared ideas.

The authors indicate considerable bias by using phrases such as the ‘protective cave of closed systems’ implying that isolation, or working alone is a negative, even an absolute. In any day we will elect to be alone or with others … while at night we may think we are alone when we sleep but our unconscious mind has other ideas. Similarly to suggest that leaving such a cave is a ‘leap into the unknown’ may be how they feel to ‘expose themselves’ but is not how anyone who is inclined to perform sees it - for them ‘being on the stage or in the limelight’ is a leap into the known.

Their argument is weak and hurried. The neuroscience, Darwinianism and psychological aspects of learning individually or in a community, team or or as tribal activity requires far greater development, probably with a neuroscience, evolutionary biologist and a psychologist contributing to the paper.

‘Increased exposure to knowledge also means increased exposure to ignorance, and sometimes, malevolence’.

Think of Hamlet. He exposed himself to the ignorance and malevolence of his own tortured mind. You don’t have to expose yourself or your ideas to feel these things.

Whilst the ‘read-write Web’ exposes us to new ideas and ideas with more flavour (Dron & Anderson, 2014), they also do the opposite, exposing us to old ideas and the bland. It is like walking through a metropolis - you cannot be influenced by everything, only by those things you find or stumbleupon. This might reinforce your beliefs, or alter them depending on how and where you look.

REFERENCE

Engestrom (2008). From Teams to Knots (Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives) (p. 238). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

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Three reasons to revitalise, reinvent and revolutionise education

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 27 Feb 2014, 16:43

Fig. 1, Ken Robinson: On education ... and a fix for the huge drop-out rate in American Schools.

An excellent TED lecture. Worth taking notes. These are mine.

Offered by fellow student Marshall Anderson on the H818: The networked practitioner journey.

Worth listening to a couple of times (as I have just done).

Music to my ears, though I am not a teacher and have given too much of my career to the mechanised teaching he knocks ... digital and interactive learning is and has been, surely, a product of the mechanised approach? But you don't question the legitimacy of e-learning in an e-learning agency and suggest that a blended approach would be better.

They have one product on the shelf.

Which puts me at odds with the hand that has fed me for the last couple of decades. Next stop Finland? There is of course an answer here and that is recognising, please, that children, whilst deserving a better education system and approach, are NOT always at school ... this curiosity and motivation can be developed at home if and where a family have parents with the time and inclination and where, ideally, they also have contact with grandparents and even cousins, and especially friends.

FIG.2. TED Lecture with Ken Robinson

Ken Robinson is right to celebrate the human side of the child, that:

  1. human beings are naturally different and diverse
  2. that 'lighting the light of curiosity' is key and that
  3. human life is inherently creative.

For the moment my interest is with my 17 year old daughter and 15 year old son ... hoping and helping them to find and know what motivates them. It is this that will get them through school, a worthwhile goal beyond the barriers that exist in formal education - you still have to satisfy the standardised tests in order to get a place at university. Which is another schooling environment Ken Robinson doesn't touch upon - you can give us human beings too much freedom. Parameters are stimulating, both the negative and positive ones.

A struggle makes something worthwhile.

It helps to create a common memory too. Fundamentally this reminds me that any learning and especially e-learning needs to be seen in context - an e-learning platform or project is never exclusive, it is always part of what else is going on in the participant's life.

Blended, rather than pure e-learning is surely therefore the way forward?

Wise words put succinctly and with wit. Common sentiments that we struggle to realise. Privately educate? Home educate? Or move to Finland, Canada or Singapore?

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How insight and creativity works - towards a theory of creativity

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 4 May 2014, 10:32

Why are we insightful? What is going on in the brain when we have a flash of insight?

Horizon on the Brain looks at:

  • Insight
  • Divergent thinking
  • Improvisation
  • Unusual and unexpected experiences
  • Schema violation

Based on this I'm going to take up something mindless to do between the gaps - doing the dishes surely counts?

Reading does not?

Watching TV does not?

  • Walking the dog
  • Falling asleep in the bath
  • Pruning bushes
  • Mow the lawn

When and where do people have moments of creativity?

The neuroscience of electromangentic and fMRI scans.

Human advancement is dependent on creativity.

You will hear from:

  • Prof Jonathan Schooler
  • Dr Mark Beeman
  • Dr Charles Limb
  • Dr Simone Ritter
  • Dr Jon Kounios
  • Dr Rex Young

You will hear about:

  • The neural correlate of creativity
  • The anterior superior antilial giros
  • Look for unexpected experiences Scehema violation
  • Breaking cognitive pedants

Breaking any routine – switching steps Change your routines Well trodden neural pathways are abandoned.

  • Mind wandering helps the creative process Engaging in a non–demanding task
  • Don't just do nothing, do something undemanding instead ...

If you're stumped, take a break e.g. walk, shower, gardening ... walk the dog.

  • Down regulate your frontal lobes.
  • Some people are hypofrontal. Losing your inhibitions when you improvise.
  • Releasing your mental handcuffs.
  • Science to explain.

Towards a theory of creativity.

REFERENCE 

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I had a dream ... and I blame the Open University

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 18 Nov 2013, 15:06

Fig. 1. A mash-up in Picasa of a 3D laser generated image generated at the Design Museum during their 'Digital Crystal' exhibition.

The image exists and is transformed by the presence of the observer in front of a Kinex device making this a one-off and an expression or interpretation of that exact moment.

'Working with dreams' and 'Keeping a dream journal' are taught creative problem solving techniques at the Open University Business School. I did B822 'Creativity, Innovation and Change' in 2012 (Henry et al 2010). I have the problem solving toolkit. I even got a hardback copy of VanGundy's book on creative problem solving.

Using your unconscious isn't difficult. Just go to bed early with a 'work' related book and be prepared to write it down when you stir.

I woke soon after 4.00am.

I'd nodded off between 9.30 and 11.30 so feel I've had my sleep.

Virtual bodies for first year medical students to work on, an automated mash-up of your 'lifelog' to stimulate new thinking and the traditional class, lecture and university as a hub for millions - for every student you have in a lecture hall you have 1000 online.

Making it happen is another matter.

I'm writing letters and with far greater consideration working on a topic or too for research.

"Nights through dreams tell the myths forgotten by the day." — C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)

How to work with a dream or metaphorical image:

  • Enter the dream
  • Study the dream
  • Become the images
  • Integrate the viewpoints
  • Rework the dream

Appreciating, reflecting, looking forward and emerging

REFERENCE

Glouberman, D. (1989) Life Choices and Life Changes Through Imagework, London, Unwin, pp. 232-6

Henry, J., Mayle, D., Bell, R., Carlisle, Y. Managing Problems Creatively (3rd edn) 2010. The Open University.

Isaacson, W. (2011) Steve Jobs. Little Brown.

VanGundy, A.B. (1988) Techniques of structured problem solving (2nd edn), New York: Van Nostran Reinhold.

 

 

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Insanity is banging your head against a brick wall - try a pillow, or a pane of glass instead

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 10 Dec 2012, 16:25

Einstein.JPG

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein.

Where do you come across this? Is it you? Or someone you know? How do you get out of the rut and into the grove? Surely Einstein was describing most people?

To solve a messy or intractable problem often doing something differently or doing something else or different can help find the answer.

But how often do we fall back on or get drawn into old ways?

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Creativity is improvisation when it all goes wrong

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 28 Nov 2012, 17:12

Edmund%2520de%2520Waal%2520DID%25202.JPG

Fig. 1. Edmund de Waal - Ceramics and Creative Writing

In discussion on Desert Island Discs this week. Some marvellous insights into his take on the creative process - the confidence to make it up if it all goes wrong, as Ella Fitzgerald does in the particular track he chooses of her singing Mack the Knife and forgetting the words.

Edmund de Waal
Desert Island Discs
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/b01p067p
Sunday 25th November 2012

'This is making it up as you go along. This matters to me because this is what the experience of making things is like. That’s improvisation. That’s when when you think you’ve got it made before you start. And then …   it all goes … it doesn’t go wrong - it goes different'.

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Creative Technique: Working with Dreams and/or Keeping a Dream Diary

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012, 07:56

This from B822 Creativity, Innovation and Change which ended in April.

Several reasons why as a technique it is out of the reach if most of us and impractical as a management tool.

a) What good is it 'dreaming up' something at random.

b) That has nothing to do with the course.

I found myself giving a presentation to an eager group in a crowded boardroom. I don't know why.

'and Jonathan is going to give you the criteria'.

And up I step, in a two piece suit with the manner of Montgomery addressing the troops - effusive, informed, consided and persuasive.

It went something like this:

"We human are blessed with an innate ability to float in water, though not necessarily fully clothed, or carrying a backpack and rifle."

Laughter.

"We should encourage swimming for a number of reasons: for the love of it, as a life skill, as a competitive sport and for fitness'.

At which point I am full conscious, which from a dream state meant 'I lost it'.

Why this dream?

I am reading a good deal on the First World War and I am swimming four or more times a week again after a long, slow easing back into the sport over the lt five months. I even got papers through yesterday which I only opened late in the evening before going to bed to say that I had passed the ASA Level 3 module on Sports Psychology (which makes 10// modules down on that 'Front'.

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exM sults!

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 27 Feb 2014, 07:03

butof course i can't spell.


60%


Which is very interesting indeed, as my previous three modules all had an end of module assignment in which I scored something like 57, 59 and 43.

Giving an overal score of 66% How on earth did the Open Univerity Business School MBA Award Winnder get a distinction on every paper??? She didn't do B822!


What do I take from this that I hadn't already understood?


Prepare for an assignment as if it were an exam ... except you can cheat by refering to notes and resources and even rewrite from the top. But you MUST go through the agony of getting your head around the subject first.


Not that it mattered here but to get an A or distinction would have required proximity to a peer group wanting and capable of such grades and a tutor competing with colleagues to be the very best. We just hoped to pass.


Delighted also as an MBA module is well outside my comfort zone and sphere of professional interest.


It would be niave of me to say 'one to go' and think my postgraduate student days are over. My inclination is to pick up my final MAODE module in the next 9 months then take ... another MA in history specialising in the First World War. I may decamp to the University of Birmingham for this, though the OU are running lectures at the Imperial War Museum on WW1 this July 8th where I will be tomorrow as the IWM mark the hundreth anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Flying Corps.


My grandfather was a flight cadet in 1918 after 2 years as a machine gunner on the Western Front while my great uncle had got into the RFC age 16 and was a Flight Lieutenant piloting bombers ... age 18. If you are at all interested in all thing WW1 and the impending centenary come and join me in www.machineguncorps.com.


Do you have a relation who served? Most of us did.

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Steve Jobs in a word

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I'm just about through the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson and I'm inclined to give it one more pass so that I can blog-along and make some of the insights stick. This second reading has got me quite tearful; i want to say was it worth it? Could he have been a little less intense and so not theinsensitive sh1t that so often manufested itself. 'Intense' is Steve Jobs in one word and largely how the biographer wraps it up. Go read then come join the 'Steve Jobs Walter Isaacson discussion group on Linkedin.
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How to be creative. What is going on here and can it be measured?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 2 May 2012, 09:21

BBC Radio 4 in ten minutes time.

That's 'Start the Week' from this morning. See my notes below.

Or click here. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01gnq8y

Then return for a chat?

(Follow up)

How did I get that one wrong?

It turned out to be a rather interesting doccumentary on the children of the Olympics bid.

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The innately interesting 'creativity'

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 3 Nov 2012, 12:52

Many%2520mind%2520bursts%2520SNIP.JPG

BBC Radio 4 on Creativity

Start the week with Andrew Marr.

JONAH LEHRER 'Imagine' How creativity works.

  • A universal property of human nature (though it doesn't mean we are all equally good at it). Jonah Lehrer.

What is creativity?

A different kind of mental activity to sweating it out at the office, or the 'ah ha' moment in the shower. the epiphany.

Bob Dylan and his moment of insight (May 1965) when he least expected it (or wanted it), after a year long tour he took a break.

  • The cortex sharing a secret with us. Jonah Lehrer.

What are the mental states and moods. Relaxed. Daydreaming is important, why a walk without the iPhone, a flight without the laptop, even in the bath is a place to tap into unconscious awareness.

Testament to unconscious ideas.

Myelination%2520SNIP.JPG

Value of collaboration, being surrounded by the right people, the big city, the 'cluster', such as Shakespeare moving to London (what was it about the 1580s and 1590s in London?).

Can we recreate another age of genius?

Grit. Single-mindedness. Persistance. Putting in the 10,000 hours.

JOANNA KAVENNA

Joanna Kavenna is a novelist.

Preparing for the 'great out pouring' then the potentially gruelling, striving.Defamiliarising yourself.

SCANNER

Robin Rimbaud – aka Scanner

Neurons firing, the heart beating. The social interactions that feed into this world.

Neuroscience confirms what we had always thought was necessary or going on, such as Colleridge going for walks (or Steve Jobs).

  • Easily distracted.

A wall chart showing 22 projects. A morning, an afternoon and an evening session then quit.

RACHEL O'REILLY

Dr Rachel O’Reilly is a research fellow in the Chemistry Department at the University of Warwick.

A chemist. How to take a material and improve it. Problem solving for a company, the 'audience' we report back to, or funders, another 'audience'.

And here's a creative team to die for:

 

Steve%2520Jobs%2520PIXAR%2520SNIP.JPG

Steve Jobs and Pixar

Breaking out of the mindset

Preposterous process of 'growing a baby' and a new encounter breaks you out of your mindset and habit.

Childhood play and do i.e. 'playfulness' compared to the business-like 'job' at a desk (even at a keyboard).

If you are at all successful, you are then expected to reproduce what you did before and the habitual way you work becomes a habit. Andrew Marr. (And what publishers/the public expect and want).

A writer and a musician want to change their voice.

Being in the right place at the right time.

The 'Semilweis knee-jerk reaction'.

[While doing some of this at Connect Wisdom]

Peak ages of creativity

  • Poetry early 30, like Physicists.
  • Novelists mid 40s
  • Caused by 'enculturation'.
  • So always try new things, constantly risk reinvention.
  • Painters peak late.
  • Historian late.

Imposed archetypes

Inestimable confluences of influences. The writer who is obsessed with reading other people's works as well as writing.

Exploring the science of creativity

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Put Bill Gates and Steve Jobs through the Kirton Adaptor Innovator personality inventory and what do you get?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 4 May 2014, 09:41

Re-reading the Steve Jobs biography with four months in hand before another MAODE module I am struck by what it tells you about Gates and Jobs and how self-evidently one is an adaptor 'doing things better' while the other is an innovator 'doing things differently'.

This drawn from doing a KAI personality inventory and all the reading around these tests for B822.

I came out at 144 on a scale of 160; I'd envisage Jobs as somewhere on the outer edges of 150 while Gates gets a 20 or 30, neither would be in the 60-130 zone for two thirds of respondents.

If they ever did one of these are the results known?

As most managers do observation and experience of a person's behaviour and responses must suffice.

I feel a desire to revisit H807 'Innovations in E-learning' while mixing it up with B822 'Creativity, Innovation and Change'.

I can do this through the 1000+ entries I have here and by refreshing my mind from the current and archived blogs of others blogging here currently (though few if any blog there way through the MBA programme and I am yet to find anyone blogging about B822).

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Mind-map, Mind-dump and the written examination

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 27 Apr 2012, 08:55

B822Spices1.jpg

Faced with an exam this is what I do. Here is Block 1, ostensibly Part 1 of a three part examination.

I've grouped sets of ideas and reduced them to a mnemonic or phrase.

These become the 'peg' from which I recreate something not dissimilar to the above on a sheet of Rough Paper.

In practice, never having done an OU exam before, I used an ENTIRE question book, filling it with part 1, part 2, and part 3 doodles and lists such as these.

When I saw the questions I took out a coloured pen, they happened to be red, orange and yellow.

I then circled those chunks of ideas that I planned to use for that question

a) seeing that per question I was essentially sticking to the appropriate block and

b) ensuring that there was no (or mininmal) over lap.

In fact 'SPICES' and 'CHALKPR' (as I rephrased it) cover some of the same ground in defining a creative organisation so I used the first in one question and the latter in another.

Did it work? We'll see.

As for the learning experience?

However much I dislike exams I am reminded of the extraordinary value of having to refresh, consolidate and build your knowledge. It had to stick for a few hours for an exam, but I feel that without the exam I would never have compressed my thinking or seen how many of the ideas are remarkably straightforward.

Were I designing learning I would certainly want an examination during and at the end.

Not just the written paper, but multichoice, open debate, a testing tutorial designed to get the synapses working ... many ways to get students to engage with the cotent and make it their own so that it can be applied and remembered.

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Is the written exam an expensive and archaic indulgence that fails e student and the institution?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 5 May 2012, 06:46

IMG_1478.JPG

Sitting an exam for the first time in 28 years got me thinking how so much is assessed by assignments and 'doing'.

Just clinging to a pen for more than 5 minutes is a novelty to me.

Surely the technology we now have is capable of 'getting into my head' to show that I do or do not know my stuff. But here's the difference, have I been taught to pass an exam which could only prepare me to become an academic, or have I been applied to apply what I have learned which is very different.

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My first ever OU exam in 2 hours

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 5 May 2012, 06:50

VanbeckclimbSNIP1.jpg

My first and only ever exam too as 'normal' MAODE modules don't require them relying instead on asignments.

I wish I was this keyed up before tackling an assignment, that feeling that I can now sit down and write actively, with a smile on my face, for three hours.

A lesson I may take forward, putting far more into the preparation of an essay so that I write fluidly rather than assembling stuff.

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More on creativity from John Cleese (two decades later)

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 17 Apr 2012, 21:12

John Cleese on Creativity

... and the importance of the unconscious.

  • Sleeping on it.
  • Writing it out a second time having lost the original.
  • The danger of interuption
  • We do not get our ideas from our laptops.
  • Create boundaries of space (to avoid interuptions)
  • Create time

 

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B822 'Creativity, Innovation & Change' Hear what John Cleese has to say on creativity

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 17 Apr 2012, 21:11

John%2520Cleese%2520SNIP.JPG

This works for me and plays directly into B822 'Creativity, Innovation & Change'.

Listen then act.

John Cleese on Creativity

I'm going create the space and make the time! And play.

  1. Space
  2. Time
  3. Time
  4. Humour

FURTHER READING

Amabile, T. M. & Sensabaugh, S. J. (1985).  Some factors affecting organizational creativity:  A brief report.  A paper presented at the Creativity Innovation & Entrepreneurship Symposium at the George Washington University, Washington, D. C.

Ekvall, G. & Arvonen, J. (1983). Creative organizational climate:  Construction and validation of a measuring instrument.  Stockholm, Sweden:  The Swedish Council for Management and Organizational Behavior.

Gryskiewicz, S. S. (1982).  Creative leadership development and the Kirton adaption-innovation inventory.  An invited paper delivered at the 1982 Occupational Psychology Conference of the British Psychological Society meeting on "Breaking Set:  New Directions in Occupational Psychology" at Sussex University, Brighton, England.

 

MacKinnon, D. W. (1961). Creativity in architects. In D. W.

MacKinnon (Ed.), The creative person (pp. 237–251). Berkeley: University of California, Institute of Personality Assessment Research.

MacKinnon, D. W. (1978). In search of human effectiveness: Identifying and develop

 

MacKinnon, D. W.  (1978). In search of human effectiveness:  Identifying and developing creativity.  Buffalo, New York:  Bearly Limited.

 

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Creative Problem Solving B822

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 21 Feb 2014, 17:46

I stumbled upon this. It is timely for anyone faced with an exam on 24th April for B822 'Creativity, Innovation and Change', so much so I am going to transcribe this, analyse and learn its lessons as going through old exam papers this short video, in a fun and engaging way, answers to questions precisely.

This is why I chose to study B822 as an elective within the Masters in Open & Distance Education.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFYLeT9q8tk

 

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Covent Garden & Soho

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Familiar territory and old friends. All this B822 talk on creativity and innovation has me craving to be back in a 'creative' industry where the nodus operandi is having ideas. Speakeasy today, ealier this week 'The Edge', 'Channel Flip' and The School of Communication Arts. I have a morning spent with corporate eLearning specialist Epic to write up. They presented easy to use mobile learning content creation tool GoMo. Never before gave I felt the urge to photograph a urinal but those off The River Room, Millbank impressed.
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The mortality of ideas (and incandescent light bulbs)

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 3 Nov 2012, 22:00

Light%2520Bubls%2520in%2520a%2520row%2520SNIP.JPG

I've wanted to quote this for many years.

Winston Fletcher used this with images at an Advertising Association presentation at the CBI in October 1984.

 

When the client moans and sighs

Make his logo twice the size

If the client still proves refractory

Show a picture of the factory

Only in the gravest cases

Should you show the clients' faces


Found in 'Welcome to Optimism' after several false starts finding the right search terms for Google.

This is another way to look at it:

 

Mortality%2520of%2520ideas%2520SNIP.JPG

 

I was a trainee Rep at JWT.

My merry dance around the world of advertising continues with occasional afternoons mentoring at the School of Communication Arts which I attended in 1987.

I kept a daily diary at the time, most days a single sheet of A4 whether I felt like it or not.

This was Tuesday 9th October 1984.

It was a fortnightly or weekly IPA meeting that attracted graduate account managers from across the London advertising agencies. The diary entry reminds me who I was with, the ads we looked at, where I was and what I got up to. Plenty in fact to bring it all back in considerable detail.

The other quote or image I am looking for was a set of dimming light bulbs to illustrate the 'Mortality of ideas' something that threatens and crushes many a great project.

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B822 TMA3 DONE!

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 3 Nov 2012, 21:12

Done and sent!

 

TMA3%2520Receipt.JPG

I can trim 100 words and a final check of grammar, punctuation and sense will do no harm.

It adds nothing to the word count and appears to entertain the tutors so I illustrate my assignments. Well, I add pertinent photos, charts and diagrams. The use of photos should be encoruaged, indeed in the MAODE aren't we able to submit multimedia? I remember an assignment that some presented as a short video.

Unusually for me I have 12+ hours in hand. I also have a day in London seeing production companies. I'll take in a print out. If I'm inclined to do so, or want of a few marks or just making my tutor's life easier, I'll edit and re-submit before the midnight deadline.

For all my MAODE modules that would be it. This being an elective that comes from the OU MBA means there is an exam at the end of April sad

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Creatives:

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1. Don't compare your work to others.
2. Don't give up when presented with an obstacle.
3. Ask for help. You can't be an “island” out on your own.
4. Don't be afraid of change.
5. Plan.
6. You can do it.
7. Don't blame someone else for your failings.
8. Work on yourself or try to improve.
9. Don't let past failings hold you back from future successes.
10. When something isn’t working fix it.
11. Your dreams are not too big.
12. Don't expect someone else to come in, work their magic and save the day.
13. Express gratitude for what you have.
14. Treat others as if they mean something to you.
15. Do professional work.
16. Forgive yourself and others for mistakes.
17. Choose friends who strengthen your dreams.
18. Keep Learning. You’re never smart enough.
19. Don't give a monkeys what others will think of you.
20. Just get on with it.
21. Be persistence.
22. Promote and sell it your only child.
23. Trust your instincts.
24. Good enough is better than never at all.
25. Keep creating.
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B822 Residential School : Facilitating Creative Thinking

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 7 Mar 2012, 16:05


Facilitating creative thinking


Imagery and metaphor
Group Fair
7 workshops
5 electives
General precepts
Specific techniques
Overall methodologies

To tackle concerns that really matter to you.
Reflecting on practice and networking
Understand what can inhibit creativity in a group
Self aware of how your own thinking may help or hinder
Creative problem solving (CPS) solves problems but splitting the process into a series of stages.


STAGE ONE

Exploration of and definition of the problem.
Open up: explore different angles. Clarification. Ask why? Repeatedly. Or the nub of the problem expressed as. 'how can we ...'
QQ for clarification only. 
Individuals write up an expression of the problem (as provocatively as they like). The client chooses one.
QQ redefined the problems using  what if ...  or a strange way of looking at this ... or it could be likened to ... or I wish that ... Close down: select key problem
N.B. use your skill in judging which technique is most appropriate for the problem as presented.


STAGE TWO

Alternative ways of dealing with the problem.
Generate ideas and plans
Open up: consider alternative ideas
Close down: select preferred option


STAGE THREE

Work out the implementation of the way forward
Open up: plan supporting action
Close down: undertake action


STAGE FOUR

Evaluate
Open up: monitor progress
Close down: adapt action
Seems rigid, in practice it is more relaxed and iterative (like a squad session plan, then more intuitive and tailored. The mind is not like the body, and the outcomes are far less easy to define compared to the need to 'go faster for longer'.
Getting off the 'mental tramlines'.
VS premature evaluation
To see something from various perspectives
To force the mind to go beyond its usual assumptions

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