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B822 Reflection

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 Nov 2012, 23:51

It is intriguing and of value to be covering learning processes from a different angle; there is some overlap.

The MAODE of course offers greater depth, how we learn is its modus operandi.

The weakness of someone else's conception of learning processes offered in relative isolation is apparent. I am surprised that Engestrom gets no mention as 'activity systems' were developed and used in business settings.

Several such models need to be be offered together:

a) to expose a model for what they are, a conception of reality

b) one person's take, their simplification of something complex.

Tangently Deguid and John Seeley Brown are brought in so I could search my own blog for 23 points where I have read them before, my knowledge, like coral, growing and firming up in the process. 'Metaphor' and 'analogy' are discussed, though the only resource offered leaves me befuddled as the concepts are written up in academic business-speak.

I'd like a far broader reading list; rather than three or four chapters offered in the resources book I'd like to see the reassuring long and personal list of the authors, linked by URL to papers that are readily available online. I can see myself Googling authors to see what they have published most recently.

I feel the case is made for external agencies as I don't see too many of the techniques occurring in large organisations.

As our authors say people quickly acquire the mindset of the organisation they work for, this becomes the default position for solving problems.

Certain functions from advertising to consultancy, web, PR and design are best bought in under competitive tender.

Whilst the case is made for intuition over objective analysis I don't see the 'hunch' outside the privately run business or agency as a means to get an idea through.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter may talk of the 'Hollywood' approach to projects, but I don't see the flexibility or process that has pots of money to invest on ideas that are pitched 'Hollywood' style.

I find, at times, I feel as if I am defacing the script from 'Good Morning Vietnam' in which an army communications paladin theorises about what makes a joke in a services radio show whereas the Robin Williams character is intuitively, on a hunch, inventive, engaging and witty. As he is in 'Dead Poets Society'.

Is creativity therefore meant to educate an organisation, department or person on how to improvise?

And surely such opportunities are only possible where systems, seniority or shortness of contract offers.

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B822 BLK 1 WK 1 Creativity - Can it be defined or contained?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 22 Feb 2014, 14:57

Though cryptic this means something to me and will jog the memories of my 12 or so fellow OU students on 'Creativity, Innovation and Change'.

The reference to 'Chizsentmehighly' refers to Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi and Chapter 1 of the Course Resource Book ' A Systems Perspective on Creativity'. Henry refers to the course Chair, Professor Jane Henry who also features in the 28 minute audio programme that I have now listened to FOUR times. (In surveys I come out extremely low on my ability with or liking of 'auditory' learning; give me a visual and some words, please).

In a subgroup and then in the form we discussed the meaning of 'creativity' (ostensibly in the buisness context). We found we needed to qualify it, to set parameters and have goals or outcomes. Are you, for example, creative if your ideas are in your head? Or if they are 'random acts of weirdness?'

We were made to think about use of models too, there are a couple in the Block 1 reading. The important thing I have learnt is to recognise that a model is one person's simplification of the complex. You may never get onto their wavelength, and if you do, recognise its failings. Figure 1.1 in the Csikszentmihalyi chapter is an example. Csikszentmihalyi (1999) Having studied Engestrom I prefer his Activity Systems. Tersa Amabaile in 'How to Kill Creativity' has a more easily understood Venn Diagram with 'Creativity' at the centre of Expertise, Creative Thinking Skills and Motivation.  (Amabile, 1998)

Context is important. Although I've put Apollo 13 here, we actually discussed some other example of ingenuity in a moment of crisis. This on the basis that creativity is often forthcoming at times of crisis (indeed one of the 'business guru's Jane Henry interviews charts innovation and creativity and puts in the need for pressure as delivery of a project is reached). The other examples remind me of the eclectic mix of backgrounds of my fellow students from whom some rich examples were given: the Army, Air Traffic Control, Manufacturing electronic lighting systems in Finland, TV, the NHS, Marketing, a County Council and so on.

Gwok Kann, Jackson Pollock, Greyson Perry and Travey Emin got a mention, as did Steve Jobs, James Dyson and Bill Gates. We got into pigeomn-holing people as 'innovative' or 'adaptive' and were warned of a 'two box thinking' (that we can quickly confine oursevels to a limiting debate).

Something similar was achieved by a Game where in groups we were given a set of nine cards: 7 with letters on them, one with a symbol and one blank. We were told to come up with a three letter anagram that would be readily understood by others. We did QE2, KPI and then by tearing the 'Pi' symbol in half and making it into an 'I' 'CIA'. In this instance we got into a conversation about how we set ourselves parameters, that we automatically follow rules and make assumptions even when there is no need to do so. We could have turned the cards over and written any letters we liked. The game had not come with a rule book.

Clearly I'll be adding to this, letting the tutorial act as a catalyst on the books, CDs and other online resources, as well as discussions in our tutor group.

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B822 Creativity, Innovation and Change AUDIO PACK

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 21 Feb 2014, 17:56

I am listening through a 28 minute audio on creativity, innovation and change.

This is part of the OU MBA programme, but for me an elective 30 credits as part of the Masters in Open in Distance Education having already taken H807, H808 and H800.

I need a transcript.

I would skim read it, then listen once.

Instead, on the third listening I find I am writing a transcript, bullet points becoming sentences, sentences becoming paragraphs, those interviewed gaining a picture from Google Images and a resume from the institute where they are currently based.

Where the interviews intercut, I am taking them back to FOUR single interviews.

I am deconstructing, as if I had conducted the interviews myself.

(Two hours later I have a fourth listen. Why? Because I believe that the effort made to extract learning from these audio tracks will pay dividends. The ideas will begin to mean something)

(24 hours later I have the Media Book that supports the audio. Not the transcript that I desire, but notes from the Course Chair Jane Henry. I am struck both by what I HAVE picked up from the audio, as well as arguments/opinions that totally escaped me, that I'll have to seek out simply to be sure that these things were ever said. As I am currently on Jury Service I am struck how we as humans are, indeed have to be, selective regarding what we see and hear. We cannot take it all in. Context is everything. We are not a sponge, at best a Gouda cheese).

Creativity. Innovation and Change

Charles Handy (born 1932) is an Irish author/philosopher specialising in organisational behaviour and management. Among the ideas he has advanced are the ...

Two major things:

1.Globalisation: organisations have got bigger to be there and smaller to be human

2.From things to knowledge/ideas.

People are identifiable people with names who have to be cossetted.

Reorganise into projects and teams so that people know each other.

  • Importance of informal contacts.
  • People reach out to people.
  • Inside and outside organisations.
  • Groups are there to deliver something.
  • Informal cells made official.
  • Managers can say what is wanted at the end of the project, but not how to get there.
  • Creativity will blossom.

People will have to reinvent themselves.

  • People want to feel they are giving their lives, or a bit of it, to something that matters.
  • What is it that people need?
  • Businesses that grow out of frustrations (Michael Young, Richard Branson)

Prof. Rossabeth Moss Kanter

Professor Kanter holds the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School, where she specializes in strategy, innovation, and leadership for change. Her strategic and practical insights have guided leaders of large and small organizations worldwide for over 25 years, through teaching, writing, and direct consultation to major corporations and governments.

Interviewed for the Open University's module B822 'Creativity, Innovation and Change' Module she talks for the need for:

  • Less bureaucracy
  • Emphasis on team work
  • On sharing leadership
  • Emphasis on customer responsive decisions … working on feedback directly from customers.

To be like leaders of volunteers.

  • I’m the leader here’s my vision, so that you can bring to it the best that you can do.
  • A sense of mission.
  • Motivated by the chance to learn.
  • Or if you have to leave.
  • An enhanced reputation.
  • You’ll get recognition.
  • People being owners of the business, to share in the value they create.

The ladders aren’t there anymore.

What’s my profession? What’s my skill set.

__________________________________________________

The Hollywood model

  • Where you get the best producers and directors, and some investors and actors. These sets of projects can be in the same company … if the company is providing.

______________________________________________________

For me this is a concept that rings most true having contemplated how to assemble a team of people with different skills, indeed, why a variety of skills are necessary and that these should be distinguishable and come from the contrebutions of several people. Currently, social media, is vested in one person, whereas it should be shared across several skill sets. The creative teams in advertising are made up of a copywriter and art director, in a web agency we had an editor, designer and programmer. In each case a producer is required too.

_________________________________________________________________

  • Employment relationships are shorter term. Employees have to recommit each year.
  • Engaging the minds and hearts of the people.

Prof. Charles Hampden Turner. The Judge Institute, University of Cambridge.

Charles Hampden-Turner (a dilemma enthusiast), they talk these days not so much of country stereotypes as the need to understand individuals. He received his masters and doctorate degrees from the Harvard Business School and was the recipient of the Douglas McGregor Memorial Award, as well as the Columbia University Prize for the Study of the Corporation.

Networks and accelerating returns.

  • A critical moment when the network becomes incredibly valuable.
  • The concept of the employee society is going to die.
  • A buffalo and being hunted down by Indians again ?!
  • Vs. being fad proan.
  • Think in terms of paradox.
  • Time and motion studies.
    But it ran to its own limits.

____________________________________________

Professor Henry Mintzberg, OC, OQ, FRSC (born in Montreal, 1939) is an internationally renowned academic and author on business and ...

  • People who are truly empowered don’t need to be empowered by managers. It doesn’t bring about more creative organisations.
  • Learning organisations as they have a healthy culture.
  • Build cultures that support maverick, a ‘why not?’ culture that a ‘Why?’ culture.

(See more about organisational configurations)

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B822 block 2 Week 12 NEO Five Factor Inventory

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 30 Nov 2011, 21:52

Unplugged from the regimented study planners of MAODE I find because I have a box of books and a file of inline resources I can dip in where I like.

Caught up in discussion about MBTI types I stumbled across this:

Student Inventory Questionnaire

And did it, only to find it forms part of block 2 and comes into play at the Residential Schools in January. I don't expect to change much un the intervening time (whatever life throws st me).

Openness

Your score on Openness to Experience is high, indicating you enjoy novelty, variety, and change. You are curious, imaginative, and creative. High scorers on this scale use fantasy as a way of creating a richer, more interesting world.

Artistic Interests.

High scorers on this scale love beauty, both in art and in nature.

Emotionality.

Persons high on Emotionality have good access to and awareness of their own feelings.

Adventurousness.

High scorers on adventurousness are eager to try new activities, travel to foreign lands, and experience different things. They find familiarity and routine boring, and will take a new route home just because it is different.

Intellect.

Intellect and artistic interests are the two most important, central aspects of openness to experience.

High scorers on Intellect love to play with ideas.

They are open-minded to new and unusual ideas, and like to debate intellectual issues. They enjoy riddles, puzzles, and brain teasers.

Intellect is an intellectual style, not an intellectual ability, although high scorers on Intellect score slightly higher than low-Intellect individuals on standardized intelligence tests.

Your level of intellect is high.

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B822 All Change!

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 7 Dec 2011, 12:57

A few paragraphs into my first course book after a year of having everything online and I am once again drawn to reflect on the pace, scale and scope of technological advance on the one hand, while people don't change one jot, even to the degree that toppled dictators are shot in the back of the head (scenes my 13 year old son guiltily admitted to following on YouTube without the slightest concern for what my generation would have called a snuff movie and have censored all images, still and moving).

40 years ago: 'No mobile phones, no satellite television, no bio-engineered plants, Cloned animals, Micro-surgery or precision missiles that can hit a ventilation shaft from thousands of miles away'. Henry 2010:13

Just 10 years ago and there is no Facebook nor Google, no YouTube either.

It's getting to the stage when the speed of change is so swift that looking back only 4 years feels like a glimpse of another era without Twitter or iPads. I went from following the Japanese tsunami on various satellite channels, BBC24, CNN the Japanese NHK, to watching it from Smartphone content uploaded to YouTube.

Didn't people once fear that travelling at over 30 mph in a train they would disintegrate ?

Personally I feel that my mind risks disintegration trying to keep up with the rate of change, my mind fed by Zite and Stumbleupon, the spherical probably the latest thing to capture my attention and sustain my interest for longer than a week.

1970-2010

Growing up in the 1970s I often bemoaned the fact, and into the 1980s, that compared to my Grandfather (born 1896, died 1993), that 'not much had happened' OK, I had no desire to wish two world wars on us, but I didn't think colour TV, Stylophones and Space Hoppers were significant (A man or five on the moon was an achievement of course).

By comparison what had 1870-1910 seen?

Age 14 my Grandfather started work as the Office Boy, they had telephones, cars had appeared and were already hogging the roads, Airoplanes  were up and Bleriot had crossed the English Channel .There was no QWERTY keyboards, but movies were stretching to a second reel. 

The forty year stretch 1910 to 1950 saw the establishment of motor vehicles, Airoplanes and telephones,  cinema burgeoned and radio was everywhere with TV in  the wings.

REFERENCE

Ask via Google Yahoo by way of Google

Henry, J (2010) Creativity, cognition and Development. Book 1: 'Creativity, Innovation and Change'.

Wikipedia via Google 

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eht egnahc uoy yaw ees flesruoy 

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 25 Oct 2011, 17:01

eht egnahc uoy yaw ees flesruoy by Kathryn D. Cramer, Ph.D. and Hank Wasiak

Change the Way You See Yourself is offered by Alan's Cre8ng

Challenges (http://www.cre8ng.com/CC/) which in turn forms part of a collection of resources in 'Creativity, Innovation and Change.' (B822)

The opportunity exists, with a week still to go, to consider the differences between an MA module with the Institute of Educational Technology and a MBA module with the Open University Business School. 

A 2 1/2 hour tutorial in the first week of November is new; there is no set tutorial time in the MAODE.

Other than a few shared emails my only ever interaction with the tutor was as part of a tutor group live using Elluminate or in asynchronous forum threads. 

The international mix is more apparent too with a strong contingent from 'Continental Europe'.

'Change the Way You See Yourself' asks you to get others to consider your strengths and weaknesses.  

The exercise Alan Robert Black Ph.D then asks you to do in this instance (he has a decade of activities in his collection) is, from Monday through to Friday consider thing that would take a day, week, month, quarter or year or then on Saturday reflect on these and set out to 'change yourself'.

This is an exercise that Benjamin Franklin followed we are told.

This draws on Alan Black's work where he used a list of 52 traits of highly creative people (20 from Paul Torrance's TTCT work over 50 years and 32 from a study he did of traits of highly creative people in 1980 as part of his doctorate when he collected 400 different traits from reading articles by 147 different authors, consultants, researcher, professors who focused on creativity and creative thinking development).

This then an era when creativity was considered to be a trait or condition of some people, rather than an innate part of human nature. Is it not the case that we consider all people to be creative?

Alan Black has updated this resource each year from 1998 to 2010 (where he offers exercises for the first quarter only). This is one of 26 links offered to B822 students, with Dyson, ICI, Edward de Bono and a daily quote from Frank Zappa in here too.

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B822 WK 1 Creativity, Cognition & Development (Activities 1.1 to 1.4)

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 21 Feb 2014, 17:52

CHAPTER 1 CREATIVITY (pp13-30)

 

What a fool. I always thought of business as boring.

I was a creative, an actor or performer, a writer or director, a visualiser. Yet beyond the antics of the undergraduate each of these can only happen in the context of a business: they have to be financed.   Perhaps for too long I toyed unsuccessfully with the idea of being alone in a space with paints or pens (actually a MAC and a Wacom board).


I take notes, pen onto paper, while reading from an iPad. I will get home and find a box of books and will then read from paper and take notes on the iPad. My inclination is to have TWO tablets, one in my left hand to read (a Kindle if it will take the PDFs) the iPad under my right hand so that I can type in notes as I go along.


MY NOTES:

 


* developments so fast that they are unpredictable.

* expect the unexpected (Handy, 1991)

* increasing competition

* increasing pace of change

* need to add value through continual innovation

* globalisation

* creativity, knowledge & innovation over capital, labour & land

*growth in value of intangible assets

*

I can see that B822 complements H807 'Innovations in E-learning'.

In truth this already is closer to what I perceived H807 would be as there is substantial use of audio and video.


Table 1.0 Innovations with major impact on human history
I want to return to this, add to it and include images.

Plenty will be available under Creative Commons and Google Images.


ACTIVITY 1.1 How would I define creativity?
Innovative problem solving (business, technical, communications, aesthetic) with the outcome a product or artefact that is unique and possibly challenging or controversial.
WHAT ASSOCIATIONS DOES CREATIVITY HAVE FOR YOU?
The arts and media, from TV to film and music, theatre, art, books, ceramics and sculpture to creativity in commerce with advertising and architecture. Even putting up a pedestrian bridge can be a creative endeavour. Or making a sandcastle.
WRITE DOWN WORDS AND PHRASES THAT IT SUGGESTS TO YOU
illustration  Design Copywriting Inventiveness Innovative Clever Head turning Memorable Unique Controversial Skilled
ALSO THINK OF:
Problem solving (appropriate) New Novelty is relative Lasting impact
ACTIVITY 2.1
WHAT DO YO THINK CAUSES CREATIVITY, AND WHERE DO NEW IDEAS COME FROM?
In adverting a creative team, a copywriter and art doctor sit together to come up with ideas to sell a product based on a Creative Brief that answers the question 'what is the problem?' in this respect creativity is about solving problems, indeed movie producers and directors define film making as solving problems. Greyson Perry, the ceramicist, argues that 'creativity is mistakes', indeed creativity needs to be a challenge and a risk if the requisite innovation is to occur. For me creativity therefore comes from the desire to overcome a problem, which applies as much to composing a new song, writing copy or a book, designing a new machine, simplifying source code, drawing a sel-portrait, even making a meal with left-overs from the cupboard.
Creativity can be taught and engendered in everyone. The 'genius' is rarely born with a god-given gift, often a parent has pushed them to acquire and practice skills from a very early age. The successful 'creative' may well put in far more hours than Others, even possess a keener, more urgent desire and curiosity. 
1950s an ability  1960s mental flexibility 1970s relevant experience 1980s intrinsic motivation 1990s work culture
(Engestrom's ideas of activity systems are worth bringing in here).
ACTIVITY 1.3
Think about two or three people fro the worlds of: Science: Prof. Brian Cox - his ability to communicate the complex in a clear and memorable way. Art:  Stephen Appleby - transvestite cartoonist. Caravagio, but perhaps not the Pre-Raphaelites. Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dali and Picaso. Music: Bjork - weird and wonderful, Gary Neuman, David Bowie ...  Business: Dyson - from the cyclone vacuum cleaner to the air-blade. Sport: George Best - I don't even follow football but at times his skill looks inventive, playful and in control. Some skiers and skaters. Literature: Haruki Murakami - he has a voice of his own. Henry Miller, Will Self ...  And any others: The Saatchis for their advertising in the 1980s; Terry Gilliam and the Monty Python Team. Fashion: Jean-Paul Gaultier - how he dresses, what he design. Architects such as Richard Rogers and Zaha Hadid.
QQ. What do I think is creative about them or what they produce?
It can be outrageous, it works, it solves a problem, it leaves a lasting impression. They may be extrovert, outrageous self-publicists or introvert, even quite 'normal' like James Dyson, Terrance Conran or John Hegarty (Bartle Bogle, Hegarty). They persevere, they are confident or know no better than to be themselves writ large. They learnt their trade from the bottom up and stuck with it.
ACTIVITY 1.4
Think of someone creative people you know, and from work: a friend, relative or child. 
What sort of people are they and how do they do thing?
They are observers and can be set apart. They can be egotistical and rubbish at time keeping and the everyday and mundane. They think a lot. They draw upon multiple references. They are highly intelligent. They may be troubled souls in conflict with themselves and the world. They care about their craft skills. Are they performers of sorts seeking cognition as well as reward for what they do? They are the first to do it? They are focused and goal driven.
But the truth, in a business setting might be quite different, with the 'creative' in this setting the good listener and team player?
REFERENCE


Handy, C. (1991) 'The Age of Unreason' in Henry (1991)


Henry, J., Mayles, D., Bell, R., et al (2010) Book 1, Creativity, Cognition and Development.

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B822 WK Zero - 10 days Creativity and change from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to Kobe, Japan

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 21 Oct 2011, 04:18
I tried to describe what it is like to be about to embark on 150 hours of studying (or is it more?) with three assignments (and an exam?)
There is a buzz.
Like people in the lobby of a theatre ahead of a show.
I think of the Kathryn Tickell concert the other night, outside the auditorium at The Stables;
I think of my first RSC Shakespeare at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle. I still have the programme featuring Derek Jacobi, in Hamlet I think, so ... 1978?
But we are no audience, we are the Players.
Perhaps it would be better to think of us as members of a newly formed orchestra about to meet Sir Simon Rattle.
Ten days 'til the doors open; some have popped in to say hello then gone off to prepare for then sit an exam.
Many now add in brackets where they are:
Hamburg, Bratislava,   San Jose, Costa Rica, Kobe, Japan, Frankfurt, Newcastle, Kent, Bristol, For a module on creativity an international mix, with the widest variety of backgrounds, should result in fireworks. Meanwhile for the 1998 paper 'How to kill creativity' (Amabile) alone I feel the my working life exposed, enhanced and potentially 'enabled'. Decades ago I hung to the belief that I would learn by doing and three times set up fledgling production companies, too often these were conduits for my 'talent' yet I see that all of us needed to be gaining intrinsic value, indeed the most success came with non-commercial short films where this spirit had to be fostered.
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OU MBA B822 Blogger to Follow

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 21 Oct 2011, 04:30
http://ona76.wordpress.com/2010/11/
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B822 is the idea A,U,A?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 8 Nov 2011, 18:28

Actionable Useful Appropriate (Amabile 1998:77)

Even regarding Social Media I am asked this all the time, let alone my call for more use of video and 'user generated content'.

It being 'creative' is not enough, value must be apparent, predictable, then measured and monitored. At times processes want the Jack in the Box; while I want it 'out there' turning heads and grabbing attention.

I am taken by the diagram that puts creativity at the intersect of Expertise, Creative Thinking and Motivation, but when I read about intrinsic motivation over extrinsic I grin: this is familiar territory, personally it is what makes me tick, and appropriately in the week I am interviewed to volunteer at the Olympics and on the evening I agree to some pro bono work for my old swimming club, I am reminded of the role intrinsic motivation plays in sport.

The intrinsic motivation principle of creativity: people will be most creative when they motivated primarily by the interest, satisfaction and challenge of the work itself and not by external pressures. (Amabile 1998:79)

THE CREATIVITY MAZE (Amabile 1998:80)

A mouse is extrinsically motivated to find the cheese in a maze and will in time take the direct route to the goal however many twists and turns there are.

The creative person, for the love of the maze will question every twist and turn and ultimately uncover a quicker or more direct route through, over or with the maze. 

I've found me again.

Repeatedly trying against type to be the mouse I become unstuck. I've been there, in the context of film production, I have been the producer who hires people who are motivated to achieve what they perceive as required for the project.

Money matters, but I have worked with people who do it for free and are equally if not more motivated to deliver and are prepared, as I have twice done (short films: 'Listening In' and 'Watersprites', to work through the night). (Both on YouTube under JJ27VV)

I can indeed apply what I learn today, today.

An OU motto used only the other morning by our Dean Prof. James Fleck (or in my case what I learn tonight, I can apply in a few hours time to question how creativity is facilitated or crushed by the system and little ways to feed the motivation of those around me).

Not satisfied simply to read this, take notes and screen grabs, I feel I will be sharing links or copies with close colleagues, faculty and campus colleagues as a means to seek a modus operandi that facilitates creativity.

At this point, unusually I must break off this conversation and contemplate where I place such deeper and potentially sensitive and private reflection.

Ideally this would be into the pages of a locked e-portfolio blog, or alternatively offline (initially) into a relational database such as FileMaker Pro.

Serendipitous to be on this module now and for the first article I read to be this one?

(though I should have been doing an MBA the year before this paper was published).

Reference

Amabile. T.M. (1998) pp.77-79 How to kill creativity. Harvard Business Review. October to September.

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B822 - Orientation ahead of D-Day

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 17 Apr 2012, 07:41

My fourth module and some 12 days before we officially start.

I neither hang back, nor do I wade in; I appreciate that the person who finally makes it on 1st November may feel left out or left behind.

I leave nothing in the cafe area where no fewer than two course tutors have introduced themselves. Elsewhere I am one of four to have made it to the door.

There will be books, though thus far I am downloading PDFs are reading them off the iPad.

In order to take motes it strikes me that a second tablet would be an advantage so that I can have two screens. Two hinged like a book?

I sense a different tone, a sense that there is a team present to supervise our first moves rather than a single tutor.

The print-like lay-out of the texts lifts the words away from the VLE too, subtle yet recognisable differences. Already the reading impresses: I could spend the next ten years giving the many creative techniques a go and not get to the end.

This is something that has impressed me with each OU module that I have done, you could never want for something to do, ample to fill 12-15 hours a week, yet room to spend 20 or more hours if you wished.

On a totally different matter I agreed to complete and submit my old Swimming Club's Swim21 application, something that I had done for the last three years. In this way I can at least keep my interest in swim coaching alive even if I am no longer poolside (for now).

And then in my inimitable way I go to the Harvard Business Review, as invited, to download 'How to Kill Creativity' only to spot 'The Rise of the E-lance' instead which takes a 1998 look at the opportunities then arising for the freelance in an IT rich world.

I download this into iBooks only to find a 2011 PDF on Webinars of most immediate interest, afterall I am this week an next seeing people about putting on Webinars for us. Some self-discipline is required, getting the required reeading done first during time I set aside to do so, rather than last.

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B822 WK ZERO Day -12 Action Stations eCrayons at hand

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 17 Apr 2012, 07:36

Let's say I'm going to blog this one by the day; not at all hard to do.

I am an habitual diary-writer with a 37 year track record. Can I, however, make this more of a tool and less of a toy, this is after all a module from the Business School and according to discussions (in the 'Open University Business & Law School') 'transformative' (alumni rave about it) i.e. more reflection and less indulgent 'stream of consciousness' monologue spoken through my QWERTY fingertips?

I stumbled into the module pages as an alert on my Student Home pages indicated that a message had been posted.

It looked ominously playful with each sentence a different Rainbow red, orange, purple or blue.

That's a first!

The Course Chair likes his e-crayon set.

(He did kindly resist using multiple fonts, though, research has shown that making something physically difficult to read improves retention of the information expressed because the mind has to work at extracting meaning).

To course notes

I ALWAYS make the a space of my own by cutting out and posting elsewhere the bits that matter to me: here is how my six months will be spent; two months each of:

  1. an introduction to the module concepts that focuses on the individual level of creativity, cognition, style and development.
  2. team-based and individual approaches to creative problem management.
  3. ways of developing organisational innovation and climate.

A box of resources, books and maybe a DVD awaits me at home (I away from home during the week) Let the FUN commence!

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Too busy to blog (again)

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 17 Apr 2012, 07:31

 

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Fig. 1. Display of the Olympic Village, ExCel, Custom House, London Docklands. Part of a display for the 3,500 Gamesmakers who are being recruited over the next months to support the Olympics next summer.

Not blogging is for me a loss as I have always used a diary (1974-1999) and then a blog (1999-to present day) to provide a record or archive of what is hitting my head every day.

This provides, during times of reflection, the opportunity to think over events. (With a diary I might not look back at a page for a decade, but at least it was there).

I have little doubt that this is because I am between modules. Creativity, Innovation and Change (B822) kicks off in November.

Many colleagues keep a 'daily log or notebook'. I used to, but found I'd fill them too quickly. I favour IT to assist, sort, store. I will 'forget about' something in the knowledge that I can draw it from my electronic 'brain'; this of course assume that the content has made it that far. So a blog is a repository. The problem is which blog? These have a habit of splitting into multiple folders.

Nor is this blog the place for Social Media and Online Communications (my role at the Open University Business and Law School). Though at times there is considerable overlap with all that I have learnt in the Masters in Open and Distance Education. (Modules H800, H809 and H807 completed).

Nor is it the place for my potential adventures with the London Olympics 2012, which had me (like a number of OU Colleagues) attending a 'Gamesmaker' presentation and interview yesterday. I have been lined up for the Press Office, potentially to contribute to the Knowledge & Information desk which will draw in educational value from the events to share with future Olympics, otherwise either in the Olympic Village editing/writing a regular newsletter, or at one of the venues 'door-stepping' athletes and getting their words to the media centre.

My summer 'vacation' 2012

A part solution to the failure to post a blog is:

1) I took notes (directly into an iPad for the most part, so no need to transfer/transcribe)

2) I took pictures (sometimes with the iPad, now with an iPhone, such grabs of presentation slides that I immediately upload to Picasa Web. These in turn would be best placed in a photo friendly blog in WordPress, FlickR or Tumblr, though currently they are saved into locked galleries online).

3) I keep a daily log/notes of my day, aggregating content of interest from RSS Feeds (LinkedIn groups and Blogs) as well as Google Alerts. This has always remained offline. I need to get it into FileMaker Pro so that is it more searchable.

The above to provide a catalyst for developing further any one of these topics at a later date (if at all), but usually easy enough to discover if blogged (private view), or put into a relational database software package such as FileMaker Pro.

I therefore have a record of events, meetings, presentations and so on, which include:

MONDAY PR and the words of students and alumni from discussions and requests to our growing groups in LinkedIn.

TUESDAY Interviews with Alumni (three of the 1996 graduation group reflecting on their experiences of the MBA and what they have done since). Brief a TV production company.

TUESDAY Creation of a blog for Open University Business Network. Kathryn Tickell at the Stables (or was that last week ?!)

WEDNESDAY Using Camtasia, Audacity, a MAC and the Institute of Educational Technology 'Podcasting Suit' to produce a video-version (animation/movie) of a presentation I gave on Social Media in Higher Education which I wish to induct academics (or their teams) to use to compress 45 minutes lectures into scripted pieces that are more 'Web Friendly'.

WEDNESDAY Tweet inaugrual lecture of Professor Cherie Booth and the acceptance speech of Leslee Griffiths BA.

THURSDAY Personas and Mental Mapping (an OU technique to understanding and predicting visitor behaviours when using online materials)

THURSDAY Communications, Leadership and Influence (a presentation by the new Director of Communications). I took from this the need to make the time and effort to empathise with colleagues with whom I work.

THURSDAY Open University Businesss Network (a series of quarterly breaksfast briefings for local business people that started on Thursday)

THURSDAY Edit of interview visiting fellow from Ghana

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Compulsive Religious Education ?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 26 Oct 2011, 07:55

smile A friend asked my son if he was doing compulsive RE at the dinner table the other night. My son said yes, not really knowing what his friend had asked.

I explained the difference between compulsory and compulsive and then improvised someone with 'compulsive RE' disorder that meant they were constantly genuflecting to everyday objects, getting down on their knees to pray and singing hymns.

Everyone joined in with their ideas and we had a laugh.

Maybe they both learnt the meaning of the two words?

Mistakes come in many forms, from the impertinent, to the accidental, but as Greyson Perry says about art and creativity, 'Creativity is mistakes.' And sometimes very funny.

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H800 WK 24 Activity 2 Phenomonography ... and all that Jazz.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 26 Oct 2011, 07:37

Read Jones and Asensio (2001), ‘Experiences of assessment: using phenomenography for evaluation’.

As you read, consider the following questions:

  1. In the example provided by Jones and Asensio, do you think there was any way that the design of the assessment led to the students’ divergent understandings of the task?
  2. How would you respond to the problem raised in this paper if you were asked to design a learning activity or an assessment?

It depends as much on how assessment is carried out, as to the design of the learning. If a tighly prescriptive, tick-box response is required to prove that the student can read, draw common interpretations and put it down in a standard, structured way then there should not be room for interpretation, perspective, point of view or originality.

This isn't maths, there is always going to be more than one responce.

I find in this paper of far greater interest the points regarding interpretation of others' intentions in order to be able to work together.

Enemies can meet in a debating chamber because they know the rules and the desired outcome; they may give very different responses in a written assessment.

If this is the case then I assume that the materials being discussed here are for an undergraduate programme.

Course structure can invite students to fulfil all manner of tasks by offering points towards assessment scores. In my experience this has been a completely futile endeavour if my contribution then widely misses the mark as interpretted by a system that requires you to line up 1000 match sticks in a particular way.

(Research by the way shows that if you make a task optional no one does it; why offer it then?)

I celebrate the idea that 'students' experiences vary in what may be unpredictable ways from the course designers' intentions. (Jones & Asensio, 2001)

I've worked all my carrier where originality and creativity are applauded. 'Creativity is mistakes,' so if a student gets the wrong end the stick in their response I'd be keen to have built in to the marking the flexibility to accommodate this.

So, is it a problem?

That depends on the desired outcomes, the seriousness of going slightly or a long way off the intended target and whether the intention is to get a stock answer from each student, or constant variety.

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JISC 2011 on Open Content

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 18 Nov 2013, 11:34

I might be 275 miles away from JISC 2011 but when I heard my 'jj27vv' Twitter 'handle' used I felt as if I'd been transported to Liverpool. I certainly had to remind myself that I wasn't there ...

The question/s were to do with the use of Open Content, that there never was a blank sheet and that in something like a wiki a history of authorship is tracked.

 The resonses came from:

Amber Thomas, Programme Manager, JISC

Chris Pegler, Senior Lecturer, Open Univeristy;(Our Course Chair in H808 for a while)

Stephen Stapleton, Open Learning Support Officer, University of Nottingham

Vivien Sieber, Head of Learning and Research Services, University of Surrey

Tony Hirst, Lecturer, Open University.

This session and the others are available as podcasts.

Of most use will be the top tips for use of Open Educational Resources by each of the panelists.

 

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H800: 28 What is 'learning?' This is:

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 3 Mar 2011, 16:54

I've been pondering this question for 14 years .. since our daughter was born.

I don't think I gave it a moment's thought at school, university, in further postgraduate studying or courses or even at work where we were producing training films (amongst other things).

Knowing and applying 'stuff' came into it.

Otherwise it was starting to get my head around the neurological processes that had me starting to understand what was going on. Simple really, you expose a person (your daughter, yourself) to something and it results in a stimuli that with repetition becomes embedded.

You cannot help yourself. You pick things up. At what stage have something been learnt though? When you apply it? Or simply knowing that the knowledge is 'there.'

One key moment this last year was coming to an understanding of what 'life-long learning' entails. Even concluding that the less isolated we are the more we learn? Which hardly holds true of the bookworm (or should they now be called webworms?)

Did it help to play Mozart while she was developing in the womb?

Did it help that she was learning to play the piano, draw, type and read all at the same time?

How does she compare to her brother because she apparently has a 'photographic' memory ... while he does not?

i.e. just because the input mechanism allows for good recall does she learn any better, or even less well, than someone who has to make more effort?

My own mind is made of Teflon - nothing sticks! And even if I get it into my head it slides all over the place producing most unusual combinations sad

Am I going to Google 'learning' or look it up in Wikipedia?

Probably not.

I'd prefer to find out what Quentin Blake makes of it ... or Norman Mailer. What did learning mean to Vincent van Gogh? We can probably tell from the many letters he wrote to his brother.

I have read Ian Kershaw's two volume biography of Adolf Hitler.

How did that monster acquire and develop his belief systems?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SCA 2.0 The best of both worlds - located and 'E'

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 14:29

These are the guys to watch

SCA%202.0%20GRAB.JPG

The model for learning is compulsive. It has everything that is great about e-learning and the use of technology, indeed, it is part of this genre and world ... but it is also a school, or college, in the old sense, with a physical presence where people meet to share ideas, grow and participate collaboratively in their development.

Where does studying and work end?

It doesn't. There are no boundaries, nor should there be.

Were that the 115 year old Vygotsky (1926) was here to experiene it ...

'The future world where 'classes' and 'learning' takes place at home and in the workplace as PART of the world, rather than distinct from it'.

'Ultimately, only life educates, and the deeper that life, the real world, burrows into the school, the more dynamic and the more robust will be the educational process. Education is just as meaningless outside the real world as is a fire without oxygen, or as is breathing in a vacuum'.

'Only he who exerts a creative role in real life can aspire to a creative role in pedagogics. It is just for this reason that, in the future, the educator will also be an active participant in society'.

'In the school of the future, these window will be opened as wide as can be, and the teacher will not only lok out, but also actively participate in the ‘duties of life.’


REFERENCE

Vygostsky L.S. (1926) Educational Psychology. (Translated 1997) CRC Press.

 

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H800: 24 Wk3 Metaphor in Learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 8 Nov 2011, 22:15

It could be the subject of of PhD Thesis

Metaphor is the essence of learning, of knowledge transfer, of transmitting ideas, of ideas themselves, of innovation and creativity.

We labour it

 

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Reading Sfard and various other authors/academics and philosophers ... and a neuroscientist I draw my own conclusions in relation to learning in general and e-learning in particular.

Metaphor%20Overlap%20in%20Learning.jpg

 

The first image is from Gareth Morgan. The explanation of how metaphor is used, and potentially abused (or simply confused) is clear. 'Man is a lion. He is a lion because he is brave.'

We permit poetic licence

We then move on to the idea of what I am calling (for want of a metaphor) Stage 1 Learning, that necessary first step where the person learning needs to acquire 'stuff,' where knowledge is imparted or experienced. This might be a lecture, a talk, a video, a book. Acquisition for me is not the metaphor, it is the description of what is occurring. I cannot see 'acquisition.' I can see someone at a supermarket check-out 'acquiring' goods, I can even visualise the 'sausage machine' concept/cartoon of information/knowledge being ground out of books and deposited in a person's head.

Moving on to Stage 2 Learning (though it could be any stage 2 through to infinity) we have a tool of learning, 'participation.' Here, once again, I understand an adjective describing actual participation, as demonstrated in the John Seely Brown lecture, of students working together at a table (round of course), with those on the 'periphery' taking part tangentially while those in the middle are the primary 'actors.' THIS is learning in the Congo Rain Forest to get honey from the top of a tree, this is learning above the Arctic Circle to cut blow-holes to harpoon seals ... this is how 'man' has always learned. a) where's the new thinking? b) is 'participation' a metaphor, or simple an adjective?

For me participation is the end of term play, the Christmas Panto, working on a student newspaper, blog or TV magazine show.

To use metaphor suggests improving communication of ideas and doing so in a persuasive and memorable way. There are cliched metaphors. They lose currency through over use. Educators appear to be stuck in a rut on this one, regurgitating old ideas.

 

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My mind is repeatedly blown apart

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 08:16

Once upon, a long time ago, I failed to take proper note of an issue of Mad Magazine, which I never read often, and it wasn't my copy, that featured a neferous business character who had a video phone, or TV phone (I don't know what they were called by the cominc in 1972 or whenever the issue came out). Perhaps it was a mock-advertisement for a roller-blind that had on it pictures designed to fool the caller, so a picture of him working late at the office, when in fact he was at a cocktail party, or ill at home, when in fact he was sunning himself in Hawaii, this kind of thing. These days, sitting infront of a webcam, you can be weraing pyjamas on the lower half and a collar and tie in vision ... you can tidy up one corner of your office/study, even decorate this one wall. Or, the modern day equivalent, would be a green screen and a video feed of wherever it is you may be pretending to be.

A share this with fellow Skypers. Ahead of an interview on Skype I will at least have a hair cut and iron a shirt. I'll even have a bath, though we haven't got as far as 'smelly.cam' yet, or have we?

Meanwhile, what blew my mind and had me reaching for the keyboard was this.

It may not find me the copy of Mad Magazine I'm looking for, but it strikes me as a mightily useful platform/tool.

It was a cartoon by Don Martin

Personally I miss trips to the National Archive or to the National Repositoiry of Newspapers; like surfing the web, it is extraordinary what you find, even when you weren't looking for it.



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Why digitisation your every action may have some value - the Quantified Self

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 6 Nov 2011, 23:22

 

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From Drop Box

I've ignored ideas in the past and regretted it.

I recall a lunch with a Cambridge Graduate who had created software that made texting possible. His company was looking at ways to expand its use on mobile phones. All I could think was that it was a retrograde step and would take us back to pagers; remember them? How wrong I was.

I recall also reading about someone who had kept a 'web-blog' (sic) and photo journal of their business year in 1998.

Even as a diarist and blogger I thought this somewhat obsessive. From research into the patterns and networks created 'LinkedIn' emerged.

So when a Microsoft programmer Gordon Bell decides to make a digital record of everything they do to see what patterns may emerge THIS time I take an interest. (New Scientist, Opinion. 23 December 2010 / January 2011

My immediate thought, not least because I lack the resources, is to be highly selective. Had I a team to take content, edit, transcribe, edit, collate and link, maybe I'd do more; I don't.

A professional swimming coach should assess and reflect on the sessions they deliver. I did this without fail for nearly three years, by which time a good deal of it was repetitive and I felt comfortable with the many different plans I was delivering to different groups. I've been videod, I use video to analyse strokes and skills and I use a digital recorder to jot down observations of swimmers. So what if I leave the digital recorder open for a session. Am I prepared to run through this hour for a start? If I do so what might I learn?

That this is a valid form of evidence of my abilities (and weaknesses)

That edited (no names revealed of swimmers) it, especially parts of it, become a training tool (best practice) or simply insights for others on how, in this instance, a one hour session is transmogrified for use with different levels/standards/age of swimmer.

I video lectures in 1983 on Sony Betamax. I did plays. Debates. All kinds of campus activity around Oxford. I learnt a good deal. The camera is not your mind's eye, this is why you edit and develop craft skills, not because you want to dramatise reality, but because the mind does it for you. We don't go round with fish-eyes taking everything in, we do jump between a wide, mid and close shot. And when we concentrate on something the proverbial naked woman could walk down the street and you wouldn't notice. A camera around one's neck cannot and will not establish or adjust to any of these view points.

The act of recording changes your behaviour, it is therefore a record of a false behaviour.

I filled some of the gaps. I set down some of my thoughts on how swimmers were performing whereas usually I'd make a 'mental note' or jot something down on paper.

Shortcuts will be uncovered, valuable algorithms will be written. Might, for example, the old corporate audit of how people spend their time be transformed if, putting it at arm's length, the function is monitored during a working day?

We've seen from the reality TV show 'Seven Days' shot in Notting Hill how tedious the lives of Jo blogs can be as entertainment. We're tired of Big Brother too. As Bell remarks, 'most of the moments he records are mind-numbingly dull, trite, predictable, tedious and prosaic.'

To deliver further the New Scientist advices that we take a look at:

DirectLife

Dream Patterns

Mood

Brainwaves

Use of email

Online interactions

Optionism

Moodscape

Track Your Happiness

Your Flowing Data

Mycrocosm

One-tricks

personalinformatics.org/tools

Why a handwritten diary my be better not only that digitising everything, but even a blog?

The way you write reflects your mood, captures tone, even levels of intoxication, passion or aggitation, as well as your age. Though I fear the work of the graphologist is redundant. A choice is made over the writing implement, and the book or pages in which it is expressed. You make choices. If you must, you can have bullet points of events. It doesn't take much of a tickle for the mind to remember an exact moment. Such moments digitised are two dimensional, with no perspective. A memory recalle matures, its meaning changes as does your interest in it. A memory loved and cherished is very different to one that you wish to forget. What happens when both haunt you in their digital form? And when such memories become everybody's property?

Where does copyright stand if you are digitising life?

We watch TV, we read books, we play video games, we read letters and bank statements, we have conversations that are meant to be private ...

Meanwhile, I've barely dealt with the fall out of this Opinion piece in the New Scientist and the next issue looking at neuroscience does my head.

Here Vilayanur S Ramachandran gets his head around the importance of metaphor in creativity and how it separates us from all other beings. I used to cheat

 

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From Drop Box

 

It took you out of your own mind and messed it up; sometimes useful, sometimes not. The way to be creative is to develop an inquiring, critical, educated, multi-outletting, messed up mind. Sing, dance, draw, paint, play musical instruments, climb trees, exercise in crazy ways, every week do or say something you've never done or said before. 'Quantable.' (sic) Radio 4. 6th Jan 2011. 20h30. The context was using the process of counting numbers to quanitfy some excess and the interviewee used this term 'quantable' which the producer of the programme must have liked because it was repeated. Amazing how we can mash-up the English Language and the new word may make perfect sense. Where ams I? ECA and a job interview. So what am I doing here? Habit. I want to come back to these ideas later and by doing this I know where it is.

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Grayson Perry and Rose Tremain on Creativity

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 26 Oct 2011, 07:45

I meant to share this at the time of the broadcast a month of six weeks ago. Life and an OU TMA got in the way.

Please offer your thoughts and share

These are notes, things I picked out, some reflection on my take on all of this. Perhaps we are like minds? Perhaps not? I'm trying to make sense of it ... I'm not saying I've made sense of it here or in a hundred or more posting on a similar theme that I have made online over the last decade reading the likes of Stephen Pressfield, Norman Mailer and Ben Okri, even David Ogilvy) who amongst many creatives have chosen to share their wisdom with the wider world.

To be successful and creative is a rare thing, it isn't simply a result of luck or talent or endeavour ... a mind might be able to self-regulate and focus once it has found its medium and voice, but just as helpful are those around you who create parameters, who set deadlines, who chase you with a stick or reward you with a carrot.

In this BBC Radio 4 broadcast Grayson Perry explored the myths and misconceptions of creativity.

What does it take?

Like all things, hard work and single-mindedness.

From my point of view I see myself as a Catherine Wheel that has been lit and fallen of its stand - I spit and twist, sending out ideas all over the place. Not the best way forward.

The Myths and Misconceptions were:


  • The Eureka Moment (Spoke to Terry Pratchet)
  • Anyone can do it (Spoke to Rose Tremain)
  • Drugs are good for you. (But not for Satre)
  • A bid mad
  • Britain's got talent (Spoke to Hussein Shelian)
  • Creative Genius
  • Need to have suffered an early trauma (Ray Talis)


We are reminded the 'creativity' is a central part of the UK economy.

For 17 years I actively contributed to this. My wilderness years, the last eight, have resulted in very little output (if that means getting it out of the front door). I stack it. I'd prefer to see these ideas compost and die than give my ideas to the world.

It is essential that creativity has institutional underpinning.

How will this manifest itself with the cuts to arts funding now being proposed by the coalition government in the UK.

or is it necessary. Whilst education in the UK has its faults it nonetheless appears to favour and permit the individual so that talent can develop. This must be the state system, private schools are a sausage machine for exam results, they have to be given what parents are forking out.

'Creativity is mistakes.'

Says Grayson Perry, he has this carved into concrete across the mezzanine floor of his studio. You try, you fail, you try again. I would like to suppose I haven't tried hard enough to fix my failures (or what I perceive as failures). At time though I feel if I keep on trying I would eventually strip back a 90,000 novel to a few words.

Imaginative power is 'looking, looking, looking' to which Rose Tremain added, it is 'listening, listening, listening.'

I'm a looker, so I don't know how I've ended up writing.

You can never be fully relaxed on holiday.

I do, but sailing and skiing do occupy your head if you fall off cliffs and like to race dinghies. Moments of near-death are exhilarating, as those times the elements sweep you along.

I hate the computer as a writing tool, this facility to edit does me no favours. yet a writer Grayson interviews said the computer allowed him to write, that until then he had no way to start straight in with a few thoughts, some scenes (like episodes in a film), and assemble it all in a non-linear way.

I've worked so hard with programmes like Power Structure and Final Draft but somehow always tie myself in knots trying to add or remove a character or scene or changing the ending or beginning.

'Letting go at the end - that's as good as it will get.' Says Rose Tremain.

A year of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and my last session was driving me to 'finish something.' I can, but there needs to be someone with a stick harrying me along, a reward at the end would help, reassuring words along the way too ...

My notes here (a month or so after the broadcast) say something about 'investigating in a way that is new and aiding their creativity by giving them love and boundaries.'

I would run with a lover, with the intensity of an unfulfilled affair. Something to make the heart race. I once spent a day drawing a girl I lusted for ... she was happy to be naked for me. I compelled myself into a state of denial without able to control my arousal. It all went into the drawing, the excited, confident marks across the page.

What about the University of East Anglia Creative Writing Course?

I've locked at the details and would be applying for 2011. Don't have the money. Anyone want to sponsor me? In return for a percentage of the royalties that would of course come about a year or two later?

Pretty please?

Or the MA in Fine Art at Sussex University?

'A life's work without any expectation of reward.'

My wife caught this line and said that was me. She should know, she's not had much out of me these last eight years. The novels I promised to write were written, but are considerably short of an edit I would send out. I would need to shut myself away from everything for 12 weeks.

Do you have somewhere I could hide?

Exam conditions six to nine hours a day, seven days a week. Not any man made disturbance - nature I can tolerate, nature I love. A hermitage on Farnes island would do, a ski lodge up a mountain pre-Season. somewhere. An empty barn, drained swimming pool, decommissioned nuclear power station.

Impulsive ideas that I run with:


  • A chess set made out of branded bottles of water.
  • Every ski run in the Ski Resorts of Val d'Isere and Tignes reconstructed as transects showing their true length and fall.
  • A short film about watersprites living in a public swimming pool
  • Story ideas galore for TV series or film.
  • A 6ft canvass of Lewes Castle in the snow from a series of photographs that could have been taken 800 years ago.

'When you are creating something you are drawing on so many parts of the brain.'

This was in response to someone with an MRI scan who claims to have identified creativity. It doesn't work like that, indeed, the creative mind goes more slowly ... it takes it times over these connections. It thinks, how else could it ever deliver anything original?

So when yo relax, you let go, that is when you have your great ideas. I resolved the ending to a story I haven't touched for three years on a dog walk so long I found worried messages on the mobile phone I had left in the car. My mobile is rarely on.

'The distressful bread of the day to day.' Said Rose Tremain.

Did I get that right?

Grayson Perry talked about his Inner Shed.

I have my inner shed, what I need is a 'room of my own.' It's hard to be creative perched on the end of the marital bed in a tiny room that is stacked to the ceiling with possessions that call for occupancy of a house twice the size.

Fretting over the non-blog affordances of the OU Blogging environment I have moved to EduBlogs where you will find me under 'Mymindbursts.'

Should institutions such as the OU ditch their own platforms and assemble the best off the shelf offerings in one place? What this environment lacks is personalisation, as well as stats, friends, freedom to add apps and plug-ins and all the rest of it.

This is a De Dion Bouton in the age of the E-type Jag.

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The blogger's dilemma

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 17:07

'It seems to me that I follow only the most accessible thread. Three or four threads may be agitated, like telegraph wires, at the same time, and if I were to tap them all I would reveal such a mixture of innocence and duplicity, generosity and calculation, fear and courage.'

(Henry & June, Journals, July 1932 Anais Nin)

For the umpteenth time as several hooks snag I don't know whether to blog in one space or several. The compromise will be to keep this for and about the OU. Therefore 'e.learning & innovation,' even 'innovations in e.learning.'

The problem Anais Nin had related to the 'threads' in her life, her various interests that broadly split between her love life, her efforts to become a published writer of fiction & what the journals gradually become first to her and then to the people (and fans) who read them.

My response has been, having stared a blog, that mimicked a  diary and was simply an 'online journal' to split by purpose, by content (the the degree of exposure I was prepared to make/the adult nature of the material) and even by design. Things quickly got in a muddle & I returned to the single blog model, only to find I could not please all, or many (or even any but a handful)  of the readers. By which time it had ceased to be a  diary, or even an online journal.

I will persevere with WordPress where the old blog will be migrated. This could take some time. 8,000 hours if I go entry by entry. Oops. Maybe not them. I can be more selective than that. The intention will be to use current blogging tools to find & establish threads of ideas, topics, stories, people & events. To what end though?

Then there'll be a blog for teaching & coaching swimming aimed only at fellow teachers & coaches - so not on how to swim, or how to swim faster ... just how to teach or coach people to swim and then to swim faster.

There is relevance to this in relation to 'innovations in e.learning.

What is most likely to produce an innovation? By being prescriptive, or saying 'anything goes?' Or a bit of both. Somehow.

Or am I talking here about inventiveness & creativity?

 

 

 

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