CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire by BRUCE NUSSBAUM on sale now.CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE Tumblr (3.0; @creativeintelligencebook)<p class="npf_link" data-npf='{"type":"link","url":"","display_url":"","title":"Axios Markets","description":"Axios Markets","site_name":""}'><a href="" target="_blank">Axios Markets</a></p>, 15 Mar 2021 08:08:05 -0400What Does Startup India Really Need?<p>Bangalore has a hot startup vibe. Its all over the media and it’s THE major topic at lunch and dinner. Right now, the startup movement is dominated by engineers who focus on digital technology and copying successful Western platforms. After all, that’s how China is succeeding, right?</p><p>Well, not really. The great success of Alibaba and Tencent in China lies in their using a Western platform to provide CHINESE products that have deep meaning in Chinese culture. For example, Chinese people give red envelops full of money to each other on birthdays, holidays and all ceremonial events. The online players created digital red envelops that allow people to continue their ritual ceremony but on an easier, faster online platform.</p><p>That is what Indian startups need to learn to do. Indian engineers need to pivot away from a focus only on technology to a focus on Indian culture. They need  to mine for what is meaningful to their customers.  Amazon is doing well in India delivering quality goods quickly and cheaply. Local champion Flipkart is going head to head with Amazon. It might gain market share if it fully used its strongest asset. As an Indian company, it has deep knowledge and understanding of Indian cultures. If Flipkart focussed on delivering what Indians really want–what they really dream for–it could blow away Amazon.</p><p>How can Indian startup engineers learn how to be empathetic and how to learn what is meaningful to people? Start by teaming up with designers, like the people at Spread in Bangalore. The design process begins with understanding the user. Designers know how to create a great consumer experience. They know how to design a user’s engagement with the product or service. So engineers need to team up with designers.</p><p>And engineers could learn design thinking themselves. Design thinking means thinking like a designer. Design thinking is not simply the Six Sigma of Design–a rigid process that, if followed exactly, delivers innovation. This rigid interpretation of Design Thinking will not give you disruptive innovation.  Thinking like a designer means having an open mindset to understanding what your users actually desire and crafting a product or service that is both unexpected and delightful to use. With that comes great value. And a good chance of your startup becoming a unicorn.</p><p>Oh yes, Indian engineers can do one more thing to help them increase their chances at launching a successful startup. My book, Creative Intelligence, is published in India. They should buy it and learn how to increase their creative capacities–and learn to think like a designer.</p>, 27 Sep 2015 13:46:00 -0400SpreadIndiaStartup IndiainnovatiojFlipkartAmazonBangaloreAlibabaTencentCreative IntelligenceStartup India<p>I’m in Bangalore speaking about design thinking, creativity and startups in India. The whole country is tuning into Prime Minister Modi talking with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg in Silicon Valley about–startups and Startup India. </p><p><br/></p><p>I’ve been doing workshops with Spread, an amazing Indian design and innovation firm headed by Sonia Manchanda, training people to raise their creative capacities. The Spread folks are amazing and they had groups of people getting into Personas, connecting dots of behaviors and values to come up with fresh new business models. All in the space of an hour and all with great fun (each teach had to come on stage and play out how people would use their new product–my favorite was the “diggie dog” collar that enabled doggies to communicate with their owners but a close second was CHARGE, a female Uber-type car service by women–who drive Teslas–for women). The thing is, people walked in believing THEY weren’t creative and Spread showed them that they really were.</p><p>As for me, I talked about the Five Creative Competences of my book, Creative Intelligence–Mining for Meaning, Reframing, Serious Play, Making and Scaling. Getting into Personas allows them to understand what is meaningful to people. This is one big message that the Indian engineers of Startup India have to understand. Digital tech alone won’t get you a successful, profitable startup. You have to first mine for what is meaningful to people, then apply your technology to satisfy that aspiration, that dream.</p>, 27 Sep 2015 12:43:25 -0400SpreadCreative Intelligencedesign thinkingdesigninnovationmodiindiastartupstartups in indiaWill China Lose its “Innovation Moment?”<a href="">Will China Lose its “Innovation Moment?”</a>: <p><a href="" class="tumblr_blog" target="_blank">creativeintelligencebook</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Letter from Shenzhen</p> <p>I recently went to China to speak at a conference on innovation and to launch the Mandarin edition of my book <i>Creative Intelligence</i>. I knew I was flying into China’s booming “Innovation Moment” because the conference topic was “disruptive innovation in banking.” And it was…</p> </blockquote>, 22 May 2015 21:49:48 -0400Durand-Ruel: The Rise of the Modern Art Dealer And Why The Modern Venture Capitalist Should Pay Notice<a href="">Durand-Ruel: The Rise of the Modern Art Dealer And Why The Modern Venture Capitalist Should Pay Notice</a>: <p><a href="" class="tumblr_blog" target="_blank">creativeintelligencebook</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p> Bruce Nussbaum April 2015</p> <p>I’d like to suggest that the roles of the art dealer and venture capitalist as curators, patrons and social mobilizers are essentially identical. Further, I’d like to suggest that the process of “making” art today is essentially identical to the process of “making”…</p> </blockquote>, 22 May 2015 21:47:34 -0400Durand-Ruel: The Rise of the Modern Art Dealer And Why The Modern Venture Capitalist Should Pay Notice<a href="">Durand-Ruel: The Rise of the Modern Art Dealer And Why The Modern Venture Capitalist Should Pay Notice</a>: <p><a href="" class="tumblr_blog" target="_blank">creativeintelligencebook</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p> Bruce Nussbaum April 2015</p> <p>I’d like to suggest that the roles of the art dealer and venture capitalist as curators, patrons and social mobilizers are essentially identical. Further, I’d like to suggest that the process of “making” art today is essentially identical to the process of “making”…</p> </blockquote>, 11 May 2015 08:02:09 -0400Durand-Ruel: The Rise of the Modern Art Dealer And Why The Modern Venture Capitalist Should Pay Notice<p>                             Bruce Nussbaum                     April 2015</p><p> </p><p>I’d like to suggest that the roles of the art dealer and venture capitalist as curators, patrons and social mobilizers are essentially identical. Further, I’d like to suggest that the process of “making” art today is essentially identical to the process of “making” startups.  The gallery and the incubator are singular spaces specifically designed to maximize volatility within a network of makers, gate-keepers, investors, marketers and, ultimately consumers. </p><p>Each of these players navigates this larger volatile creative space inside a smaller buffered and protected space, harnessing the volatility. Guiding the players at the center is the Curator/Patron—the art dealer or the incubator VC (angel investor/venture capitalist).  Dressed in the ceremonial garb of the “trusted friend” or the “knowing insider,” the Curator/Patron has personal ties to all the players inside the network and is primarily responsible for “shaking the network” to boost the speed, frequency and magnitude of the volatility within its space.  The Curator/Patron personally “makes the market.”</p><p>There are two goals to “amping up the volatility.”  The first is to maximize “disruptive innovation” and generate the unique, the original, and the most valuable. The second is raise the price paid for the new value, whether it is a Monet or an AirBnB IPO. The idea then is that the Gagosian Gallery and Kleiner Perkins use the same process to spin creativity and value out of man-made volatility. Innovation and creativity then, are social, not technological, processes that can be built.</p><p>Let’s begin with Paul Durand-Ruel, who, in the late 19<sup>th</sup> and early 20<sup>th</sup> centuries, invented the role and practice of the modern art dealer. There is a wonderful exhibit in the National Gallery in London on “Inventing Impressionism,” which describes Durand-Ruel’s emergence. It begins with rejection—the rejection in  1863 by the Paris Salon, sponsored by the French government and the Academy of Fine Arts (the established Old Money/Old Authority) of a new school of painting—Impressionism. </p><p>The Impressionist painters—Degas, Monet, Manet, Cezanne, Pissario, Renoir, Sisley and others—set up with their own Salon, the Salon de Refuses, which drew ridicule from the public, the press and the art establishment. Few, if any, paintings were sold. </p><p>Enter Durand-Ruel. His father was an established art dealer in Paris and as Durand-Ruel took over the business, his curatorial reputation was significant.  He made that reputation by supporting the immensely popular and successful 1830 School of painters in France.  Durand-Ruel was the first—and only—art dealer to add his reputational and financial value to the new Impressionists—but it took two decades for him and the painters to succeed. He had to overcome opposition from the public, official artistic circles and established collectors. </p><p>And he had to take risks. He was called “an unrepentant risk-taker” and a “speculator” in his time (he went through two bankruptcies). Not only did he play the role of Patron himself, he established the first private, global network of collectors to further leverage the buying and selling of art—making a new modern market and adding fresh new volatility to the art space.</p><p>Durand-Ruel,as a private art dealer, stood in place of the Paris Salon, as a curator of the new school of art. He built a private network of New Monied Collectors, the rising industrialists, financiers and merchants of the late 19<sup>th</sup> and early 20<sup>th</sup> centuries, to replace the state-backed museums, Royal, Religious and Old Family Money sources of buying art. He did this by going global, staging shows and setting up galleries abroad to bring in New Money Collectors from New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, London, Berlin, Moscow and St. Petersburg. </p><p>He brought finance for the first time into art by borrowing large sums from banks and partnering with investors to buy dozens and hundreds of paintings at a time from painters, “cornering the market.” Durand-Ruel, during his lifetime, bought 1,500 Renoirs, 1000 Monets and 400 Degas.</p><p>He used modern marketing and branding strategies to boost the value of his paintings and their painters. He staged the first solo, rather than group show and published the first monograph on a single Impressionist artist to market a painter’s work. </p><p>Durand-Ruel, then “vibrated” this network of new Collectors and Patrons by selling and buying, by making a market. By personally controlling so many paintings, he “gifted” a collector with a Manet or Sisley at a price, then had that collector offer it at a higher price to another collector he selected. Durand-Ruel was at the center of this network, personally working as the trusted agent to each and all collectors, moving the value of the paintings higher and higher, faster and faster. At auctions, he would bid paintings higher to build further value into the work or prevent prices from falling, supporting existing value. </p><p>Within this vortex, the Impressionist painters found demand for their creations and value for their work.  Durand-Ruel provided buffers to the volatility of the market he himself created by buying whole collections from individual artists, providing the money to work. He loaned money, paid for studios, commissioned future work, paid for their travels to the US and elsewhere to advertise their work—all providing the protection, the buffer to move within his art market, his volatility. </p><p>The art market, like the VC and IPO markets, is opaque and secretive, defined more by personal ties than clear market pressures. Durand-Ruel managed his volatility in person and in secret. While collectors offered commissions personally to Impressionist painters, the vast bulk of their work passed first to Durand-Ruel, and then to collectors.  He managed the speed of their sales, the magnitude of their price changes and the velocity of their exchange among collectors.  At the same time, Durand-Ruel managed the artists’ buffering as they moved through the volatility of his collector network.  In this way, a volatile vortex was manufactured, drawing the best paintings from Impressionist School artists.</p><p>A wonderful series of articles on the Silicon Valley incubator, YCombinator, in Fast Company, shows a nearly identical process at work in the business world of startups.  AirBnB came out of YCombinator, as did many other new companies.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p> </p><p>What lessons might we learn from these two examples of Volatility? One is certainly the sociability of volatility. Volatile spaces can be manufactured. Second, is the probability of creativity. Shaping a Vortex, building a Volatile space, through which creative people can transit, boosts the chances of generating originality. Third, Volatility can have a market structure, as in art auctions, but in the case of incubators and art galleries, most of Volatility comes from key opaque, personal relationships. Fourth, the roles of Curator and Patron are as critical to Innovation as that of the Creative.  </p><p>Curators must value the new over the old to promote innovation. Patrons must finance the new over the old to promote innovation.  Paris has “lost its vibe” because of the failure of its Curators and Patrons. New York has a renewed vibe because it has good Curators and Patrons (although not good enough—entrepreneurs complain that there is a dearth of Angel Investors in NYC compared to San Francisco. In the case of new art as opposed to new startups, there is no shortage of Patrons willing to invest or Curators willing to cheer).</p>, 10 May 2015 14:37:27 -0400venture capitalistangel investorartart dealerKleiner PerkinsvolatilityvibeimpressionistsInventing Impressionismpaul durand-ruelParis SalonMonetManetCezzaneAirBnBgagosian galleryWill China Lose its “Innovation Moment?”<a href="">Will China Lose its “Innovation Moment?”</a>: <p><a href="" class="tumblr_blog" target="_blank">creativeintelligencebook</a>:</p><blockquote> <p>Letter from Shenzhen</p> <p>I recently went to China to speak at a conference on innovation and to launch the Mandarin edition of my book <i>Creative Intelligence</i>. I knew I was flying into China’s booming “Innovation Moment” because the conference topic was “disruptive innovation in banking.” And it was…</p> </blockquote>, 30 Mar 2015 08:17:35 -0400Will China Lose its “Innovation Moment?”<p>Letter from Shenzhen</p><p>I recently went to China to speak at a conference on innovation and to launch the Mandarin edition of my book <i>Creative Intelligence</i>. I knew I was flying into China’s booming “Innovation Moment” because the conference topic was “disruptive innovation in banking.” And it was being held in the city of Shenzhen, where dozens of start-up incubators and maker spaces have grown in in the shadow of shuttered shoe and toy factories.  What I didn’t understand fully was that this burst of creativity was facing powerful political and economic forces that could easily destroy it. China’s “Innovation Moment” may well be fleeting.</p><p>The banking conference itself was fun. Alibaba and Tencent, China’s online ecommerce giants, have been rocking the traditional state-owned banking world of marble and glass buildings, long lines and serious-faced guards with online personal mobile payments and investment platforms. To my surprise, instead of middle-aged men in suits, the banking audience was composed of mostly young women and men in their late 20s and 30s who clearly were deep into the digital, social world in their personal lives. They were confident and willing to disrupt the business models of their own banks, if given the chance.  At dinner, a copy of <i>Creative Intelligence</i> was put on everyone’s seat and we played at book-signing (books make very good swag).</p><p>For me, what really makes this China’s “Innovation Moment” is the depth of the creative capacities in companies. It’s not just about harnessing the latest technology or the exploding local venture capital market or even Alibaba’s incredible IPO that’s so exciting.  It’s that Chinese innovators can go beyond a tech-centric approach to innovation to understand what is emotionally meaningful to their customers. They can reframe the conventional business model narrative to fashion new b2c engagements with people. And of course, being Chinese, they can scale like crazy. In banking, retail, communications, media, there is enormous disruptive innovation going on in China.  </p><p>Take virtual hongbao. Hongbao are the red envelopes filled with cash that Chinese give to relatives and friends on holidays. Companies use hongbao in a big way. There is no more important ritual exchange in Chinese culture, especially on Chinese New Year. Tencent was the first to design “virtual hongbao” by allowing people who use its WeChat messaging app to send digital hongbao that put real money into the bank accounts of others.  It was a brilliant integration of a tech innovation—online mobile money transfers—with a deep cultural practice to generate a powerful user experience.  With people linking their bank accounts and credit cards to WeChat, Tencent also boosts its online businesses, such as taxi-hailing and ecommerce.  And retail companies can open new branding and marketing channels through WeChat by giving hongbao that are linked to New Year’s events. Very smart.</p><p>Innovation is moving so fast in China that the disruptors are disrupting themselves. Tencent disrupted Alibaba, the pioneer in mobil money transfers, with this product. Alibaba has since come back to offer, on its Alipay platform, virtual hongbao exchanges on its social networks, Laiwang and Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter.  Of course, we know the disruptive innovation Alibaba has unleashed in recent years—crowdsourcing movie/media investing, offering higher rates to Chinese savers and opening up whole new areas of investments for China’s upwardly mobile. There are now Chinese companies—big ones including computer giant Lenovo, as well as thousands of tiny new startups– that are doing innovation on a global par with American and European companies. </p><p>But I have doubts about whether it can continue and they began just as I walked into  my hotel room. In Shenzhen (like everyone who travels), the moment I checked into the (pretty fancy) hotel, I checked my gmail and knew something was wrong. It was so incredibly slow. I couldn’t Google. I couldn’t get the NY Times. I’ve been to China before and this has never happened. In fact, this had never happened to me anywhere else in the world, including Russia. So I went down to find out what was wrong and a Chinese guest in the elevator told me. The government censors were finally into the Virtual Private networks (VPNs).  For years, the deal in China was that the government would censor the internet for the masses but permit the elite to use VPNs (virtual private networks) to get around government controls. That allowed foreign and local business people, engineers, scientists, Communist Party bosses and bureaucrats, students, professors, the military—China’s elite—to breach the Great Firewall of censorship. Since the start of 2015, that is no longer the case. For China’s business class, including its many young entrepreneurs, China is increasingly cut off from the world.</p><p>That’s what I felt in Shenzhen—cut off. No Facebook, Google, New York Times, Bloomberg News, the Wall Street Journal and my gmail of course (a month after I returned to the US, Beijing cut off access to Reuters as well). That’s cutting me off from pretty much all the global economic and political news I use in my life. The only site I could access was the Financial Times, which is great but a singularly British lens on the world.</p><p>In addition, everything was so slow on my computer. It felt as though a government censor was in my room, at my keyboard, reading everything first and giving me permission to see just a little bit of the flow. The slowness itself freaked me out.</p><p>And it is disturbing Chinese innovators, as well.  The Great Firewall is now so high it is preventing China’s innovators from accessing global networks.  That means being cut off from the latest technology, business models, concepts, trends, talent, tools and capital. It means not being able to be on Facebook with your friends and workmates.  The South China Morning Post (2/18/2015) quoted Pin Wang (@pinwang on Twitter), a video game designer who founded Substantial Games, (<a href="" target="_blank"></a>) as saying “something that should take 15 seconds takes three or five minutes, and it screws with the way you flow or you work. We don’t have the resources to move because we’re a startup but we talk about it all the time.” Pin’s team can’t access their email, share documents, talk on Facebook or use other online services blocked by the internet censors.</p><p>This can’t be good for innovation.  </p><p>At the banking conference, a friend who knew the city took me to visit the electronics part of Shenzhen. It’s a great part of that city, with towers after tower, 10, maybe 15 floors each full of electronics stalls, selling the latest in Chinese, Korean and American cell phones. It was a mob scene. China is huge market for mobile technology products. People love them.  On our tour, we walked to the back and there was another scene—dozens of stalls with three or four people each assembling new “Apple” iPhone 6s and putting them inside fresh “Apple” boxes, wrapped perfectly.  It was all done in public and I was stunned. It’s one thing to read about copying and counterfeiting in China, it’s quite another to see it being done so openly. </p><p>Counterfeiting clearly hurts foreign tech companies but it is now seriously undercutting the growing number of Chinese startups as well. In the ChaiHuo co-working space in Shenzhen, Ryan Liang (formerly of Philips and ZTE) developed a VR (virtual reality) headset (SMCP. March 3, 2015). Premier Li visited ChaiHuo in February to support the government’s drive to generate economic growth through innovation. What Li did not see were the cheaper knockoffs of Liang VR headset that were killing the product in the marketplace. “The economy has relied too much on copying other people’s creations and selling them at cheaper prices,” Liang said.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a> </p><p>“It will take a lot of change for people to realize the true value of innovation.”</p><p>This can’t be good for innovation.</p><p>Neither is what I call the “Russification” of China’s economy.  In this visit to China, I kept hearing about “who’s behind” this business, “who’s behind” that entrepreneur. By that phrase, people meant, which family and/or political faction secretly owned and favored different companies.  Innovation depends on original thinking that is able to harness resources to scale in order to generate profits and rewards. If those rewards are then captured and taken away by powerful political groups, the incentive for innovation goes away. This is what has happened in Russia, with politically connected groups grabbing control of companies away from their founders.  It began in the oil industry and has now spread to high-tech.  Pavel Durov, 29, founder of Russia’s largest social network (with 100 million users), Vkontakte, left for Berlin recently after his two co-founders were forced to sell their stake to United Capital Partners, which the FT describes as “ a fund whose senior employees have strong Kremlin connections” (FT April 25, 2014). Durov is being joined in Berlin by a small army of Russian startup entrepreneurs who are fleeing the politicization of innovation.</p><p>It appears to be happening in China as well. Politically-connected families dominate the private sector. Ownership is opaque and crossing the wrong people can end a startup’s future. Caixin, the only significant independent China-based media organization, reported (2/9/15) that police from Hangzhou, Alibaba’s home province, went to Shenzhen province to scare Xiang Jun, the CEO and founder of Shenzhen Dimeng, a website that is involved in the sales of heavy-duty machinery. The company had posted accusations of Alibaba selling counterfeit goods and in doing so, evading 5 trillion yuan in taxes. Caixin quoted  Xiang saying the police told him “do you have any idea who is behind Alibaba? If we told you, you would be scared to death…”</p><p>Actually, we don’t know who’s behind Alibaba.  Founder Jack Ma didn’t reveal his co-owners to the investors of his IPO.  But they appear to be powerful and connected. And they may have enemies. Xiang’s accusations came after the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) publicized a private meeting with Ma where they accused Alibaba of selling counterfeit products online and not doing enough to end the practice.  By going public, SAIC has undermined Alibaba’s New York IPO and unleashed a series of investor lawsuits. I don’t know what’s going on—and neither does anyone else—except to believe that there are political forces we cannot see that could be acting against China’s most successful innovator.  Since SAIC’s action, Alibaba’s stock has languished. It hit its low of 81 ½ on March 3, down from its high of 120.</p><p>Russification also extends to foreign high-tech companies in China who are coming under attack for “corrupt” business practices that identicle to those of all Chinese companies, local as well as foreign.  Glaxo, Apple, Daimler, Qualcom are all great global innovators, forced to pay billions in fines, offer their technology to local competitors and publicly humiliated. When the CCTV ran a TV show slamming Apple for bad service in China, it wasn’t clear whether the attack came from local rivals who paid CCTV journalists to attack Apple, from the government itself which uses CCTV as a propaganda vehicle or from reporters trying to shake down Apple. People in the high-tech/startup scene believe it is only a matter of time before Apple comes under serious attack again and made to pay a huge fine and cough up more technology.</p><p>Again, this can’t be good for innovation. </p><p>So it’s a pivotal time for innovation in China. On the surface, innovation is boiling, with swarms of startups and much disruption. Beijing is strongly pushing innovation to replace exports as the engine of economic growth.  Ma Xingrui, the head of China’s highly successful space program, has just been appointed party boss of Shenzhen. We are looking forward to Ma energizing Shenzhen’s ambition to be the next world-class innovation hub,” said Guo Wanda, vice-president of the Shenzhen-based China Development Institute. “ I think Ma’s reputation in academics and aerospace could attract overseas talent and capital.”</p><p>Perhaps. But his reputation will have to outweigh many policy negatives if he is to successfully stimulate an innovation revolution in Shenzhen. I wish China’s many startup entrepreneurs good luck but I can’t help worry that China’s “Innovation Moment” may be ending just as a thousand flowers are beginning to bloom. </p>, 29 Mar 2015 11:23:23 -0400ShenzhenInnovationAlibabaAppleDaimlerCCTVTencentmobile paymentbankingChinastartups in ChinaVPNMa Xingruiappliq: This design is such a random color explosion that we’re...<img src=""/><br/><br/><p><a class="tumblr_blog" href="" target="_blank">appliq</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>This design is such a random color explosion that we’re having a hard time naming it. Any ideas?</p> </blockquote>, 26 Jul 2014 16:24:38 -0400Leadership In The Startup Economy--The Key Role of the Patron in Scaling Creativity<p>Whether it is the HP ink jet printer or the writing of “To Kill a Mockingbird” the role of the patron–the provider of resources–is often key in the creative process. We can identify the role of creativity patron ( I call this person the “Wanderer” in my book Creative Intelligence) today among angel investors and VCs in our tech startup economy but they are everywhere, from the Medicis in Florence to the people who financed a year in the life of the writer who had the time to write To Kill A Mockingbird. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> <p>Leadership in the creative process is a poorly understood social phenomenon. It isn’t taught in engineering, business or design schools. But it is a key element of success in innovation and creativity. The amazing success of Mr. Hewlett and Mr. Packard in the early years of HP had a lot to do with their management style–Managing by Waling Around. They walked around the many labs, curated the science and technology advancements being made in them, and choose which to nurture.</p> <p></p> <p>Of course, Kickstarter shows that we can now crowd source the curating and resourcing of creativity and innovation. Each one of us can now play the role of Hewlett and Packard. </p> <p>This ability to curate and nurture creativity is at the heart of successful startups and breakthrough art and music. It is probably the most important leadership quality we need today.</p> <p></p>, 18 Jul 2014 11:36:21 -0400creativityto kill a mockingbirdinnovationleadershipstartupsangel investorskickstarterLarry Kramer's Second Act--ACT UP<p>I watched The Normal Heart on HBO and loved every minute of it. Finally, after decades, Larry’s dream of getting it to the screen is fulfilled. And beautifully done.</p> <p> I first met Larry Kramer in the late 80’s when I was researching my book, Good Intentions, I knew him in his second act, as leader of ACT UP, which he started AFTER he was thrown out of the Gay Mens Health Clinic (which he also helped found). </p> <p>ACT UP did many things but the most significant was to change the way drugs are tested in America. In its drive to speed up drug-testing to save the lives of people dying with HIV, it sped up the way drugs are tested for everyone. Even as thousands of men were coming down with AIDS and dying every day, the FDA and NIH insisted that possible treatments be tested the conventional way, over many years. They rejected appeals to change their methods until ACT UP put tremendous public and private pressure on them. </p> <p>An underground  drug treatment underground was created by the gay community to test drugs and speed treatment. The Community Research Initiative–CRI- tested new, alternative drugs. </p> <p>Larry led the fight against the NIH to change and speed up its drug-testing procedures. And, in the end, he succeeded. The treatments available today, promising a normal life for normal hearts, is due in large part to Larry’s angry pushing and shoving.</p> <p>I haven’t read Good Intentions for many years but I did today in preparation for The Normal Heart movie. The stuff on ACT UP is pretty ggod. And the cast of characters in the book are wonderful. Not many are still alive, except for Larry, but they are all heroes. They helped save their community–and all communities.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p>, 26 May 2014 00:11:23 -0400Larry KramerThe Normal HeartGood IntentionsNIHFDAMy favorite David Foster Wallace Quote…<div class="column"> <p>“Blind certainty, a close-mindedness that amounts to an imprisonment so total that the prisoner doesn’t even know he’s locked up.”</p> <p>DFW–Kenyon College speech.</p> <p>We need to live a creative life to be creative persons and build creative organizations. You cannot do that walking around blind, certain of all the answers and all the questions.</p> <p>So pull the buds out of your ears and really listen to the city around you, the campus you attend, the people working near you. The certainty of your music prevents experiencing the uncertainty of the opportunities around you. </p> <p>And yes, perhaps the person who didn’t go to Stanford, Harvard or Yale actually has something important to say to you.</p> </div>, 22 Jan 2014 08:59:00 -0500David Foster WallacecreativityStanfordHaravardYaleKenyonMoments of Impact--A New Book on Designing Strategic Conversations<p>Lisa Kay Solomon is one of the smartest strategic thinkers that I know. She and Chris Ertel have book coming out in the Spring that you want to read if you manage people. </p> <p>The most common complaint I get from managers is “I’m so booked i don’t have time to….” Then fill it in. “Think.” “Prioritize.” “Innovate.” Whatever. </p> <p>This complaint personally drives me nuts. It means people are too busy being busy to be effective. But they use being busy as a metric of effectiveness. Longer hours, meetings, ever always being tired are markers of sacrifice.</p> <p>But not necessarily results.</p> <p>Lisa is a scenario planner, professor of innovation in the great MBA program in Design Strategy at CCA and coach. She was a terrific source when I was doing research for Creative Intelligence.</p> <p>Now I’m going to pile into the proof of her book.</p>, 18 Jan 2014 10:02:00 -0500lisa kay solomoncreative intelligencemoments of impacthow to design stratefic conversationsDoes Progressive Education = Startup Entrepreneurialism?<p>I recently gave a speech that makes the case for Progressive Education teaching the right kind of creativity skills that startup entrepreneurs need. Take a look at the case and let me know what you think.</p> <p>The Power of Progressive Education: Can Creative Thinking be Taught?</p> <p>                         Bruce Nussbaum. 1/10/14</p> <p>                          City & Country </p> <p>Some years back, IBM did one of its annual global CEO surveys. It asked 1500 chief executives around the world what was the single most important leadership ability. The majority answered “CREATIVITY.”  They didn’t say “Strategy,” or “Operations” or “Marketing.” They said “CREATIVITY.”</p> <p>I was running the editorial page at Business Week at the time and I was absolutely stunned. Never before had creativity been seen as so central to generating economic value by so many leaders of big global businesses.  So, being a good business journalist, I asked three questions:</p> <p>First, why now? Why were a lot of middle aged white guys trained in B-Schools in the of efficiency and problem-solving suddenly interested in CREATIVITY, which they usually associate with art, fashion, music, interior design, films and writing?</p> <p>Second, what the heck is creativity anyhow?</p> <p>And third, where do you go to get more creativity? How do you actually learn to increase your creative capacity?</p> <p>In fact, how do you even measure creativity?</p> <p>The answer to why is creativity is so hot in business today is VUCA. We live in an unusual historical moment of constant, cascading change.  We live in a VUCA moment—a time of VOLATILITY, UNCERTAINTY, COMPLEXITY AND AMBIGUITY. VUCA.</p> <p>We had a VUCA moment at the turn of the 19<sup>th</sup> century and we’re in one today.  Most of historical time is spent slowly adjusting to one or two big technological or social changes over a period of many decades.</p> <p>But when you have huge technological, demographic, social and global changes happening all at once, the problems are ever-changing and the solutions are OPEN-ENDED. Indeed, the most important problem-solving capability is learning to identify the right problem and then selecting the best of many possible answers.  </p> <p>As we will see today, that is precisely what PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION does.  In fact, the blocks associated with progressive education are called OPEN-ENDED MATERIALS.  Startup entrepreneurialism, of course, is also about open-ended challenges and solutions. The twin streams of entrepreneurialism and progressive education are merging. It is no accident that</p> <p>Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Google’s Larry Page and Sergei Brin went to progressive education schools where they were taught to be creative.</p> <p>So what is creativity anyhow?  I recently wrote a book called Creative Intelligence, CQ–as in IQ, EQ and now CQ In it, I define creativity as simply the making of the new  that has value. Often, that originality has ECONOMIC VALUE.  In stable times, making the same thing more efficiently squeezes out economic value. In VUCA times, making the new can generate huge economic value.  Just look at the stock market valuations of Apple, Facebook and Twitter.</p> <p>Let me tell you what Creativity is not. Creativity is not rare. It is not about individual genius. And it is not about brain waves. Creative skills and values and can be taught and we can ALL learn them.  Creativity is mostly social—we do it in dyads, triads and teams—even as we often connect the dots alone taking that shower, running or spacing out over coffee.  Above all, Creativity is about knowing what is meaningful in culture and harnessing technology to amplify that meaning.</p> <p>So where do we go to get more of this creativity?  Well, I teach graduate and college students how to boost their creativity right here at New School. We do Personal Creativity Mapping, Design Narratives and deep readings of  Tanazaki and Cziksimahli. Around the block, City & Country, as we shall see, is coaching children to be more creative.  What goes on in C&C classrooms is similar to what happens in the best high-tech labs or the smartest startups or on the hottest business development teams. They are all MAGIC CIRCLES OF CREATIVITY.</p> <p>For example, the era of wearable technology was born not with Google Glass on the West Coast but here in New York, in Chelsea, at RG/A which developed Nike Plus in a creative process that mirrors what happens at City & Country.</p> <p>Whether it is MIT, Stanford, Parsons or City & Country, learning 4 or 5 key creativity skills will boost your CQ, your Creative Intelligence.</p> <p>Let me offer my version of these creative skills. The first is Knowledge Mining. In a world of VUCA, the most important thing in business – in life – is knowing what is meaningful to people. Not just their NEEDS but what Frank Knight, Chicago School economist, calls “higher order wants.” </p> <p>You can Mine for these higher order wants two ways. First, through immersion—those 10,000 hours of study that makes you expert, but, more importantly, shows you the deep patterns. Once you get the patterns, you can see the new, create the new.</p> <p>I am a birder. I am trained to look for the odd duck. It’s not an anomaly, not unusual. I’ve put in my 10,000 hours in the field and always look for what is NOT there. When I saw a Black Swan in Singapore, I was not surprised. I mined the patterns.</p> <p>The other way to mine for meaning is mining OURSELVES—what we embody as a generation, a gender, a region, a religious  group. Look at the young entrepreneurs who have given us Facebook, Google, Airbnb (founded by a RISD grad,  BTW).  Why are they successful? They mined what is meaningful to their generation– the values, technology, and aspirations of their friends.</p> <p> How do you get ZipCar? Connect the dots of wanting a cheap ride, a value system of sharing, not owning, and  new online technology. Very simple. Instagram? Connect the dots of a value system of sharing to new technologies of easy image taking and posting online. Spotify? The same. Mining what we ourselves embody as a group.</p> <p>A second creative skill and perhaps the most important is Framing and Reframing. We frame our narratives—the story of our lives—in different ways to different people. And we frame our social engagements—how we relate to people—differently in different social mediums. Knowing this—you can reframe and change and generate the new. To my 95-year old mother, medicine is about disease and cures, with the doctor at the center. To me, medicine is about wellbeing and maximizing my abilities to do what I want. I am at the center of my health care. Very different frames.</p> <p>A third creative skill is Play. Play is serious. Entrepreneurs, scientists, jazz musicians, stand-up comedians—all MESS AROUND. They use the processes of Play to generate the new. And what is that process of Play? You follow a game, with rules and constraints, doing it with people you trust. You succeed or fail in any number of ways—it is OPEN ENDED. You try and try again—you iterate. Serious Play is a 21<sup>st</sup> Century creative competence.</p> <p>So is Making, my fourth creative skill.  Thanks to new low-cost social systems like Kickstarter, technologies like 3-D printing, and networks like Etsy and Amazon,  each of us can be makers not only of things but of global businesses as well.  The cost of being creative in America is plummeting.</p> <p>The final creative skill is Scaling. Taking creativity and scaling it to actual creation of things and services is the heart of generating economic value.  The skills of Scaling are different from the skills of Creativity—but to me, they are essential to the process.  I call the people who scale Wanderers but they are really CURATORS—the  General Managers, the coaches, the teachers, the angel investors, the gallery owners, the bloggers—the people who decide what is truly creative for their circle. Steve Jobs, Peggy Guggenheim, Mrs. Hewlett and Packard, Fred Wilson, Mark Pinney—all great curators of creativity.</p> <p>Now let me show you a clip from City & Country that shows nearly all these Creative Skills in action in the classroom. For those of you in the audience who haven’t been over to look at what happens inside a Progressive Education classroom, this will blow you away.  ROLL VIDEO—CLICK.</p> <p>So what have we seen? We see children learning by doing, not memorizing. We see them mining for meaning, framing and reframing, PLAYING and MAKING. The store is real at City & Country. The kids really run it.</p> <p>Let me end with question I am frequently asked – Isn’t it impossible really to measure creativity. Well, really, you can.  Many of the best companies, the best schools, the best sports programs and the worst TV reality shows assess creativity all the time and pretty much in the same way. They do it through Portfolio, Performance and Expert Juries.</p> <p>I call it the Julliard School methodology.</p> <p>The smartest companies and the most cutting-edge startups don’t care if you went to Harvard, Stanford or Yale. They want to see what you can do and how you do it. They want to see your portfolio of projects first. And then they want you to actually perform in front of them—to work a challenge with others in real time. The outcome is open-ended and the result doesn’t matter. They want to see how you play.</p> <p>And they judges? Research shows that an expert jury in the specific field does a great job of identifying excellence and exceptionalism. Whether its Dancing with Stars, the Olympics, or Google, you can assess creativity—but first you must value it.</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <p>Let me now get my friend and mentor Tucker Veimeister up here…</p>, 16 Jan 2014 08:36:00 -0500creativityprogressive educationstartupsentrepreneurcreativie intelligenceframingplayknowledge miningmaker culturescalingHow Progressive Education Fosters Creativity & Startup-Entrepreneurialism<p>There was a packed house at the Tishman Auditorium Friday night for an amazing panel on how Progressive Education promotes the kind of creative skills that people need to make them more entrepreneurial. I gave a speech and hosted the event which you can see here:</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> <p>My friend and mentor, the great designer Tucker Viemeister, was the first to show me the connection between Progressive Education and Design Thinking (they are almost identical) and he brought me on board to help City & Country school celebrate its 100th anniversary. </p> <p>New School President David Van Zandt was kind enough to lend C & C its Tishman Auditorium (New School’s roots are in Progressive Education as well, thanks to John Dewey) and he gave a wonderful, funny, introduction.</p> <p>There were amazing talks by Charles Adler, co-founder of Kickstarter, Lori Brewslow, Director of the Teaching & Learning Lab at MIT, David Rockwell who designs everything, including playgrounds, Mark Pinney, CFO of Vimeo, Eric Freitag, Director of Product Innovation at RG/A, Kate Turley, the Pincipal of City & Country, an extraordinary person, </p> <p>We’ve all been to lots of big events like this but this, for me, was one of the very best.</p> <p>So take  moment to think about the connection between Progressive Education and Innovation and Economics. It’s critically important to get away from memorizing answers to problems and testing for them to move on to teaching people how to think creatively about understanding what is meaningful in a situation, being open-ended in facing challenges, and making the new. </p>, 11 Jan 2014 09:36:02 -0500City and Country schoolcreativitycreative intelligenceDavid Van ZandtThe Power of Progressive EducationDavid RockwellTucker ViemeisterRG/AvimeoAngkor Wat at dawn.<img src=""/><br/> <br/><img src=""/><br/> <br/><p>Angkor Wat at dawn.</p>, 05 Jan 2014 02:13:03 -0500CQ Makes Best Books in Creativity & Innovation for 2013<p>Creative Intelligence made this short-list for best books in 2013 on innovation and creativity. CEO-Read focuses on books for businesss execs and managers who want to raise their creativity game. Is that you?</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> <p>I’m in good company on the list. David and Tom Kelley’s Creative Confidence is on the list as well.</p> <p>Back in 2010, IBM did a global survey of 1500 CEOs. For the first time, the CEOs said that creativity was the most important leadership ability. Creativity is more important today for senior managers than operations, marketing or strategy.</p> <p>Leadership plays two central roles in promoting creativity. First, CEOs must understand what is meaningful to their companies’ customers. This is not the same thing as conventional strategy. Knowing what Frank Knight, the Chicago School of Economics founder called “higher order wants,” not just needs, is key in orienting your business. Lou Gerstner saved IBM in the 1980s by talking with its customers and discovering that they wanted help, not heavy metal big computers, from IBM. He turned it into a service company.</p> <p>Knowing how to mine meaning is a key creative competency.</p> <p>Second, curating creativity and then scaling what offers the most value and the greatest chance of success is a key CEO/leadership capability. Nearly all the great labs and great companies that innovate well have terrific curators of creativity who supply finance, markets and the making stuff to what they believe will provide value. In the art world, these curators are patrons. In sports, coaches. In startups, venture capitalists (or crowdfunders as in Kickstarter).</p> <p>My thanks tot he curators at CEO-Read for including Creative Intelligence in their list of Best Books for 2013.</p>, 15 Dec 2013 16:48:00 -0500CEO-ReadCreative IntelligenceCreative ConfidenceDavid KelleyTom Kelley.IBMmanagementcreativemornings: At our Zürich chapter, Fabian Pfortmüller...<iframe src="" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0"></iframe><br/><br/><p><a class="tumblr_blog" href="" target="_blank">creativemornings</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>At our Zürich chapter, <strong>Fabian Pfortmüller</strong> speaks on the meaning of “design with a conscience.”</p> <p>One of the founders behind <a href="" target="_blank">Holstee</a>, a company championing a movement to encourage mindful living. Starting with Holstee Print, they collaborate with artists to bring inspiration and meaning to offices and homes across the globe.</p> <p>Fabian speaks about the journey behind his startup, what it means to support “design with a conscience”, and the story of the beautiful Holstee manifesto.</p> </blockquote>, 14 Dec 2013 13:03:07 -0500See How Progressive Education Generates Creativity and Creates Entrepreneurs<p> A huge reaction against teaching to the test is underway and the US is desperately seating for a new educational curriculum to promote creativity in its children. Ironically, there is already a 100-year old methodology that is a wonderful way for K-12 children to increase their creative capacities–Progressive Education. It is no accident that Jeff Bezos, Larry Page and Sergey Brin all went to Montessori school. Many other startup founders majored in Design or Art in college, learning in very similar classroom environments.</p> <p>Creativity can be learned. We can all learn to be more creative. And many of us can learn to be exceptionally creative.</p> <p>In my book, Creative Intelligence, I show how creativity is directly linked to entrepreneurialism. We can all learn creative competencies that increase economic value, whether it is in the starting up of a new company or the launch of new services and products that engage customers. </p> <p>In early January, City & Country, one of the earliest Progressive Education-based schools in New York City and in the US is celebrating its centennial birthday and if you can, you should come.  The event will be in the beautiful modernist Tishman Auditorium, designed by Joseph Urban,  at The New School (also founded as a Progressive Education style school with John Dewey as its leader).</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> <p>There will be great speakers, from Kickstarter, the Rockwell Group, Vimeo, RGA, MIT, Kid-O and yours truly. </p> <p>Progressive Education=Creativity=Entrepreneurship</p> <p></p>, 11 Dec 2013 12:34:00 -0500City & CountrycreativityCreative IntelligenceBezosLarry PageSergey Bringoogle