Volume 2, May 2001: Innovation

Keyzine: An E-zine for Leaders about the People Side of Business

Publisher: © Key Associates, LLC, 2001 ISSN # 1545-8873

“If you put fences around people, what you get is sheep.”

“The innovator has to be a warrior. People are far better critics than they are creators.”


  • What’s Hot in Leadership
  • Frequently Asked Questions from Leaders
  • Meetings and Courses Online
  • Useful Websites & Newsletters
  • Articles/Publications
  • Maintaining Yourself as a Leader

What's Hot in Leadership

  • Information replacing authority.
  • Managing ideas, not resources.
  • Using a balance of imagination and logic.

Frequently Asked Questions

“How can I get my team to be more creative?”
Get them laughing. Laughter comes from making novel connections in the mind; a HA-HA can become an AHA. Don't reject the ideas that people laugh at. Suspend the voice of judgment. Proliferate ideas before deciding.
“How can I get ‘outside-the-box’?”
Use tools that seek connections between things that don’t normally go together: look outside your field for answers; reverse your assumptions about the issue; use metaphors and analogies (“How is my problem like a monster?” for example); look up a random word in the dictionary and search for a connection. Ask a child or someone who is totally outside your team. For instructions on how to use some of these tools, see Creativity Exercises.
“Why do so many good ideas die on the vine?”
They get laughed out. Or they lacked an Idea Sponsor, a mercenary manager to shepherd the creative idea and make sure it turned into an innovation.
“Is it possible to be creative in face of a budget?”
You cannot cost-cut your way into the future; a successful future depends on innovation. However, a budgetary challenge can heighten creative tension. But be careful of too much tension, which can heighten fear, then shut down creativity. Using a creativity course that we teach, staff can identify millions in savings in a few weeks. See Creative Tools and Methods.

Meetings and Courses Online

The Innovation Convergence Network 2001 meets in Orlando at the Disney Institute, June 3-6. Call (407) 827-4455.

The Creative Problem-Solving Institute meets June 16-21 in Buffalo, NY. Call (716) 689-2176.

Join those interested in Appreciative Inquiry – a dialogue process of learning together – in Baltimore, 9/30-10/3. Enroll here.

Did you know the average business traveler will spend …

  • 3 years in flight
  • 2 years traveling to and from airports
  • 28 months waiting for scheduled flights
  • 11 months waiting for connecting flights
  • 3 months searching for a parking space

Source: National Business Travel Association (an argument for virtual meetings from Placeware)

Useful Websites & Newsletters

EBrary is the library of the future. Free searches and full text viewing of books, periodicals and printed information. Get on the list to be informed of their opening.

Visit Paul Plsek’s site at Directed Creativity. Paul says that we have solved most of the easy-to-solve problems in industry with analytical tools. What remains are the intractable ones – the hard-to-solve problems that require creative thinking.

ThinkSmart includes a library, an idea workout gym, and learning modules. Take their instruction on mindmapping in 8 easy steps.

Listen in on an Innovation Conversation held by Fast Company. A major interest is maintaining a culture or ecosystem that sustains innovation.

Need to borrow someone else’s art? Have a look at:


  • Amabile, Teresa. Growing Up Creative: Nurturing a Life of Creativity. The Creative Educatin Foundation, 1992.
  • Buzan, Tony. Use Both Sides of Your Brain. New York: Harper Collins, 1993.
  • Cameron, Julia. The Artist’s Way. New York: Putnam, 1992.
  • Capacchione, Lucia. The Creative Journal: The Art of Finding Yourself. Ohio University: Swallow Press, 1979.
  • Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper & Row, 1990.
  • deBono, Edward. Serious Creativity. New York: Harper Collins, 1992.
  • deBono, Edward. Surpetition: Going Beyond Competition. New York: Harper Business, 1992.
  • deBono, Edward. Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step. New York: Harper & Row, 1970.
  • Fritz, Robert. The Path of Least Resistance; Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1989.
  • Gardner, Howard. Creating Minds. New York: Basic Books, 1993.
  • Goleman, Daniel; Kaufman, Paul & Ray, Michael. The Creative Spirit, NY: Dutton, 1992.
  • Gordon, William J. Synectics: The Development of Creative Capacity. New York: Harper & Row, 1961.
  • Higgins, James M. 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques. Winter Park, FL: New Management Publishing Company, 1994.
  • Koestler, Arthur. The Act of Creation. Great Britain: Anchor Press, 1967.
  • Kriegel, Robert J. & Patter, Louis. If It Ain’t Broke … Break It! New York: Warner, 1991.
  • Kuhn, Robert Lawrence (ed.). Handbook for Creative and Innovative Managers. New York: McGraw Hill, 1988.
  • Morris, Jill. Creative Breakthroughs: Tap the Power of Your Unconscious Mind. New York: Warner Books, 1992.
  • Nachmanovitch, Stephen. Free Play. New York: Putnam, 1990.
  • Perkins, DN. The Mind’s Best Work. Harvard University Press, 1981.
  • Plsek, Paul E. Creativity, Innovation, and Quality. Milwaukee: ASQC Quality Press, 1997.

  • Richards, Dick. Artful Work: Awakening Joy, Meaning, and Commiement in the Workplace. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 1995.

  • Robinson, Alan G. & Stern, Sam. Corporate Creativity. San Francisco: Bennett Koehler, 1997.
  • Russell, Peter & Evans, Roger. The Creative Process. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1992.

  • Sternberg, Robert J. (Ed.) The Nature of Creativity. Boston: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
  • Thompson, Charles “Chick”. What a Great Idea! New York: Harper Perrenial, 1992.
  • Van Gundy, Arthur. Techniques of Structured Problem-Solving. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1988.
  • Van Gundy, Arthur. Idea Power. New York: AMACOM, 1992.
  • Von Oech, Roger. A Whack on the Side of the Head. New York: Warner, 1990.
  • Von Oech, Roger. Creative Whack Pack. Stanford: U.S. Games Systems, Inc., 1989.
  • Wujec, Tom. Pumping Ions: Games and Exercises to Flex Your Mind. New York: Doubleday, 1988.
  • Wycoff, Joyce. Mind Mapping. Berkeley Publishing Group, 1991.

Maintaining Yourself as a Leader

Fear is the vicious thief of creativity. Eradicate all forms of it, including the little voice within yourself that has an opinion on everything. Someone once said. “I may not be a good writer, but I am a fearless one.” Take courage to put your ideas out into the world. The only failure would be not living up to the creative in you.


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