Applied Creativity

Exposing the nonprofit sector to the actual science of creative organizations

Truly creative multi-disciplinary teams possess a repertoire of skills, attitudes, and processes to create new pathways forward.


Tina Seelig, Ph.D, in InsightOut" says that creativty requires a complex set of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and actions, just like other domains, including math, science, music, and baseball.

If that's the case, why is creativity as a capability so hard to attain across organizations? There is an abundant body of knowledge and empirical research spanning decades demonstrating this insight. One reason is that many leaders struggle to understand that practical deliberate creativity is the primary mover of any collaboration process, including those classified under "design thinking." However, without those skills, attitudes, and mindsets, any collaboration process can fail.

So why the massive confusion?

  • Extreme time constraints hold nonprofit leaders back from ever making the connection between creativity and strategy.
  • Pervasive misinfomation behind creativity, brainstorming, and ideation by uninformed journalists and non-practictioners.

Time constraints

Nonprofit leaders suffer from massive time constraints to correct leading myths and misconceptions surrounding creativity and its connection with strategy and multi-disciplinary teams. On top of that, massive headline reading, and a noisy consulting world adds to the radio noise.

Creativity ≠ brainstorming

Any assertion or implication that creativity = brainstorming is a 1940s/50s assumption that even Alex Osborn, the father of brainstorming, had surpassed. He knew that creativity required other activities beyond traditional brainstorming alone. Hundreds of variations of brainstorming exist to support the entire creative process.

It had already been established that other activities like problem framing and evaluation would surpass the need for just raw ideas alone.

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