Listen to the Kids….

365: 2012/07/25 - we become new

365: 2012/07/25 – we become new (Photo credit: Foxtongue)

Thanks again to Women in Science and Engineering who invited me to present at their 2013 conference Imagine, Innovate, Inspire held at the University of Toronto this weekend.  My 90-minute interactive keynote: Language to Leverage Creativity: Prepare to Nuance your Networking was fashioned so participants would:

  • learn something new that would help them get to know their creativity (so they could use it to support innovation)
  • network with new people
  • have fun.

Accomplished?  From the feedback:  yes, yes, and yes.

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Keynote debrief

(After each experience I reflect on questions such as what surprises me, what’s great, what’s next, etc.)
For this keynote what surprises me is that these how to’s remain teachable.
How to:

  • access imagination
  • get new ideas easily
  • receive others’ new thinking
  • use specific questions that invite collaboration

It’s great to be reminded that people feel:

  • relieved and encouraged knowing they don’t have to be creative to do creative things.
  • inspired and supported using positive interacting skills that build on their strengths.

Think there’s room for this kind of behaviour in work scenarios?  Wouldn’t it be nice, eh?  How to, too.

Taking it further

Inspired by the group I was reminded of this poem. Even though one might think creativity is a magic wand, and people always appreciate it, it’s important to remember there’s effort involved and all does not necessarily fall gently, neatly and easily into place. It’s best to be ready for that moving forward.


For the young who want to

By Marge Piercy

Talent is what they say
you have after the novel
is published and favorably
reviewed. Beforehand what
you have is a tedious
delusion, a hobby like knitting.


Work is what you have done
after the play is produced
and the audience claps.
Before that friends keep asking
when you are planning to go
out and get a job.


Genius is what they know you
had after the third volume
of remarkable poems. Earlier
they accuse you of withdrawing,
ask why you don’t have a baby,
call you a bum.


The reason people want M.F.A.’s,
take workshops with fancy names
when all you can really
learn is a few techniques,
typing instructions and some-
body else’s mannerisms


is that every artist lacks
a license to hang on the wall
like your optician, your vet
proving you may be a clumsy sadist
whose fillings fall into the stew
but you’re certified a dentist.


The real writer is one
who really writes. Talent
is an invention like phlogiston
after the fact of fire.
Work is its own cure. You have to
like it better than being loved.

Marge Piercy, “For the young who want to” from Circles on the Water: Selected Poems of Marge Piercy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982). First appeared in Mother Jones V, no. 4 (May 1980). Copyright © 1980, 1982 by Marge Piercy and Middlemarsh, Inc. Used by permission of the Wallace Literary Agency, Inc.


Let me know if you’d like a keynote like this one to vitalize your next conference.

Creativity = New ideas, New decisions, New actions

©2013 Marci Segal, MS, Creativity and Change Leadership; Freeing leaders thinking so they can create new futures.

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