Author Archive

PCI is Rolling!

February 16, 2009

For those of you who are following the development and roll-out of the PCI Adventure, we are on our way to a week in Portland, Oregon, where we will be delivering the experience to a health care organization in support of their new organizational values, which include innovation.

We are very excited.

Here we go!

The Space You’re In

December 3, 2008

“All creativity happens somewhere—in a study, in a studio, on a stage, in a garret. That space is where the creation comes to life, where the work actually happens—or doesn’t.”
Phil Cousineau, Stoking the Creative Fires: 9 Ways to Rekindle Passion & Imagination.

I love this quote. Something about the idea that there’s always a “somewhere” where creativity happens. I think I like this because creativity seems so ethereal sometimes, it’s nice to think about it being anchored to a real place.

But then I look at my desk, where I do most of my creative work, and I’m struck by its confines. I inherited this desk very used (that is, free) at a time when I was so broke that free was almost expensive.

I’m observing now (not for the first time, but in a new way) that the top of my desk is pinched and crowded. Papers are stacked everywhere. Computer cords wrap my ankles. The wall presses in. Worst of all, I sit with my back to the window. 

Cousineau says “where the work actually happens.” And I don’t think he was talking about “work” as in a job. But maybe so. Now that I reflect upon the quote, I think it’s time for me to turn and face the work as I work. I hope that means, more often than not: as I create.

So my question to you is: what’s your work/job space like? What’s the space you’re in when you’re working in that space?

How does your space support you in your work?

by Amy Frazier


November 7, 2008

Last night Valdo and I joined a session on creative brainstorming, exploring the connections between imagination, the outdoors, adventure, and sustainability – and how they apply to teamwork.

The techniques were simple: we took colored 3 x 5 cards and filled them up, by quickly jotting down anything that jumped to mind, one topic at a time. We then offered up our suggestions, and one of the facilitators scribed the words onto large pieces of paper. The final step was brainstorming associations among the topics. After a few short visualizations, we were done.

The simplicity belies the effectiveness. At the end of the evening, after all the planned activities were done, a conversation arose “spontaneously” that allowed us to go deep, quickly, about the dynamics of teamwork.

I don’t think we would have had that level of conversation if we hadn’t been priming the pump first.

For me, once again it was a reminder that the creative process isn’t always evident on the surface. Filling cards with words was moderately interesting. The conversation that emerged when the planned activities were done, showed me how really valuable it had been.

by Amy Frazier


November 3, 2008

What’s the relationship between creativity and artistry? On the one hand, artists have to master the nuts and bolts of technique, and often this doesn’t really feel “creative” in the general sense of the word. They’re not creating anything new in those moments, one could say; they’re just practicing their scales. Part of what an artist does is not blindingly creative.

On the other hand, there are amazingly creative people who don’t consider themselves “artists” in the formal sense of the word. Clearly, being creative and being an artist are different things at different moments.

Here’s something that recently crossed my path in an article at the Harvard Business School Working Knowledge site called What Artists Know About Leadership, by Sharon Daloz Parks. She lists the power and qualities of an artist as: “the ability to work on an edge, in an independent relationship with the medium, with a capacity for creative improvisation.” This seems to put the choreographer and the project manager on pretty even footing as far as process is concerned. So then the question is: how do all of us develop those creative muscles?

by Amy Frazier