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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Creativity Retreats in Italy. Jamna's questions (cont'd)

I quite like this conversation with Jamna.
It puts me on the spot and I learn about myself as I write....

She writesMichaeI I have a question for you...

If I or someone else came to you and said. I don't paint, I'm not a photographer and I don't write, except for when communicating with people via email. but I need to come up with better more compelling ideas for growing my business and doing things differently and stand out from my competitors. I also need my staff to be more creative too. As an expert in creativity can you help me?
I'd be interested your thoughts around this.

Michael; This is a very easy question to answer. Imagine, if you will, a world without creativity. No art, music, poetry, literature, beautiful architecture or design. Such a place would be dark and sinister and we could not exist in it; wouldn't want to. We would quickly become mad. So it can be argued that without art in all its manifestations, we would not exist on this planet. We would have curled up and died off a couple of million years ago and disappeared like the dinosaurs.

But instead we have evolved with a desire and a compulsion to create beyond ourselves. For our species, this is a creative planet.
We all of us know too, that we are born with this creative drive. As adults we watch young children create and play furiously all of their waking hours if they are allowed to and then...and then? Well at a certain age we expect them to get serious, to become rational and we begin to test and judge them according to adult, worldly, constraints.
All this is common knowledge but my answer to you is simply this; that this creative part of us never disappears, just waits for us to return like an old faithful dog. And that's why I say it is easy once you know how to say hello once more to part of yourself you have become blind to.
As for business, (you mention your staff), this is easy too. Just assure them that it is OK to play, to laugh and to create a mess, and then do it with them. Assure them too that they are not sacrificing anything, that their rational part will not be destroyed. You see, both the rational parts and the poetic parts of our brains are necessary in our lives. We just have to
learn how to utilise either at need. We choose.
A lot of forward thinking companies are waking up to and giving credence to (and putting into practice) this fundamental truth and are finding that their employees are happier, feel valued as important subjects rather than objects in the workplace.
Workshops and retreats are useful in this regard to get these ideas across to management level. It is happening slowly.

"To find out more about Starstone's creativity retreats, please visit" or contact Michael at

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