Innovation Workshop

Invent The Future

Creativity and innovation are the life-blood of  organisations and companies, regardless of whether your goal is to make breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence, promote human rights, design and build sustainable cities or deliver better healthcare.

Do you want your organisation to flourish in the future? Do you want to be a leader in your field? Are you ready to explore new ways of thinking? Are you ready to make the future happen? 

Let's Change This!

WHAT YOU WIL GET FROM THIS WORKSHOP

CREATIVITY & IMAGINATION

Develop and cultivate your ability to find new and imaginative solutions to challenges and thrive in the face of change.

COGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY

Ability to quickly move between more deliberate/ rational thought-processes and more generative, creative states whenever you need to.

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PRODUCTIVE FOCUS

Enhanced capacity to shift from stressed and distracted multi-tasking to more optimal, enjoyable and healthy flow states.

PRACTICAL TOOLS FOR EVERYDAY

Simple, practical 'anytime/ anyplace' tools that anyone can use to open up new possibilities for action and problem solving.

WHO IS THIS WORKSHOP FOR?

For Companies / Organisations

The workshop can be tailor-made for teams, companies and organisations. Please get in contact to discuss your requirements and how we can help.

For Individuals

There are a number of scheduled dates for this workshop which are open to everyone to participate. See the events section for details.

Creativity & Innovation

The image of the iconic genius – Einstein, Marie Curie, Mozart, Shakespeare, Frida Kahlo, da Vinci – with extraordinary creative achievements remains powerful in the popular imagination. Rightly so. As well as transforming our cultures and understanding of the world, they provide us with a compelling vision of human potential. In doing so, they also hint at our own possibilities. But they can also serve to intimidate and make our own creative efforts seem trivial and pedestrian in comparison.

While we may or may not be the next Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs or JK Rowling, this is simply the wrong measuring stick to use. Rather, the question is: How can we cultivate and maximise our own creativity and innovation in our own lives and in our own particular circumstance? Or, put another way: how can we develop a creative mindset and habits which naturally permeate every aspect of our personal and professional lives, whether it be in the role of scientist, parent, politician, manager, programmer or community activist?

Workshop Overview

While the ‘creative genius’ might produce culturally recognised breakthrough results – and there is a tremendous amount we can learn from their lives and practices – the reality is that we all have access to the same basic underlying cognitive processes and brain structure. And far from being a ‘passive receiver’ and ‘objective interpreter’ of external sensory data, the human brain is constantly (during both waking and sleeping) developing, testing and refining rich, dynamic, generative mental models of the world around us. Discerning patterns. Making associations. Determining what is important. Dismissing what can be ignored. Running scenarios. Creating possibilities for action.

On a day-to-day basis we are aware (conscious) of some aspects of these models and how they enable us to play the piano, finish a loved one’s sentences or have a Eureka moment of scientific or artistic insight. Yet, the deep underlying neural processes which make this possible go on automatically  under the surface; vastly unappreciated, totally non-consciously and depressingly under exploited. Becoming more aware of how our brains function enables us to manage them more effectively and create new ways of perceiving, processing and acting; to use all we’ve got and not just be limited to what we know already.

While the brain is immensely complex, this workshop focuses on user simplicity. It provides simple, effective, anytime/ anyplace tools and techniques to quickly access more generative, creative and productive states. It enables participants to engage their natural, in-built (and normally non-conscious) imagination and curiosity to explore new connections and find innovative solutions to problems.

Approach

First, a few words on what this workshop is not. There are realms of research and literature on different types of innovation, the importance of creating the right organisational culture and incentives for creativity to flourish,  innovation management models, etc. The broad thrust of these is that while creativity has an important place, innovation is essentially a process to be managed; more science than art.  There is also an emphasis on creativity and innovation as a team/ social process (and it most certainly is), with a variety of tools and techniques to match. All of these issues are of central importance to organisations. However, they are not the focus of this workshop.

Whereas innovation and creativity are often portrayed as closely related but separate (‘innovation = creativity + work’), here the terms are used much more interchangeably and fluidly, as a clear distinction between the ‘ideation’ and the ‘execution’ phase of innovation is often artificial. Indeed, a wonderful irony is that one of the most prolific inventors of all-time – Thomas Edison – is widely recognised as being the first to ‘industrialise’ the research and development process. And yet, despite his often cited quote that “genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration”, he also took naps every afternoon for years where he specifically cultivated lucid, day-dreaming like states to let his brain find new solutions to the design challenges he was working on. He was far from the only well-known inventor to regularly use such techniques. Thus, creativity and innovation are not only processes and stages; they are also a mindset and attitude to be cultivated,  as there is always the possibility to do something in a new, better and more rewarding way, even in the most routine and mundane tasks. 

The workshop aims to enhance the cognitive flexibility of participants. To recognise and embrace the innate abilities we have to change our perceptions. To be able to switch quickly between more rational, deliberate thinking and more generative, alternate states. To shift from distracted multi-tasking to productive focus. To explore the new and different, rather than merely repeat the old and habitual. In big ways and in small ways. To use all of the vast cognitive toolkit that is available to us to help us thrive in the face of change.

The workshop combines our modern understanding of the functioning of the brain (particularly drawing on neuroscience, but with elements of other cognitive sciences) with a diverse range of visualisation, awareness shifting, state change and auto suggestion tools and techniques. Many of the tools and techniques will probably be new to participants and surprising in their power and simplicity. Even more exciting, however, is when participants recognise that they actually already use some variation on the technique, but were largely unaware that they did so. By identifying this, people are then able to cultivate and exploit this innate skill more deliberately and consistently.

With one or two exceptions (especially related to sleep), the tools can be used ‘on the go’ (anytime/ anyplace) and easily become a normal part of the everyday cognitive toolkit. Although they are simple (really anyone can use them), as with everything else in life, they are only effective if they are practiced and used. But, the greatest benefit comes to people who understand the underlying principles, take the tools and techniques, modify them and shape them to their own goals, priorities and needs. To innovate. 

While the workshop is aimed at organisations and for professional development, participants inevitably recognise the transferability of the skills to other aspects of their lives, as the emphasis is on new ways of thinking, rather than on what to think about.

Next Steps

If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity and host this workshop in your company or organisation, then please get in contact for further information.

I will be happy to answer any of your questions and provide an introduction to the topics that we will address in the workshop.

Some Practicalities

Timing and Length

The workshop can last from 3 or 4 hours to 3 or 4 days. It depends on your goals and time availability. Obviously, a shorter session only allows for a ‘taster’, whereas a longer session means that participants can gain a more in-depth understanding. 

Location

The workshop can be done in-person or online. However, if this is done online it is highly recommended to divide the content into a number of shorter sessions or modules, as issues of concentration quickly occur.

Participants

The number of participants is entirely flexible, although clearly the smaller the group, the greater the opportunity for interaction.

Conversely, the greater the number of participants from a particular team, the more traction the tools, techniques and ways of thinking will get in your organisation.

Flexibility

While there are a number of core concepts and tools, the specific workshop will be tailored to your needs.

Costs

Costs depend upon the length of the workshop. A discount is available for not-for-profit organisations.

CONTACT FORM

GET IN TOUCH

Please do not hesitate to get in contact for any questions, enquiries or suggestions.

Either use the Contact Form or by email:  ben.elers@unconscious-innovation.com

If you wish to stay in contact and receive updates, articles and information, please subscribe to our mailing list.

 

Services Offered: Change Through Unconscious Innovation

WHat you will get

CREATIVITY & IMAGINATION

Develop and cultivate your ability to find new and imaginative solutions to challenges and thrive in the face of change.

COGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY

Ability to quickly move between more deliberate/ rational thought-processes and more generative, creative states.

U

PRODUCTIVE FOCUS

Enhanced capacity to shift from stressed and distracted multi-tasking to more optimal, enjoyable and healthy flow states.

PRACTICAL TOOLS FOR EVERYDAY

Simple, practical 'anytime/ anyplace' tools that anyone can use to open up new possibilities for action and problem solving.

WHO IS THIS FOR?

For Companies / Organisations

The workshop can be tailor-made for teams, companies and organisations. Please get in contact to discuss your requirements and how we can help.

For Individuals

There are a number of scheduled dates for this workshop which are open to everyone to participate. See the events section for details.

Creativity & Innovation

The image of the iconic genius – Einstein, Mozart, Shakespeare, da Vinci – with extraordinary creative achievements remains powerful in the popular imagination. Rightly so. As well as transforming our cultures and understanding of the world, they provide us with a compelling vision of human potential. In doing so, they also hint at our own possibilities. But they can also serve to intimidate and make our own creative efforts seem trivial and pedestrian in comparison.

While we may or may not be the next Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs or JK Rowling, this is simply the wrong measuring stick to use. Rather, the question is: How can we cultivate and maximise our own creativity and innovation in our own lives and in our own particular circumstance? Or, put another way: how can we develop a creative mindset and habits which naturally permeate every aspect of our personal and professional lives, whether it be in the role of scientist, parent, politician, manager, programmer or community activist?

Workshop Overview

While the ‘creative genius’ might produce culturally recognised breakthrough results – and there is a tremendous amount we can learn from their lives and practices – the reality is that we all have access to the same basic underlying cognitive processes and brain structure. And far from being a ‘passive receiver’ and ‘objective interpreter’ of external sensory data, the human brain is constantly (during both waking and sleeping) developing, testing and refining rich, dynamic, generative mental models of the world around us. Discerning patterns. Making associations. Determining what is important. Dismissing what can be ignored. Running scenarios. Creating possibilities for action. 

On a day-to-day basis we are aware (conscious) of some aspects of these models and how they enable us to play the piano, finish a loved one’s sentences or have a Eureka moment of scientific or artistic insight. Yet, the deep underlying neural processes which make this possible go on automatically  under the surface; vastly unappreciated, totally non-consciously and depressingly under exploited. Becoming more aware of how our brains function enables us to manage them more effectively and create new ways of perceiving, processing and acting; to use all we’ve got and not just be limited to what we know already.

While the brain is immensely complex, this workshop focuses on user simplicity. It provides simple, effective, anytime/ anyplace tools and techniques to quickly access more generative, creative and productive states. It enables participants to engage their natural, in-built imagination and curiosity to explore new connections and find innovative solutions to problems.

Approach

First, a few words on what this workshop is not. There are realms of research and literature on different types of innovation, the importance of creating the right organisational culture and incentives for creativity to flourish,  innovation management models, etc. The broad thrust of these is that while creativity has an important place, innovation is essentially a process to be managed; more science than art.  There is also an emphasis on creativity and innovation as a team/ social process (and it most certainly is), with a variety of tools and techniques to match. All of these issues are of central importance to organisations. However, they are not the focus of this workshop.

Whereas innovation and creativity are often portrayed as closely related but separate (‘innovation = creativity + work’), here the terms are used much more interchangeably and fluidly, as a clear distinction between the ‘ideation’ and the ‘execution’ phase of innovation is often artificial. Indeed, a wonderful irony is that one of the most prolific inventors of all-time – Thomas Edison – is widely recognised as being the first to ‘industrialise’ the research and development process. And yet, despite his often cited quote that “innovation is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration”, he also took naps every afternoon for years where he specifically cultivated lucid, day-dreaming like states to let his brain find new solutions to the design challenges he was working on. He was far from the only well-known inventor to regularly use such techniques. Thus, creativity and innovation are not only processes and stages; they are also a mindset and attitude to be cultivated,  as there is always the possibility to do something in a new, better and more rewarding way, even in the most routine and mundane tasks.

The workshop aims to enhance the cognitive flexibility of participants. To recognise and embrace the innate abilities we have to change our perceptions. To be able to switch quickly between more rational, deliberate thinking and more generative, alternate states. To shift from distracted multi-tasking to productive focus. To explore the new and different, rather than merely repeat the old and habitual. In big ways and in small ways. To use all of the vast cognitive toolkit that is available to us to help us thrive in the face of change.

The workshop combines our modern understanding of the functioning of the brain (particularly drawing on neuroscience, but with elements of other cognitive sciences) with a diverse range of visualisation, awareness shifting, state change and auto suggestion tools and techniques. Many of the tools and techniques will probably be new to participants and surprising in their power and simplicity. Even more exciting, however, is when participants recognise that they actually already use some variation on the technique, but were largely unaware that they did so. By identifying this, people are then able to cultivate and exploit this innate skill more deliberately and consistently.

With one or two exceptions (especially related to sleep), the tools can be used ‘on the go’ (anytime/ anyplace) and easily become a normal part of the everyday cognitive toolkit. Although they are simple (really anyone can use them), as with everything else in life, they are only effective if they are practiced and used. But, the greatest benefit comes to people who understand the underlying principles, take the tools and techniques, modify them and shape them to their own goals, priorities and needs. To innovate.

While the workshop is aimed at organisations and for professional development, participants inevitably recognise the transferability of the skills to other aspects of their lives, as the emphasis is on new ways of thinking, rather than on what to think about.

Next Steps

If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity and host this workshop in your company or organisation, then please get in contact for further information.

I will be happy to answer any of your questions and provide an introduction to the topics that we will address in the workshop.

Some Practicalities

Timing and Length

The workshop can last from 3 or 4 hours to 3 or 4 days. It depends on your goals and time availability. Obviously, a shorter session only allows for a ‘taster’, whereas a longer session means that participants can gain a more in-depth understanding.

Location

The workshop can be done in-person or online. However, if this is done online it is highly recommended to divide the content into a number of shorter sessions or modules, as issues of concentration quickly occur.

Participants

The number of participants is entirely flexible, although clearly the smaller the group, the greater the opportunity for interaction.

Conversely, the greater the number of participants from a particular team, the more traction the tools, techniques and ways of thinking will get in your organisation.

Flexibility

While there are a number of core concepts and tools, the specific workshop will be tailored to your needs.

Costs

Costs depend upon the length of the workshop. A discount is available for not-for-profit organisations.

Interested?

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you want to discuss how I can help you and your teams.

Photos: Thank you to Jennifer Griffin @dotpg and & Mo @Meid88 @Unsplash.

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