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Creativity’s Dark Night of the Soul: Success out of Struggle

The Value of Perseverance By now you know that I’m a huge fan of Project Runway. I love seeing what the designers come up with each week and I like imagining what I’d do to meet each challenge if I were competing.

But even more, I love witnessing the contestant’s creative process and soaking up the lessons that come along with that insider’s look – and this season did not disappoint. 

Michelle Lesniak, season 11’s Project Runway winner, had the unique pleasure of publically riding out one of the most intense creative roller coasters in the show’s history.

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Creativity Saboteurs – Busting Through Our Internal & External Nay-Sayers

Three Resources for Navigating Fear Related to CreativityIt doesn’t matter if we’re just beginning to explore our creative process or have been at it for years, internal (and external) saboteurs still tend to be the biggest roadblock to creative success – affecting our ability to even get started, see creative projects through to finish and generally be as prolific as we’d like.

But the good news is that we never have to banish our saboteurs completely, we can simply learn how to better navigate and manage them.

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Creative Success in Business – It’s All in Your Head

What it takes to be successfulA recent episode of comedian Dana Gould’s podcast, The Dana Gould Hour, starts with a sketch titled, “Political Talk with Two Guys from Boston – a working man’s look at the sociopolitical issues of our day.”

The premise is simple: Two heavily accented Boston guys, Johnny and Robby (who work in the air conditioning repair industry), go against stereotype, sprinkling their commentary with intellectual and philosophical gems. 

In this particular interaction, the news of the day leads into a discussion about creative types and the mindset required for business success. Johnny says:

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The Realities of Innovation – What Silicon Valley has to Teach Us About Risk & Reward

What we can learn about innovating from start upsAlthough there’s currently a call for greater innovation in the U.S., and although many people (including myself) are predicting an upcoming Age of Innovation, there’s no question that true innovation not only does happen regularly in certain places around the globe, but also seems to breed even more innovation.

Okay, maybe in one place in particular. Namely, Silicon Valley.

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Creativity vs. Innovation: What’s the Difference? What’s the Innovative Process?

The Forumla for InnovationThere are many articles already written on the difference between creativity and innovation. In researching the topic for myself, I was interested to find that I agreed only with a small handful of writers (at least, of those I was able to find). 

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What I’ve Learned About Creativity from Watching Project Runway

What You can Learn About Creativity from Project Runway

Some of you already know that I have a love-hate relationship with television. 

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Creativity at Work: Innovation Exercise – Borrow & Balance

How to Develop Innovative IdeasIn the last Creativity at Work: Innovation Exercises post, I shared the practice of using questions related to What’s Broken? What’s Brilliant? as a way to lay the groundwork for innovation (developing a new idea, creation, offering or process that adds value).

Broken & Brilliant types of questions prepare you to come up with ideas that add value by helping you find the gaps (what’s missing) within the space in which you want to innovate.

While you’ll likely begin to come up with innovative ideas just by playing with Broken & Brilliant questions alone, the next exercise – Borrow & Balance – will give you just a little more structure for starting the innovative idea generation process.

Borrow & Balance types of questions work particularly well as a second step toward innovating because:

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Creativity at Work: Innovation Exercise – Broken & Brilliant

Questions for InnovatorsNow, that we’ve pondered, What is Innovation? in order to come up with a working definition (A New Idea, Creation, Offering or Process that Adds Value), it’s time to ask the big duh question:

How do you come up with that new idea, creation, offering or process that adds value?

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The Reality TV Creativity Challenge – An Exercise for Building Creative Muscle




I admit it. I’m a huge fan of reality TV shows centered around creativity, innovation and business. Specifically, I love:

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Creativity at Work: What is Innovation?

The Definition of Innovation

What was really clear from the results of the Creativity & Innovation at Work poll is that finding ways to innovate is a high priority for people in business – from creative professionals to CEOs to, well, anyone who wants to excel in their work. Overwhelmingly, people want to know how to become more innovative and they want to find tools and resources that will support the process of innovating.

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