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Let’s take a walk with Steve Jobs

Search the Walter Isaacson Steve Jobs biography for an idea of how often Steve Jobs took friends and colleagues, rivals too on long walks and you wonder if this is an important creative problem solving tool that should be taught at Business School. There are over 150 references which must refer to some 80 walks. It is well documented that getting away frim the desk and out of the office is an excellent way to free up the mind to relax and daydream, indeed ‘Start the Week’ today on Radio 4 with Andrew Marr gave us the ‘how to be creative’ story from a variety of angles.

There’s more than just the walk though, there’s the cluster in Silicon Valley that means there is a key industry player up the road with whom you can take a walk.

What is creativity? Hear from Andrew Marr and his guests on BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 4 on Creativity

Start the week with Andrew Marr.

JONAH LEHRER ‘Imagine’ How creativity works.

  • A universal property of human nature (though it doesn’t mean we are all equally good at it). Jonah Lehrer.

What is creativity?

A different kind of mental activity to sweating it out at the office, or the ‘ah ha’ moment in the shower. the epiphany.

Bob Dylan and his moment of insight (May 1965) when he least expected it (or wanted it), after a year long tour he took a break.

  • The cortex sharing a secret with us. Jonah Lehrer.

What are the mental states and moods. Relaxed. Daydreaming is important, why a walk without the iPhone, a flight without the laptop, even in the bath is a place to tap into unconscious awareness.

Testament to unconscious ideas.

Value of collaboration, being surrounded by the right people, the big city, the ‘cluster’, such as Shakespeare moving to London (what was it about the 1580s and 1590s in London?).

Can we recreate another age of genius?

Grit. Single-mindedness. Persistance. Putting in the 10,000 hours.

JOANNA KAVENNA

Joanna Kavenna is a novelist.

Preparing for the ‘great out pouring’ then the potentially gruelling, striving.Defamiliarising yourself.

SCANNER

Robin Rimbaud – aka Scanner

Neurons firing, the heart beating. The social interactions that feed into this world.

Neuroscience confirms what we had always thought was necessary or going on, such as Coleridge going for walks (or Steve Jobs).

  • Easily distracted.

A wall chart showing 22 projects. A morning, an afternoon and an evening session then quit.

RACHEL O’REILLY

Dr Rachel O’Reilly is a research fellow in the Chemistry Department at the University of Warwick.

A chemist. How to take a material and improve it. Problem solving for a company, the ‘audience’ we report back to, or funders, another ‘audience’.

And here’s a creative team to die for:

Steve Jobs and Pixar

Breaking out of the mindset

Preposterous process of ‘growing a baby’ and a new encounter breaks you out of your mindset and habit.

Childhood play and do i.e. ‘playfulness’ compared to the business-like ‘job’ at a desk (even at a keyboard).

If you are at all successful, you are then expected to reproduce what you did before and the habitual way you work becomes a habit. Andrew Marr. (And what publishers/the public expect and want).

A writer and a musician want to change their voice.

Being in the right place at the right time.

The ‘Semilweis knee-jerk reaction’.

[While doing some of this at Connect Wisdom]

Peak ages of creativity

  • Poetry early 30, like Physicists.
  • Novelists mid 40s
  • Caused by ‘enculturation’.
  • So always try new things, constantly risk reinvention.
  • Painters peak late.
  • Historian late.

Imposed archetypes

Inestimable confluences of influences. The writer who is obsessed with reading other people’s works as well as writing.

Exploring the science of creativity

 

Put Bill Gates and Steve Jobs through the Kirton Adaptor Innovator personality inventory and what do you get?

Re-reading the Steve Jobs biography with four months in hand before another MAODE module I am struck by what it tells you about Gates and Jobs and how self-evidently one is an adaptor ‘doing things better’ while the other is an innovator ‘doing things differently’.

This drawn from doing a KAI personality inventory and all the reading around these tests for B822.

I came out at 144 on a scale of 160; I’d envisage Jobs as somewhere on the outer edges of 150 while Gates gets a 20 or 30, neither would be in the 60-130 zone for two thirds of respondents.

If they ever did one of these are the results known?

As most managers do observation and experience of a person’s behaviour and responses must suffice.

I feel a desire to revisit H807 ‘Innovations in E-learning’ while mixing it up with B822 ‘Creativity, Innovation and Change’.

I can do this through the 1000+ entries I have here and by refreshing my mind from the current and archived blogs of others blogging here currently (though few if any blog there way through the MBA programme and I am yet to find anyone blogging about B822).

From a team perspective Bill Gates is an adaptor and Steve Jobs an innovator

Re-reading the Steve Jobs biography with four months in hand before another MAODE module I am struck by what it tells you about Gates and Jobs and how self-evidently one is an adaptor ‘doing things better’ while the other is an innovator ‘doing things differently’.

This drawn from doing a KAI personality innoventory and all the reading around these tests for B822.

I came out at 144 on a scale of 160; I’d envisage Jobs as somwhere on the outer edges of 150 while Gates gets a 20 or 30, neither would be in the 60-130 zone for two thirds of respondents.

If they ever did one ofthese are the results known?

As most managers do observation and experience of a person’s behaviour and responses must suffice.

I feel a desire to revisit H807 ‘Innovations in E-learning’ while mixing it up with B822 ‘Creativity, Innovation and Change’.

I can do this through the 1000+ entries I have here and by refreshing my mind from the current and archived blogs of others blogging here currently (though few if any blog there way through the MBA programme and I am yet to find anyone blogging about B822).

Steve Jobs ‘The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do’.

Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs the Walter Isaacson discussion group
‘The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do’.

Apple’s “Think Different” commercial, 1997.

I do. I am inspired like an undergraduate and have jotted down two ‘world changing’ ideas in as many moments. To do anything about them I need to make a call – I will!

Meanwhile, I feel in a way that I have done Steve Jobs by, rarely, going out for an hour’s skiing; in my head I was on the drop into the Bellecote bowl, La Plagne or on my favourite stretch of skiing on the planet, ‘Le Plan’ on the Solaise in Val d’Isere, in reality I was on artificial snow at Sno!Zone Milton Keynes.

I’m going to pick through this hardback book (there’s an immediate irony) as if my name were Steve Jobs (had he lived he would have reinvented the ‘printed’ word or cracked the hybridisation of the book. The App?)

From the boom sleeve, does someone have ‘a hundred family’ members?

 This would have to mean Isaacson visited Syria at least to interview biological cousins in Homs (he didn’t). having read the book I can’t believe he interviewed more than 16 family members and of these possibly only 6 or so matter.

I asked, as I am doing an OU MBA module ‘Creativity, Innovation and Change’ whether fellow students (we all recently did a Myers Briggs or NEO Five inventory) what Steve Jobs would have come out as.

Someone came back with ENTP.

What do you think?

To pick up the discussion I’ve set up the Linkedin Group ‘Steve Jobs the Walter Isaacson discussion group’

If Steve Jobs had been around to revolutionise education I wonder what he would have done?

Steve Jobs launching the iPod Nano

I can see that whilst the gift of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson is my gift of 2011 (on the last chapter), that I need it as a eBook.

I resisted making notes as I read ‘because it’s the holidays’ yet now I am finding it repeatedly a nuisance to have missed a point or quote that under others circumstances I would have dutifully taken copious notes throughout. So here’s one I couldn’t afford to miss: From stand in CEO when Steve Jobs was ill in 2009 (but reflecting a Steve Jobs ethos)

‘We are constantly focussing on innovation. We believe in the simple not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution’.

‘We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allows us to innovate in a way that others cannot’.

‘We have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change’.

This is the kind of organisation I would like to work for. This is the kind of thinking needed for those studying B882 ‘Creativity Innovation and Change’ and for H807 ‘Innovations in E-Learning’.

REFERENCE

Isaacson, W. (2011) Steve Jobs.

Working with dreams and imagery; was this the Steve Jobs way?

I was once Dracula in ‘The Dracula Spectacula’. My teeth were privately made, gratis, from dentine. I bit throw my gum on the last night and gurgled the songs.

There’s a warning on this activity, that the techniques may draw up uncomfortable events from your past. This also highlights a major problem with such techniques: they can throw up the unexpected. I like to think I have ample experience ‘working with dream’s ; I have used them to develop story-lines and ideas, even to some degree for personal cogniscence so it felt like an obvious one to give a try.

Context is vital, picking the right activity or game for the people you are working with. How well do you know them?


It also makes me realise that I’d like to be in a working environment with the kind of colleagues and friends where I could employ such techniques.

I feel like a big fail; there are two activities suggested for problem solving, or creativity, innovation and change: keeping a dream diary and this, which offers ways to explore a dream’s meanings and to re-enter and work with this environment created by your subconscious.

There’s plenty troubling me at the moment but I find repeatedly that holding onto a dream is like chasing autumn leaves in a stiff breeze.

Take this morning; just a few moments awake I recall I had been dreaming and that it had been a ‘good one’: vivid but apparently not memorable enough. I tried all the tips in the book to recover or return to the dream: you have to place yourself exactly as you were as you had the dream. I still can’t get it; I feel like MacBeth clutching at the dagger; it is always just out of reach.

By way of example I have a snippet of a dream from a few days ago: returning to the campsite after some kind of trip or activity in the woods I find my tent has gone: everything has been removed, as if I had never been there. The plot is bare. Why should I be thinking this as I return to work after a two week break?

The ‘activity’ is then to work with and develop your feelings about this moment, been to re-enter the dream, not simply to see what happens next but to change or influence the outcome. This then MAY offer a solution or at least an understanding of your feelings so that you can deal with them.

How to work with a dream or metaphorical image:

* Entering the dream
* Studying the dream
* Becoming the images
* Integrating the viewpoints
* Reworking the dream
* Appreciating, reflecting, looking forward and emerging

P.S. I just returned to work and couldn’t have entered a more friendly environment, my desk as I’d left it.

P.P.S. I realise why I am ‘losing’ my dreams: stress. I’m waking up with a jolt, some unpleasant thought in the back of my mind.

Steve Jobs was hugely influenced by Zen Budhism; this I understand would play to the importance of intuition. Intuition alone is not enough; this for Jobs was also the product of intense effort to get his head around an issue; he immersed himself in it until, to paraphrase the historian E.H.Carr he could ‘hear it speak’.

20 LIFE LESSONS FROM STEVE JOBS

http://mashable.com/2011/12/18/steve-jobs-20-life-lessons/

REFERENCE

Glouberman, D. (1989) Life Choices and Life Changes Through Imagework, London, Unwin, pp. 232-6

Isaacson, W. (2011) Steve Jobs. Little Brown.

Creative Problem Solving Techniques Library ‘Working with dreams and imagery’

There’s a warning on this activity, that the techniques may draw up uncomfortable events from your past.

This also highlights a major problem with such techniques:they can throw up the unexpected.

I like to think I have ample experience ‘working with dreams’ ; I have used them to develop story-lines and ideas, even to some degree for personal cognisance so it felt like an obvious one to give a try.

Context is vital, picking the right activity or game for the people you are working with.

How well do you know them?

It also makes me realise that I’d like to be in a working environment with the kind of colleagues and friends where I could employ such techniques.

I feel like a big fail; there are two activities suggested for problem solving, or creativity, innovation and change: keeping a dream diary and this, which offers ways to explore a dream’s meanings and to re-enter and work with this environment created by your subconscious.

There’s plenty troubling me at the moment but I find repeatedly that holding onto a dream is like chasing autumn leaves in a stiff breeze.

Take this morning; just a few moments awake I recall I had been dreaming and that it had been a ‘good one’: vivid but apparently not memorable enough. I tried all the tips in the book to recover or return to the dream: you have to place yourself exactly as you were as you had the dream. I still can’t get it; I feel like MacBeth clutching at the dagger; it is always just out of reach.

By way of example I have a snippet of a dream from a few days ago: returning to the campsite after some kind of trip or activity in the woods I find my tent has gone: everything has been removed, as if I had never been there. The plot is bare. Why should I be thinking this as I return to work after a two week break?

The ‘activity’ is then to work with and develop your feelings about this moment, been to re-enter the dream, not simply to see what happens next but to change or influence the outcome. This then MAY offer a solution or at least an understanding of your feelings so that you can deal with them.

How to work with a dream or metaphorical image:

  • Entering the dream
  • Studying the dream
  • Becoming the images
  • Integrating the viewpoints
  • Reworking the dream

Appreciating, reflecting, looking forward and emerging

P.S. I just returned to work and couldn’t have entered a more friendly environment, my desk as I’d left it.

P.P.S. I realise why I am ‘losing’ my dreams: stress. I’m waking up with a jolt, some unpleasant thought in the back of my mind.

Steve Jobs was hugely influenced by Zen Buddhism; this I understand would play to the importance of intuition. Intuition alone is not enough; this for Jobs was also the product of intense effort to get his head around an issue; he immersed himself in it until, to paraphrase the historian E.H.Carr he could ‘hear it speak’.

20 LIFE LESSONS FROM STEVE JOBS

http://mashable.com/2011/12/18/steve-jobs-20-life-lessons/

REFERENCE

Glouberman, D. (1989) Life Choices and Life Changes Through Imagework, London, Unwin, pp. 232-6

Isaacson, W. (2011) Steve Jobs. Little Brown.

Steve Jobs: On applied learning over classroom theory

‘I’m going to be in meetings 24/7 for probably two days and I want you to be in very single one because you’ll learn more in those two days than you would in two years at business school’. Isaacson (2011:521)

‘You’re going to be in the room with the best people in the world making really tough decisions and get to see how the sausage is made’. Isaacson (2011:521)

Isaacson, W. (2011) Steve Jobs

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