John Cleese’s Recipe For Creativity

How can we bring more creativity in our lives? And what does increasing our ability to be creative got to do with leadership? Allowing space to be creative gives leaders the ability to see complex business problems with fresh eyes and allow new ideas and possibilities to come forward. Hold the finger paint and smocks, comedian John Cleese’s 1991 lecture contains a recipe for creativity – 5 factors that we can arrange in order to give us the best change to be more creative. In short he believes that “Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating”. So even if matching a tie and shirt exhausts your creative talents you’ll find that Cleese’s formula gives you a process to encourage creativity.

Here is a summary of the 5 key tips for creating a ‘space time oasis for creativity’.

  1. Space – “You can’t become playful, and therefore creative, if you’re under your usual pressures.”
  2. Time “It’s not enough to create space; you have to create your space for a specific period of time.”
  3. Time – “Giving your mind as long as possible to come up with something original,” and learning to tolerate the discomfort of pondering time and indecision.
  4. Confidence – “Nothing will stop you being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake.”
  5. Humour – “The main evolutionary significance of humour is that it gets us from the closed mode to the open mode quicker than anything else.”