Red Rags, Poison, and Food

IdeaConnection Interview with Nigel Collin, Author of Herding Monkeys and Think BITS
By Vern Burkhardt
"The truth is that creativity is very difficult to define. And there lies a trap: the very act of defining creativity destroys the essence of what it is." Herding Monkeys, page 28.

Vern Burkhardt (VB): Are the ideas and exercises in Think BITS useful brainteasers for those wishing to be more creative?

photo of Nigel CollinsNigel Collin: They are. It's one of the reasons I wrote the book in the first place, but I suppose more importantly they're also triggers or devices to help creative people see things from different perspectives.

One of the things that enable creativity is being able to see the world from different viewpoints. Often we get stuck in the way we think. I tend to think the way I do, and often I need something to help me come at a problem or solution from a completely different angle.

VB: Do you have two or three favorite ideas and exercises that are included in this book?

Nigel Collin: I do. Probably my favorite one, and the one I use more than any other, is 'be someone else'. You put yourself into the mind of another person, which enables you to think from a completely different stance. For example if I'm working on a project, I might say to myself, "How would Einstein think of this?" or "How would Richard Branson approach it?" They would come up with very different solutions than me. I use this approach all the time in workshops and for my own work. I love it although the idea is not mine. It's been around for decades.

The other one I love is 'talk to your dog'. The analogy is I can have conversations with my beautiful dog when I'm working on a project because it's a good sounding board. Often you need to talk your ideas through. You don't want criticism when you're doing this – at times you merely need someone to listen. The analogy of 'talk to your dog' is almost like therapy. You can talk an idea through and mull it over without getting any distracting feedback.

Another important one for me is 'walk away'. There are times when we are trying so hard to come up with a creative solution to something our trying gets in our own way. Our creative mind often needs to work on its own, without our conscious mind getting in the way. The simple fact of working on a problem and then forgetting about it, walking away, and doing something else has absolute magic in it. 'Sleeping on it' could be another expression. Often the answer will find us down the track if we give it the room to do so in our mind. Often it is about proactive tools, but at times it's about not being active at all, and just letting creativity doing its thing.

VB: It's letting your subconscious work.

Nigel Collin: Absolutely. John Cleese talks a lot about this. He speaks about creativity – he's a very creative guy – and one of his big messages is don't do anything.

VB: The advantage of talking to your dog is it doesn't bark back at you.

Nigel Collin: He doesn't judge. He listens. He's completely in the moment. He's not thinking about running outside and digging up a bone; he's completely with me and attentive. It's having a great soundboard.

A variation of taking to you dog is when I see lone drivers talking in their cars I think often they're running through a problem by talking to themselves.

VB: Being in the moment is important for creativity.

Nigel Collin: When I left school I wanted to be an actor, but I learned very quickly that that was not going to be my career. In acting they talk a lot about being in the moment, and for creativity it's important that we don't get distracted by other things, it's important that we concentrate and focus.

There's a lot of work in neuroscience about mindfulness, and it's quite big within the business world. Mindfulness has incredible value for creativity. If we can focus on what we're doing even if it's only for short bursts it is effective and can help us in great ways.

VB: In Herding Monkeys, you say, "Creative people are everywhere." What are some tips to drawing out the 'hidden' creative people in an organisation?

Nigel Collin: It's a good question. It's more a case of not trying to silo people or trying to determine who is and who isn't creative. In a company we tend to identify the creative people, and the effect is to exclude everybody else.

The truth is that everybody is creative to a certain level, and creativity exists in all levels of an organization. To tap into this creativity you need to be open, listen, observe, and give people the permission and opportunity to voice ideas without saying, "Oh, we'll get the marketing department to handle that." It is a matter of firstly giving permission, and secondly being open, listening, and observing where the ideas are coming from.

Quite often I'm amazed at the amount of meetings I've attended where it is the meek and mild person in the corner taking notes who comes up with the great brainwave. You need to be open to it in order to find those silently creative people, and not be blinded by the perception that creative people are only the people in the corner wearing jeans.

VB: The shocking thing is that the quiet people in the corner who quiet often have creative ideas aren't drawn out, and therefore we aren't able to take advantage of their brilliant ideas.

Nigel Collin: Absolutely. One of the premises of the book is that we need to inspire people to be creative. We need to give them the confidence to feel that they can put an idea on the table. We need to find ways to do this, not just with a select few people in our organizations, but also with everyone. If we can accomplish this we will successfully nurture and leverage the creative talents of everybody. You don't know where the next golden idea will come from.

cover of Herding MonkeysVB: In your experience do a surprising number of business people engage in many of the top 10 ways to frustrate creative people and the top 10 creativity killers, which you identify in Herding Monkeys?

Nigel Collin: The short answer is yes, everybody does it to an extent. We're guilty of all 10 red rags and poisons, as I call them, at one point or another not that we mean to engage in them. As an example, we don't set out to be risk averse but it is a by-product of the world at the moment and the feeling of a need to be cautious within business. I suspect that in every organization people are guilty at one point or another of blocking creativity or of frustrating our creative people.

Once we become aware and understand what are the key frustrations to creative people and the key blocks to creativity, we can find ways of avoiding them. Many companies can be characterized with the description of risk aversion. Likewise on a personal level many people at some time or another have fallen into that category as well. Of course it depends on the moment, the project, the stakeholders, and the stakes.

Once we become aware of the ways we frustrate people and block their creativity including the generation of great ideas, we can loosen up a bit, listen and hear more, and allow creativity to flow.

VB: Are some of the creativity killers and ways to frustrate creative people almost endemic to organizational structures?

Nigel Collin: It's interesting, yes. Clinging to the status quo is one of the main blocks to creativity. This is symptomatic of most organizations with everything, not only in relation to creativity.

I suppose there's a double benefit in being aware of the creativity blocks. Not only is it going to help us make the organizational environment conducive to creativity it will likely help on all sorts of other levels, such as making organizations more willing to adapt and accept change.

VB: Has it been your experience that managers who have earned an undergraduate or Masters degree in Business Administration are more aware of the creativity killers?

Nigel Collin: People who have good business experience and have been to business school tend to be aware of the benefits of creativity and how it can fuel innovation. They therefore understand the importance of creativity in their organizations,

I'm not sure that its makes them more aware than others. Someone who has grown up from the school of 'hard creative knocks' and is creatively street wise will understand these blocks naturally through their experience.

What's important is to have frameworks and processes in place to allow creativity to come to the fore and thrive.

VB: Micromanagement is a particularly poisonous thing, isn't it?

Nigel Collin: Micromanagement is an absolute killer for creativity. It's not at the top of the list of creativity killers but it probably should be.

If you have a creative person on your team they will jolt the norm, break the status quo, and come up with ideas that you can't. They provide new perspectives and new ways of doing things. That's what being creative is.

As soon as you start micro-managing creative people by telling them how to come up with the idea you are interfering with their creativity. If you tell them how to do their creative work it's even worse. What you should do is tell them what needs to be done, what you're trying to achieve, or what problem needs to be solved, and then let them figure it out. Steering and guiding is fine, but micro-management goes against what creativity is all about.

Consider the film industry as a metaphor. A film director will guide his actors and crew. He'll tell them the scene that he's trying to create – the emotion, the effect to be achieved, and why the scene is in the movie. But he will let the actor craft his own version of what the actor is trying to achieve and let him make his own choices. If an actor goes off on a tangent that's not serving the purpose of the film the director will obviously intervene by reminding the actor what he's trying to achieve, but then he'll let the actor figure out how to achieve the effect. As soon as the director starts telling an actor how to act you have a problem – spontaneity and enthusiasm wanes.

It's exactly the same with creatively. You need to tell your people what needs to be done. You need to tell them what is to be the end game. But you need to let them figure out how to do it. As soon as you step in to tell them how to do it, they are no longer being creative; they're depending on you for the solutions.

VB: The result of telling creative people how to do their work they will simply back off, and continue to let you tell them the how for future assignments as well.

Nigel Collin: Correct. You may as well have a robot in this case. It's a trap that is easy to fall into.

I've led a lot of creative teams. You've got to have a vision and know what it is you're trying to achieve, but you've got to be good at having faith and letting them get on with it. If they go off-track simply pull them back. This is what directing is all about, and it's exactly the same when you're leading a team of creative people.

VB: "You need to protect your creatives against the things that deaden or poison their creativity – red tape, bureaucracy, and long meetings." Shouldn't leaders work to eliminate these things for all their employees, not just for their creatives?

Nigel Collin: Probably, yes. We do need some red tape and guidelines – parameters if you like – otherwise things go a bit chaotic.

When too detailed red tape and bureaucracy are similar to micromanagement. For example, if in order for a creative person to get an idea to his manager he has to fill out Form A, submit it to his department supervisor, and then wait 3 days until it gets signed off, he's not going to bother coming up with fantastic ideas. It's not going to happen that way.

As a leader you need to be a buffer for your creative thinkers and innovative people in order to give them the freedom to do what they do best – be creative, think of ideas, and develop projects. At the same time you do need to have checks in place; otherwise creatives can go a bit AWOL. The key is to give them the guidelines and the parameters, and let somebody else worry about the details.

VB: Too much red tape, bureaucracy, and long meetings will stifle spontaneity, right?

Nigel Collin: Absolutely. It's interesting that creativity and creative people need parameters. They need to know what are the rules of the game; for example, the deadline. They need to know the budget, the corporate legalities, and the constraints and limitations they are working within. This actually frees them creatively. But as soon as you start adding red tape, as soon as you start adding a requirement to tick this box and fill out form 782D, that's when you start to cull creativity.

There's a balance. You don't want your creative people to go off and think of stuff without any direction at all, because they will come up with great ideas but those ideas may not necessarily be useful, relevant, or viable. Let's face it, in business part of the game is ideas must have purpose, they must have commercial value.

You need to be very clear on what it is that you're trying to achieve. You need to be very clear about what the rules are – give them half a dozen parameters that need to be considered and then back off. Protect your creative people from everything else.

VB: As we have been discussing, you advise leaders of creative people to "set the goal, the vision, the assignment, and the challenge – but let them figure out the how." Is this the essence of leadership in organizations?

Nigel Collin: Absolutely. It's the analogy, and it is in the book, of the old English explorers. In the old days you'd put on your pith helmet, grab your shot gun, and head off into the wilderness, "Come on lads, follow me!" and you'd traipse through the jungle with everybody following behind. This is an image of telling people how to do their assignments. You might be cutting a new path through the jungle that no one's ever been through, but if everybody is following you, all they're doing is widening the same path. This is conformity, not creativeness.

As a leader you need to be like an orchestra conductor where you understand the talents of various people in your midst, and you understand how to bring that to the fore and help them be the very best that they can be at what they do. You guide and nurture them, and bring all their talents together in a symphony. As the conductor you need to have the vision of the piece of music, but you need to let the players in the orchestra do what they do, and tap into their skill set and expertise. You know the emotions you want to get from the piece, and you initially sit down with your team, share information regarding what the piece is all about including your vision for the piece.

Absolutely, once you get on your pith helmet and say follow me and do things my way, you're not a leader – you're a manager.

VB: "…there are some things almost all creatives want, which help motivate them and help keep their creativity alive: resources, community, and values." Would you talk about this?

Nigel Collin: Creative people have a very different mindset; hence the analogy of herding monkeys.

Creative people love being part of a team, of a community. Even if they're working solo on a project, such as being a writer who works alone a lot at their computer, they like to share. Sharing provides an audience for their work and so creative people are very communal. They love bouncing ideas off each other. They love being part of something that is larger than them.

It's very important as a leader to provide this sense of community. The leader should provide an environment where creative people can hang out with other creative people, where they can bounce ideas around, chew the fat, and talk about all sorts of different things. This will enable them to feel they belong – it's almost a family.

They also need resources to do what they're going to do. If you're a film editor it's hard to create if you don't have an editing suite. You definitely need to provide your creatives with the needed resources. This may mean a work environment that is conducive to being creative. It may mean providing them physical or tangible resources but it might also be money for projects.

We know that there are a lot of very artistically creative people who unfortunately never get any projects off the ground because they don't have the required funding. This is why creative people love working with corporations which provide projects and the dollars to do amazing things.

I grew up in the events industry where there was a lot of really creative people, and because there's a lot of great money you can actually create stuff. If you're a set designer in the events industry, it's wonderful because you're constantly creating sets. The money is an enormous resource.

It's important to understand what it is that creatives thrive on – what drives them – and then help provide those things.

VB: You advise, "Values are powerful things: they define a company…Get it right, and it creates momentum." In your experience, is Atlassian in Sydney, Australia an exceptional example of getting it right or are there other excellent examples as well?

Nigel Collin: They are an exceptional company. Atlassian is now worldwide and is on a rapid growth curve. It's interesting that you often see values written up on the walls of companies but no one knows what they are.

When you walk into Atlassian's office you are immediately struck by the fact that they have their values written up on their walls in big letters. When you talk to the people at Atlassian it is apparent they live, breathe, and take ownership of those values. They are an intrinsic part of what employees do; these values are not merely a token or for giving good impressions. The values are what Atlassian and its employees are. Everything the company does is guided and driven by these values. If you visit their web site you will see a page that lists their values, why they have them, and how these values came about.

Among the juggernaut companies Disney stands out as being value-driven. Walt Disney set values way back in the early stages of the company, and the Disney Corporation is still very much a value-driven organization. Their values reflect Disney's ultimate purpose.

If you can create an environment where you've got strong values, and everybody within that environment thinks, shares, and behaves according to those values you're almost unstoppable. You have a direction and everybody in the organization will have a sense of purpose. Coming back to your previous question, strongly held values is one of the instigators of you being part of something larger than yourself.

What's interesting about companies like Atlassian and Disney is that people who don't share their company's values tend not to work for these organizations because they are looked for during the hiring process. They haven't adopted these values after being hired. People don't get into Disney and Atlassian if they have completely different values, because the leaders know they won't fit in. Also, the applicants know they don't fit, and know the company doesn't suit them. The result is a group of people within an organization who are aligned by sharing common values, resulting in an enormous force working in the same direction, which is incredibly powerful.

VB: If you were to talk to customers of Atlassian would they say the company's values reflect the services provided?

Nigel Collin: Absolutely. I believe their values permeate everything they do.

VB: You refer to "the best-right mix of skills, personality, and diversity" when picking the right team for a project or for your business as a whole. How do you know when you have the best-right mix?

cover of Think BITSNigel Collin: When you're working with a team of creative people, whether it's on a project or within an organization, you need to have the right mix. There are two ways you can do it for a creative team.

Firstly, you can do it on paper. You can develop a plan for having people with the right diverse skill levels to attack a problem. This means having people from different backgrounds and education, which makes up the right mix. You can pretty much figure that out on paper.

The other way of getting the best-right mix is based on intuition. You can have people with the right skill base, but if they're not the best fit – if they're not in harmony with your values or some are not team players – then they may not be the best persons. Knowing that you're creating a team of people who will work together harmoniously is a little bit touch and go. You can do behavioral analyses and personality profiles but at the end of the day talking with creative people and getting a feel for how they would function within a team is very important. Are they on the same page? Do they share the same values? And do they have the right skills?

You can look on paper to make sure you've got the right talent mix, but when you get to know your people you can create the best mix for a creative team. In order to do so you need to understand how creative people work. Returning to the orchestra analogy, not only do you need to know that the musician is a great flautist, you will want to know their level of passion for playing the flute, what they're trying to achieve in their career, and how they will fit in with the other members of the orchestra.

Once you understand and get to know your people you can create the best mix. And when you get the right mix of people with the best people you've got a team that's almost unstoppable.

VB: You've got power.

Nigel Collin: Absolutely. You've got everybody on the same page. You've got an incredible skill set and people who are working together as a group – as one – trying to achieve the same thing. It's incredibly powerful.

On the other side, if you have a group of people who have the right skills in a team, but they're not on the same page or there's disharmony, you're likely going to get some modest results. The problem is you're not going to get the great results that you're after.

VB: "I have an absolute, undying belief that for creativity to really leap, and to get the very best out of your team, you need to find ways for them to take ownership. Otherwise, it's a complete waste of time." Would you talk about this?

Nigel Collin: I came upon this quite a while back. My wife teaches horse riding. She came home one day from giving a student a lesson and said to me, "I just figured out that to get a horse to do what you want it to do, you've got to get the horse to want to do what you want it to do." It's a little bit convoluted, but when you think about it, it makes a heck of a lot of sense. When I heard what she said I replied, "Wow, that's like the difference between 'ownership' and 'buy-in'." You can bestow buy-in on people. Often you hear managers and leaders say, "We need to have buy-in," but buy-in can be thrust upon someone. You can say to somebody on your team, "If you don't do this, you're going to lose your job," and all of a sudden they'll buy into doing it.

Ownership is different. Ownership is when people do things because they want to do them. They're driven intrinsically to do something. It's like a horse jumping a jump. If you can get the horse to want to jump, it's a much easier process than forcing it to do so.

You've got to find ways to give your people ownership, or allow them to take ownership of a project. One of the ways of doing this, for example, is to get them involved early in the mix. Bring them into early meetings where they can listen to the beginnings of a project, and let them participate and take ownership. As we discussed earlier, don't micro-manage your creative people. Give them the autonomy that they need to do things, to stumble and make mistakes, but to fix those mistakes. If you can find ways to encourage people to take ownership, it's much more powerful than thrusting buy-in upon them.

Once people take ownership, that's when they're going to give you their all, from every fiber, 100%.

VB: Is it comparable to having an entrepreneurial instinct?

Nigel Collin: I think that's quite a nice comparison. Yes, entrepreneurs grab hold of something and off they go. They often do it because they're intrinsically motivated.

Someone like Branson does what Branson does, because Branson wants to do it. Yes, entrepreneurial spirit is a nice way of putting it.

VB: "We need mistakes." Why?

Nigel Collin: If we don't have mistakes we're going to end up with only adequate solutions and ideas.

Let's face it. People make mistakes all the time. Mistakes are when you learn, and out of mistakes come great things. If you don't make mistakes you're playing it safe, because this is the only way to not make a mistake. If you play it safe you're going to come up with ideas, but you're not going to come up with great ideas. Making a mistake is where you suddenly discover something new, where you have something which you can improve.

A simply story is the Slinky. I'm sure you've played with a Slinky in your youth – the toy that walks down the stairs. The Slinky was a mistake. The gentleman who created this toy was a Naval Engineer named Richard James. He was making a spring system for naval instrumentation to keep them balanced in rocky seas. He had a lot of different springs, and somehow they fell off the bench and one kept falling down a stair. All of sudden he thought, 'Wow. You can sell that as a toy'. He then went off in a different direction – pursuing a spring as a toy. This is a mistake that ended up being an incredible success story. How many Slinkys have we cried over in our youth that got tangled up?

Post-it notes are the classic example of a mistake. Art Fry who invented post-it notes at 3M was trying to create glue that would never come unstuck. He failed at that task, because the glue on Post-it notes does come unstuck. Yet now Post-it notes are a part of life.

I wonder how many Post-it notes and Slinkys fall through our fingers because we're not willing to embrace mistakes.

There's a large conglomerate in India called the Tata group, which makes many things including the cheapest car. They have a policy about innovation failure. When they make a mistake, they talk about and share it. They will say, "Hey I was doing this and it didn't work, and I think this is why." They talk about, explore, and share mistakes because they know from these mistakes advances are going to be made.

Creative people get it that mistakes are part of the creative process. They're not bad things. They're only bad if you don't observe and learn from them. Making mistakes is part of the deal. You shouldn't deliberately set out to make mistakes, but when you do you need to embrace them. You need to say, "OK, from this something better will happen." We've all had an experience like that. We've all written a proposal or document that we've deleted on our computers by accident, and we've exclaimed, "Oh no!" But then we've redone it and it's been a better gig.

If you look back at the creative barriers in an organization, risk aversion is right at the top. Risk aversion comes from a fear of making mistakes. Mistakes are essential. We need to embrace them. We need to understand them. We need not to be scared about making mistakes.

VB: Our fear of making mistakes is a fear of looking bad.

Nigel Collin: Yes, looking bad. It's an interesting one.

For the creative people on your team, and indeed for all employees in your organization, you need to create an environment where they feel safe to make mistakes. Where they can feel that they can put an idea on the table without fear of being ridiculed, or without fear of someone saying, "That'll never work."

You need to have a culture in place where people can feel free and safe to try out ideas, or to voice ideas without fearing a risk of failure or of being ridiculed. Where if they do make a mistake they're not going to be raked over the coals about it. They're going to say, "Ok, that didn't quite work. Let's have a look at why. What were we trying to achieve?" This is much a more positive and optimistic way than a negative stomp on the cabbages approach.

Especially in tough economic times there's the fear of financial hardship as well. What's it going to cost if you make a mistake? Let's face it in business it's about the need to survive, to make a profit. How many mistakes has Steve Jobs made? Who remembers the Power Mac G4 Cube? The mutant that didn't take off?

VB: At a personal level it means being willing to offer ideas and not having your ego tied into the idea.

Nigel Collin: Absolutely. This is a hard one. Just because you come up with a stupid idea does not mean you're a stupid person. In fact, I would say it makes you a courageous person, and most likely a creative person.

On a personal level we need to be good at understanding that when we voice ideas, it's only that – an idea. One of the biggest blocks with creativity is taking our ideas personally. Two things can happen. If someone bags our idea we take it personally and we shut down. We need to get into the headspace of thinking at least we're trying when we come up with a bad idea. In workshops I always tell people to come up with one dumb idea a day because that means they're thinking.

The other side of this is equally troubling. If you get really personal with an idea you hang onto it and stop the flow of other ideas. If you have a great idea, write it down, and let go of it so you can come up with a better one. We've all done the opposite. We've all had great ideas, at least from our perspective, and we think 'This is going to change the company and the world.' We hang onto it with every fiber of our being whereas we actually need to let go of these ideas.

VB: This applies to ideas leaders have as well as the people we're collaborating with.

Nigel Collin: It's interesting. We need to look after our own creativity in order to understand how to look after the creativity of other people. It's a bit like the oxygen mask on the plane. You've got to put it on yourself first before you can look after the child next to you.

One of the mistakes leaders can make is being so hell-bent on helping their team be creative and generate ideas that they lose the ability to be creative themselves. Leaders need to nurture and look after their own creativity in order to encourage the creativity of their people – then they're on the same page.

If leaders understand and experience the creative process they can interject when necessary to guide and help their creative people. It means that if someone on our team makes a mistake or comes up with an idea that's not quite there, we know how to interject. We know how to nudge it along a little bit. Sometimes it only requires a 10-degree shift to change the idea completely.

Let's face it. Failures and bad ideas often lead to the ones that are gold.

VB: Leaders who are willing to offer 'dumb' ideas – perhaps I should not use the term dumb – and make mistakes set a good example for their teams.

Nigel Collin: Absolutely true. It's interesting how you stumbled when you said, "dumb idea". You hear this a lot: "There are no dumb ideas."

In truth there are dumb ideas. Of course there are, but we need to ensure we don't dismiss them.

You're absolutely right – it's leading by example. Behind every dumb idea there's an impulse. There's a reason why the dumb idea has been generated and we need to ask, 'what were you thinking when you came up with that idea? What was your impulse behind it?' By exploring the impulses it may stimulate refinement with the result being the generation of even better ideas.

VB: Pursuing what might initially appear to be a dumb idea may produce a gem of an idea – a gold nugget.

Nigel Collin: Absolutely. Look at Post-it notes. Look at Slinky's. Look at Avon which was the result of David McConnell's great idea of giving away perfume as an incentive for women hearing his pitch when he was selling books door to door – that's another story. The world's full of them.

We all stumble upon ideas that at first look ridiculous, but if we nudge, nurture, and change them a little bit by collaborating with other people these ideas can be improved and added upon. This is why we need to embrace mistakes, and embrace 'dumb ideas'.

VB: Would you tell us about the services you provide at Leading Creatives?

Nigel Collin: I would love to do so. We do a number of things, primarily working with businesses to help them help their people be more creative. We do workshops with leaders going through a lot of the things we've been talking about – how to lead creative people, how to recognize them, and how to put a process in place that allows creativity to thrive but still directs it.

We also do a lot of workshops for creative people, or for people within organizations to help them re-learn to be creative. They are creative thinking workshops.

Another new service that we provide, which I'm really excited about, is a new diagnostic where we can walk into an organization and find out where they're really good at nurturing and leveraging creativity, and where they're falling down. This enables us to know what areas in the organization to target in order to help them become more creative. It's hard to develop a creative strategy if you don't know where to start.

VB: What's your target market? What geographic areas?

Nigel Collin: Geographically, it is primarily Australia because that's where I'm based. Primarily my work is within the Asian Pacific Region.

Having said that, I work in Asia, New Zealand, and as a matter of fact I've done work in the U.S., Germany, and Canada as well. I have a Qanta's card – "Will travel."

It was a pleasure to interview author Nigel Collin who lives in Sydney, Australia.

Nigel Collin provides 10 useful reminders of what many leaders and organizations do that frustrates their highly creative people – the people he calls the "creatives." He also identifies the top 10 creative killers based on his survey of creatives. And for those who wonder how to motivate their creative people to perform at their best and generate breakthrough ideas, the author identifies the top ten motivators for creatives.

He also provides a useful perspective about change: "The world has always changed and it has also always been changing faster than it ever has before."

Nigel Collin's Bio:
Author Nigel Collin is a dynamic, interactive, and practical speaker and facilitator. He has in-depth knowledge and a passion for creativity. With 15 years in the creative sector, he realized that the challenge with creativity isn't finding creative people or teaching your people to be more creative. It's knowing how to lead your creative people, harness their genius, and direct it towards viable business outcomes.

For 9 years up to 2004 Nigel Collin owned and ran Absurd Entertainment, an entertainment design company. While heading this company he worked on a multitude of corporate and public events including the 2000 Sydney Olympics and Paralympics and The Sydney Royal Easter Show 1997-2003. He was Show Director for Australia's largest-ever corporate event in Sydney in 2005.

He is a CSP (Certified Professional Speaker), the highest designation offered by the National Speakers Association of Australia.

Nigel Collin is author of Herding Monkeys: How to Lead the Creative Talents of Your People and Turn Their Ideas into Commercial Results (2010) and Think BITS: Things to Get You Thinking Creatively (2010). His next book will be titled Creating Zoos, and it will be published in late 2011.

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