Creative Confidence  | 3 MIN. READ

Infusing Toronto With Creative Confidence

ExperiencePoint, February 21, 2014

If you could ask David Kelley (founder of IDEO and Stanford’s any questions, what would they be?

This is the fun brainstorm topic we gave a recent group of ExperienceInnovation certification candidates. We then, to their surprise, brought in David Kelley to provide his answers!

Creative Confidence

Some background: On the same day as our certification event, David Kelley touched down in Toronto to discuss his latest book, Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All at the Rotman School of Management. David generously agreed to meet with our group prior to his main talk.

Here are some of the highlights:

COOL QUESTION: What is the biggest gap between your reality and the reality you see in the external business world?

David emphasized that a common theme in the business community today is the need to create a culture of innovation. Accepting an iterative approach and disabusing leadership of the belief that this will slow the process down, is a current gap that is worth spending both time and money to bridge.

He stressed the need and the approach that IDEO takes, just do something, prototype the idea, show it to users and/or colleagues to keep improving the product. In order to create a culture of innovation, prototypes need to be out in public to see reactions and to improve it further.

ANOTHER COOL QUESTION: What is the importance of failure in innovation?

David & Tom, discuss the topic of failure in Creative Confidence in the chapter Dare (page 44): “fear of failure holds us back from learning all sorts of new skills, taking on risks and from tackling new challenges. Creative Confidence asks that we overcome that fear. You know you are going to drop the ball, make mistakes and go in a wrong direction or two”.

One of ExperiencePoint’s clients who is adopting design thinking within his organization told us, “you just have to jump in” and David further explained that within design thinking, the word failure doesn’t allude to actually failing, it means that failing early is crucial to learning and achieving an innovative result.

This question and follow-up discussion were a great reminder for all of us to jump in, try experiments and experience failure.

AND ONE MORE COOL QUESTION: Could you speak to a belief that you once held that you have since outgrown?

David shared that he believed that, because he wasn’t creative because he wasn’t creative!

This confusion is the basis of the book Creative Confidence. Creative Confidence provides us with the ability to distinguish between being artistic and creative – whether or not you can draw has no bearing on whether or not you can think differently. David & Tom provide the 2006 TED Talk by Sir Ken Robinson on “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” as a useful description of how one’s creative potential can be diminished within early childhood education. Indeed, David suggests that in about the fourth grade, kids begin to identify as creative or non-creative. Therefore, early intervention seems like a necessary step.

When he initially developed the program at the, David thought they were going to have to teach creativity. He realized later that this theory was incorrect – you don’t have to teach creativity at all, you just have to unlock the creativity, take away the barriers and the fear of being judged.

David, on behalf of the ExperiencePoint community, thank you for infusing our team and guests with Creative Confidence!


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