Creative Emergence Newsletter
May 2008
In This Issue
Global Events
A Question
Creative Culture
Our Services
Timothy Flatt
Quick Links


As you can see, this newsletter has a new look. We have a new logo, and will have our new website up soon. What I love about this logo is that it reflects the balanced, integrative nature of creative emergence: structure and flow, energy and containment, unleashing and focusing, linear and non-linear, fun and functional, inspired and grounded.

By infusing knowledge and information with creativity and imagination, an individual, business, team, or organization becomes vital, strong and generative. Creativity, once engaged and intelligently focused, can transform even the most "stuck" people, situations and environments into a vibrant culture of sustainable innovation. The emerging paradigm of work will accept nothing less, and we love being a part of this change! :-)

Other quick updates: Paul Scheele and I are continuing our Dialogues on Transformational Leadership using Creative Emergence, and the first one will be out before the next newsletter. ~ The Creative Visionary Club dialogues - 12 conversations with trend setting entre-pioneers (I thought I made that word up until I just googled it) who forged their own path using creative ingenuity - will be posted on our new web site. Stay tuned. ~  I just spent the past 8 months in an intensive leadership training that integrates the breath, the body and the creative imagination, and I am incoproating the learnings into new prgrams and retreats. ~ The improv group, Precipice, in which I perform has our radio spots playing consistently on WBIG 100.3FM radio station. If you hear random, non-commercial, slighty goofy vignettes of people talking about music or something topical, it might be us. What's particularly exciting is that WBIG is birthing a trend with this novel format. Have a great holiday weekend!


Memorial Day Weekend Creativity Conference 
Every year Project Renaissance puts on an Accelerated Learning and Creativity Double Festival. The conference attracts a fascinating, diverse mix of  presenters and participants from all over the globe, each with unique practices and perspectives on the creative process. This year's conference will be held over Memorial Day Weekend. Mention the Capitol Creativity Network and get a discount. For more information, go to I will be introducing a new session which is now also a new full-day program: Applying Ritual and Archetypes in the Creative Process. 
 Global Creativity Conferences
The International Forum for Creativity Organizations, a global networking hub focused on learning and creativity, puts out an annual comprehensive list of worldwide creativity conferences. Here is their list for the rest of this year:

* Creativity and Innovation Management Community Meeting, May 28-30
* ISPIM Conference: Open Innovation, Jun. 15-18
* Humor Project's International Humor Program, Jun. 20-22
* Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI), Jun. 22-27
* International Creativity Conference: UK Creativity Jamboree, Jul. 3-4
* Design Research Society; Undisciplined!, Jul. 16-19
* Art of Management & Organization, Spt. 9-12
* Mindcamp Toronto, Spt. 11-14
* Idea Festival, Spt. 25-27
* ACRE Conference, Oct. 7-10
* International Congress of Creativity and Innovation, Oct. 17-19
* International Conference on Creativity Education, Oct. 20-24
* Sustainable Innovation 08, Oct. 27-28
What's Mine to Do - No More, No Less?
In improv theater, there is a concept called "Serve the good of the scene." I have expanded it in my work to what I call "Serve the good of the whole." In order to do that, you neither impose your own agenda on a scene, nor do you shy away from being a collaborative contributor to the scene. You seek to serve what is best to keep the scene supported, creative and moving forward. Sometimes that means standing back in a support role. Sometime that means taking the lead. It is about what is yours to do - no more (by not taking over) and no less (by adding something new) - that will help contribute to the good of the scene.

I have found this concept universal and applicable in most, if not all, situations. One of the questions that came to me one day that has guided my life's work over the years since first emerging my company's Creative Emergence focus is "What's mine to do - no more, no less?" in any situation - from working with a client, to designing a program to navigating my personal life. 

This question - if seriously asked and truthfully answered - can narrow the fertile field of all things possible into that which is most relevant and resonant, at this time for this particular circumstance. It simultaneously prevents one from over-controlling a situation and not taking enough initiative. It keeps us in a co-creative - not controlling - role with our clients and participants. I also use this with my business to help guide me in creating and unfolding what's next.

Two of the seemingly opposed prevailing thought camps are (1) the Just-Do-It thinking - set a goal and go for it and (2) the What's-Meant-to-Be-Will-Be thinking - let go of control, get out of the way and let it happen. I see both as true and neither as complete. By asking "What is mine to do - no more, no less?" it hones our focus. We can discover know what is ours to actively create, and what is ours to release and let unfold - an any situation or with any person or group. The both/and (or in improv terms - the Yes And) is the interdependent dance of the emergent creative process - the "yin/yang" of both stepping up and letting go based on what is calling to emerge in the situation.

There is an ever growing trend in looking at neuroplacticity and creativity. Scientific research shows the more we use our brain in novel and different ways, the more placticity it generates - and the more adaptable, pliable, and innovative we become. Neuroleadership brings that knowledge into the business world. It is an emerging field of study fo­­cused on bringing  knowledge of the brain and how it works into the area of leadership development, management training, education, consulting and coaching. It involves looking at leadership abilities through the lens of neuroscience. There is a summit in NYC in October. Check it out at
Culture of Creativity
If you are leading or managing a work team tasked with "being creative" the following are a few  practices you can use to get the ball rolling:
1.  Try out and then modify; explore; test in reality. Act on gut feelings even if uncertain where it will lead. Start something, then use real-time feedback to create what's next.
2.  Anticipate natural resistance to new ideas as normal - the contraction found when anything new is about to emerge - and work through discomfort. Become aware of how it surfaces.
3.  Encourage exploration of ideas; expand on them; diverge and converge; use various creativity techniques for the whole brain. Allow the ideas time to generate other ideas.
4.  Commit time for regular, real-time imagination/innovation sessions. Clearly understand deadlines and projects, but leave room to maneuver within them.
5.  Allow time to be in uncertainty, and let the process incubate, before rushing to solutions. I call this time "emergence time" - when the parts have space to unexpectedly come together as evolved - and often expanded - outcomes.
6.  Look inward (at inspiration and intuition) as well as in the external environment for answers.
7.  Take risks and use mistakes. Avoid neither, and keep in mind a mistake is often a risk that did not pan out the way you hoped. See it as an invitation, letting it lead you to other ideas.
8.  Use the  "Yes and" way of co-creating. Learn from other's ideas; accept them; build on them.
The Center for Creative EmergenceŠ2008  
Capitol Creativity Network
We sponsor CCN, a special interest group that meets monthly in Washington, DC, to explore all facets of creativity - from business to the arts to the scientific. Our next meeting is Wednesday, June 11. Bob Devlin, President of Transformation Strategies, will be leading us in an exciting program. Go to to sign up for our monthly announcements email (with program descriptions), or our Yahoogroups listserve. We also have an online Facebook group anyone can join.
Our Services
The Center for Creative Emergence is a creativity consulting and Creative Emergence coaching company dedicated to integrating inspired creativity, meaning, organizational culture and business for a happier and more productive work life and a richer bottom line. We cultivate breakthroughs and emergence with entrepreneurs, teams, corporations and non-profits. CEO Michelle James has a mission to "mainstream" creativity and engage people into their full humanness for innovative work, positive social change and consciously creating a life-giving future.

We offer a variety of Services which include emergent strategy consulting, corporate and public workshops, creativity training, Creative Emergence coaching, ideation facilitation, professional development and somatic programs, conference presentations, creativity events and Quantum Leap Business Improv.

Our Blog is The Fertile Unknown at

Our Coaching is for Entrepreneurs who want to develop their signature approach, products and services, or future story; Leaders who want to draw out and focus the creativity and innovation of their work force; Pioneers who are forging new territory and breaking new ground in their field; Aspiring Integrators who have several seemingly unrelated aspects of their work and talents and seek to unify them into a coherent whole; and Teams who want to optimize their collective intelligence for new solutions and directions.

Clients have included GEICO, Kaiser Permanente, Inova Health System, Cable & Wireless, National Institutes of Health, World Bank, Invest Northern Ireland, Service Employee International Union, Search for Common Ground, Center for Nonprofit Advancement, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Telos Corporation and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters among others.

Phone: 703-760-9009

Shout Out for Graphic Designer Timothy Flatt!
From the moment I met Timothy Flatt, I knew he "got" the Creative Emergence mission. After one meeting, he created our logo and it was right on. Not only is he a visianary artist and highly skilled graphic designer, his extensive experience in corporate communications and graphics departments allows him to understand how to seemlessly merge creativity and business. He is a professional, accomodating and easy guy with whom to work. I have referred clients to him, each reporting a similarly positive experience. He rocks! :-) You can reach him at
Quotes for the road...
"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."
~ John Cage

"When you are describing, A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don't state the matter plainly, But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things, With a sort of mental squint." ~ Lewis Carroll