Creative Emergence Newsletter
  January 2009
In This Issue
C-in-W Program
Creativity Conferences
Accepting vs. Agreeing
Creativity Books
Upcoming Gigs
CCN News
Hi everyone! Hope 2009 is off to a vibrant start for you! A few things to share:

We are in the final stages of securing the venue for our Creativity in Business Conference this October. It is 95% secured - we just are waiting for the final yes. I had hoped to have it by this newsletter, but will definitely have it by the next one. The conference web site will be up in the next few weeks.

I was recently recognized for Visionary Leadership in the Fast Company blog, Leading Change. It was a complete surprise for which I feel both honored and grateful.
Wishing you a heart-centered New Year!

PS. Feel free to connect with me on Facebook and join our Capitol Creativity Network group online.
Next Creativity-in-Work Program starts January 30th!  
4 full-day workshops over 7 weeks + individual coaching sessions.
Earlybird discount through January 16th! 1 space left!

"The Creativity-in-Work program took me further in just six weeks than individual counseling has taken me in the last ten years! Michelle is focused, purposeful, and unwavering in her commitment to help each of her clients reach their innermost potential. My business will launch in just a few short weeks because of the phenomenal experience Creative Emergence gave me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!" 
~ Denise Davenport, President of FaceTime Strategies, LLC; Participant in the 2008 fall program

Kick off 2009 with a new start! A Professional and Personal Development Program using your creativity for your business bottom line and new work directions, strategies, innovations, projects, products or services. Develop a solid, structured framework of what you offer and your unique "signature". You'll use the Creative Emergence Process with a rich integration of improv, the arts, intuitive techniques, reflection tools, whole-brain methods, creative thinking, story and analytical and evaluative approaches to help you create what's next in your work. Leave with a self-designed framework, set of strategic goals and an action and marketing plan; and the initial implementation of the plans. And have FUN doing it! For complete details and registration go to
2009 Creativity Conferences
Every year, the International Forum of Creativity Organizations puts out an extensive list of creativity and innovation conferences. I have included the first 9 of 35 here. Visit their website for the full list with descriptions and links. The "Yes and" to that is you could attend them all and STILL make it to our Creativity in Business conference here in DC this October! :-)

> APAP Conference NYC 2009, Jan. 9-13
> Front End of Innovation Europe, Jan. 26-28
> CoDev 2009, Jan 26-28
> TED2009, Feb. 3-7
> TED@PalmSprings, Feb. 3-7
> Creativity Summit. Feb. 4-6
> Subjectivity, Creativity and the Institution, Feb. 9-10
> Creativity: The Fuel of the Future, Feb. 13-15
> Florida Creativity Weekend, Feb. 27-Mar. 1

To their list I would add:
> Applied Improvisation Network conference
> Organizational Story Weekend
> GEL conference
Accepting vs. Agreeing
One of the core principles of improvisational theater is "Yes And" - which means accepting (the YES) whatever is given (called "offers") and adding a new piece of information (the AND). It is the cornerstone of improv, and that which help improvisers keep the creativity going in the face of the unknown - with no plans, scripts or strategies.

When I bring Applied Improv principles and practices to organizations, inevitably someone says, "But what if you really DON'T agree with the idea that is offered? Some ideas are simply not good ideas." A valid case.

There are points I would like to address to that regard: first, the practice of "Yes-Anding" as a creativity technique is used more in the divergence (expanding and generating) part of the creative process. Among a host of other things, yes-anding helps open up the "playing field" for more possibilities and novel connections that otherwise would never have been engaged by the conventional approach of finding out all the reasons an idea will not work. Once you get into the convergence (discerning and focusing) part of the creative process, then you begin to use the "no's" as appropriate to discern what will and will not work based upon the objectives and the parameters of your focus.

The second point is more subtle. It is the difference between accepting the "offer" and agreeing with it. In improv, it does not matter what you personally think about the offer - or the person offering it - you accept it. You may disagree, but you still accept it and add to it. By doing so, you are not saying, "I love your idea!" Instead, you are engaging in the experiment of taking a seed idea and creating forth something new with it. In doing so, more often than not, an entirely unexpected direction will emerge that is better than anyone could have imagined. With clear intention of purpose, a "bad idea" that is accepted and "anded" can transform into a spot-on relevant innovation just a few "ands" later. To an improviser, all offers are gifts.
Perhaps more significantly, the art of acceptance is profound when practiced with groups and work teams. Accepting what someone is saying creates a feeling of safety. Once the ground of safety is established, members of the group will allow themselves to take more creative risks, to experiment more, to think more expansively...which leads to more novel and workable ideas. You don't have to agree with someone's point of view to honor that it is theirs. The payoff: you get more flow from the creative well. In a time when innovation is the big buzzword, the practice of accepting - regardless of agreeing - is one more tool for the creative toolbox.
Creativity in Business Books
The following are some of my favorite books on creativity that I find especially applicable to creativity in the workplace. Please feel free to send me the title of your favorite creativity books and I will compile a list for our next newsletter.

> Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind: How Intelligence Increases When You Think Less 
   by Guy Claxton.
> Creativity in Business by Michael Ray and Rochelle Myers
> The Einstein Factor by Dr. Win Wenger
> Jamming: The Art and Discipline of Business Creativity by John Kao
> Training to Imagine by Kat Koppett

Coming Up...

(1) On January 17th I will be a guest on the Jennifer Crews radio show, Get Intuit, at 3:00pmEST - talking about Creative Emergence Principles and Practices.

(2) On February 10th I will be leading a teleclass on Creativity for Coaches for the "Coaching Women as Leaders" group of the CoActive Coaching Network at 1:00pmEST. The description will be up on their site at the end of this month.

(3) On April 18th, I will be facilitating a session at the Organizational Story Weekend.
Capitol Creativity Network co-sponsors
Art of Change Inaugural Celebration

CCN is delighted to be one of the sponsors for the Art of Change, an inaugural celebration of DC's creative communities! The Art of Change will be held the night of January 20th, 2009 at 8:00 PM at the Warehouse Complex at the corner of 7th St and New York Ave NW in the heart of Washington, DC. Come celebrate this unique event with the most creative people in the nation's capital!

At the CCN meeting on January 14, award-winning Master Coach, leadership consultant and author, Suzi Pomerantz, led a fun, engaging, and informative session creatively exploring the domains of networking, marketing and sales and bringing them to life.

On February 11, Peter Frampton, CEO of the international firm, Accounting Comes Alive, will be leading a session entitled Right Brain Accounting: Transforming financial literacy by tapping into people's whole-minds. Who says accounting can't be fun?!
Our Services
The Center for Creative Emergence is a creativity consulting, training and 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.

Our Services include emergent strategy consulting, corporate and public workshops, creativity training, Creative Emergence coaching, ideation facilitation, professional development and somatic (body-centered) programs, conference presentations, creativity events and Quantum Leap Business Improv.

Coaching Clients include Entrepreneurs who want to develop their signature approach, products and services, or future story; Leaders who want to draw out and focus the creativity of their work force; Pioneers who are forging new territory and breaking new ground in their field; Partners and Teams who want to optimize their collective intelligence for new solutions and directions.

Organizational 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.

Our Blog is The Fertile Unknown at
Phone: 703-760-9009

Quotes for the road...
"Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true." ~ Neils Bohr

"Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order." ~ Virginia Wolfe

"Significant discovery, really creative thinking, does not occur with regard to problems about which the thinker is lukewarm." ~ Mary Henle

"It's like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." ~ E. L. Doctorow