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Creativity, Innovation & Change in the World of Sports PDF Print E-mail
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Far too often coaches, players, entire teams and leadership of the full organization do not know how to or choose not to unleash their ability to be creative and innovative. Yet they want improvement. Sometimes improvement DOES come from the commitment to work, work, work. Yet, sometimes it must come as a result making changes: 1) in a sport this includes-, recruiting methods, in practices, conditioning regimes, game plans and strategies, offense/defense schemes, etc or 2) in the overall organization-decision making approach, organization structure, policies, practices, procedures, etc. When the reality that change is needed so too the ability to tap individual and group/team innovation and creativity is also needed.

These topic areas can be delivered in one or more of these forms of service: assessment, consulting, coaching, training or presentations.

Innovate or Evaporate in Sports

This topic covers what innovation is, the logical reasons why innovation is so important for sports organizations and teams competitive edge and growth. Also, the primary blocks to innovation, the 18 characteristics for guided innovation, organized into six categories are given with the key sources of innovation with specific examples from each.

Creative Category 1: Acquisition and Creative Storage of Knowledge Applied to Sports

The three characteristics of this category are: curiosity, creative memory and expanded background of fundamental knowledge.

Combined, these three characteristics increase the likelihood for creative thought and action. By using these characteristics, a wellspring of information is sought and obtained then enters the brain and becomes stored and retrievable from many more cross-reference memory files. In addition to teaching what this category means exercises are given to bolster curiosity and expand knowledge.

Creativity Category 2: Problem/Opportunity Focus, Analysis and Resiliency Applied to Sports

The three characteristics of this category are: Analysis and synthesis, discernment and selectivity and persistency and concentration. Combined, these three characteristics develop the tenacious investigator in you; the Quincy’s, Sherlock Holmes’ of the world that doggedly dig for facts and truth. Category 2 is more a left brain vs. a right brain set of functions. In addition to teaching what this category means one or two challenging exercises will be given to sharpen your investigative tool kit and will to use it.

Creativity Category 3: Motivation and Self-Confidence Applied to Sports

The three characteristics of this category are: sensitivity to problems/issues, tolerance of isolation and self-confidence and tolerance to risk. When developed, these three characteristics form the foundation of courage needed to move beyond psychological and emotional comfort zones. By developing strength in Category 3 you learn how to free yourself up from fear of failure which in sports, is often the biggest barrier to creative thinking and acting. Category 3 is more mind set than pure skill set. In addition to teaching what this category means, tools and techniques for raising the self-confidence bar in order to attack barriers for improvement will be given.

Creativity Category 4: Trust of the Unconscious, of Feelings and Uncertainty Applied to Sports

The three characteristics of this category are: Openness to feelings and the unconscious, incubation and tolerance of ambiguity. Combined these three characteristics unleashes your intuitive power which leads to feeling more comfortable at not needing to know the answer at every step in the creative, change, improvement process…a critical aspect for leaders, coaches and players alike. Category 4 has much to do with sharpening instinct, trusting your hunches and gut feel when clear evidence to do so remains illusive and hidden. In addition to teaching what this category means, tools, techniques and a practical exercise for tapping your unconscious will be given.

Creativity Category 5: Idea Generation Applied to Sports

The three characteristics of this category are: idea flexibility, fluency of ideas and anticipation of productive periods. These three characteristics comprise the ability to both churn out many ideas including the use of current strategies, technologies, teaching tools and personality dynamics in new ways. Category 5 is where brainstorming and like methods live and flourish. It also includes learning to know your own rhythms when idea generation is greatest. In addition to teaching what this category means, two or three idea generating exercises will be used.

Creativity Category 6: Imagination, Playfulness and Originality Applied to Sports

The three characteristics of this category are: imagination, toying with ideas and original thinking. These three characteristics bring forth the energy producing child in you which are the core of creativity and innovation. Essentially, creativity is play at the higher level. Category 6 is all about developing and giving free reign to the right brain activities of imagination, reconfiguration of raw “materials”, word-play and the like. In addition to teaching what this category means teaching what this category means, time will allow for toying with ideas through original thinking.

The Three Domains of Creativity: Haha! Aha! Ah!

An engaging, lighthearted sports applicable talk about the three domains that spark creativity: Comedy-haha! Discovery-aha! and Originality-Ah! Each domain is unique in its own way and each attacks the funny bone of our mind forcing giggles, chuckles, grins, belly laughs, uncontrollable clapping of the hands, the Oh My looks immediately followed by hands covering the face and so on. Included will be why the domains are so important to the creative process and how to nurture rather than extinguish them in the workplace. Also learn how laughter and humor are seeds that produce creative fruit in your psyche that lead to added marketing punch and top and bottom line results. Examples will be given along with the opportunity to toy a bit with humor and apply some to a work setting item

Common Sense Is Rarely the Source of Great Ideas

Thomas Edison said, “Regarding the Creative process, it requires faith. The kind you have when you are very young and don’t know any better.” This session is for those wanting to sharpen their uncommon sixth sense. We’ll discuss the importance of 1) drawing a circle and then stepping out of it, 2) yes, think out side the box but think inside it too 3) bringing to your creativity party not only your right brain and left brain but also your front, back, lower, upper and “know” brain too and 4 befriending the Peter Pan and Curious George in you.

Why Didn’t I Think of That?

We’ve all heard it and perhaps said it to ourselves, “Why didn’t I think of that.” Or a variation, “I wish I would have thought of that.” Good questions for the person seeking to improve athletically as a player, coach or sports organization leader. The answer is not LUCK but rather under use of one or more of the following life enhancing components; information, motivation, belief, observation, knowledge, creative foresight. This topic provides ways to enhance these components in you.

Getting From Here to There: Solid Steps in Progressive Change

Progressive change means going forward, upward, onward and outward, with clear purpose, meaning and resiliency. It means not settling for where you are and having the skills to aim higher in ways that are laser-focused, straight and true. Applications are at the individual, team and sports organization level. The presentation includes a discussion of aligning mission, values and goals. The only thing certain about the future is that it uncertain; and the only thing certain about that uncertainty is that it will become more turbulent, chaotic, rapid and challenging year by year. Welcome to the white waters of sports.

Overcoming Resistance to Change in the World of Sports

Resistance is a natural, predictable and often necessary part of the change process. This topic covers the core reasons a person resists change. The 13 different “faces”* of resistance will be “unmasked”. Tips will be given for how to best identify and deal with the 13 types of resistance. Two examples are; CONFUSION which is adept at putting up smokescreens in order to avoid facing reality and IMPRACTICALITY which says, “Are you kidding, that won’t work. We’re talking about the real world here.” Resistance can pop up in players, coaches, Ads, executive staff and support staff.