Bringing fresh challenges to my personal creativity outside of work- more poetry and a forthcoming watercolour class.

By Katie Cole. Follow on Twitter: @KCole1811.

With enthusiasm and an open mind, I entered my first workshop of the Chwarae Teg Staff Conference. Guest speaker Prith Biant had transformed a typical conference room to a grotto of colours and toys, with no Santa in sight! Shimmying her tambourine to bring us to attention, Prith’s relaxing delivery style teased us into wanting more.

Challenge one: ‘Is creativity something we can all do, or just a few of us?’

Encouragingly for those stuck in a non-creative rut, Prith assured us that creativity is a skill we can learn! ( cue collective ‘phew’! )

Next: ‘What is creativity, do we need it, how can we be more creative and think more creatively?’

Four small groups of Chwarae Teg staff arrived at diverse responses, some of us using Play Doh ( with Sydney Snake making his debut appearance ), paints and pens.

In our group, Hazel took on the role of Ring Master/Mistress sporting the top hat provided. Typical Hazel, she got straight into character! Then we all got on with interpreting and defining creativity in our own ways.

Colour was a key factor identified, as was creativity for change, to respond to the world we live in.

Creativity could also free people up, enable people to flourish, and resonated with childhood, seeing endless possibilities, which as children we do, but as adults we feel constrained by pre-conceived ideas.

How can we define creativity? Here are some quotes I picked out from the session:

— Without creativity, there would be repetition and routine — The courage to let go of certainties — Being playful — Taking risks — breaking rules — making mistakes — having fun — Creativity is just connecting things.

We picked up a great tool called ‘Random Word’ whereby a challenge was identified, then a random word was picked from a list.

This random word could be applied to the challenge, and a number of other connected words were identified. It was good fun and a great way for teams to engage, get some different perspectives and develop new ideas about how to tackle challenges.

Our particular challenge was:

How can we encourage more people to become Friends of Chwarae Teg? We started with the random word ‘Screw’, which in turn led to associated words ‘cork, B&Q, driver and toolbox’, all identified by group members, all perceiving different aspects of the issue.

The ‘Random Word’ tool enabled a pool of ideas to be explored by thinking ‘outside the box’, or laterally ( according to Edward De Bono, who coined the phrase ‘lateral thinking’ ).

On a final note, I do think there is room out there for a new rap, coined by Chwarae Teg.

For those of you around in the 80s, remember ‘Wham Rap’? Well, ‘Hey everybody, take a look at us, we’ve got fab creativity…’ You may not be seeing this on the back of a local bus anytime soon, so that’s as far as I’ll take that little nugget.

By the way, harking back to the 80s, I refuse to wear those odd fluorescent socks again! I believe in the power of colour and creativity, but there are some things in life it’s best not to revisit!

Thanks for a breath of fresh ideas, Prith, it was emotional ( in a good way ) . . .