24 October 2015
Anglia Ruskin University

Interview: Simon Jack

Simon Jack tells us about his creativeConf Cambridge 2015 workshop

Could you tell me about your background and experience?

My background is actually in science. I get asked quite often, “how on Earth did you go from science to the creative field?” My reply is to always remind them of the people who have given the world the most vital inventions and breakthroughs: the likes of Einstein, Newton, Edison, Tesla.

First and foremost, creativity is a way of thinking, not a means of doing and that’s the advantage to having experienced a discipline where the very purpose of it is to question everything.

Ok so I didn’t make it far into the world of science until I got into the world of corporate consulting. I found myself far more interested in the ways in which people and organisations develop, change and innovate. In fact, trying to go against the flow of the old ways of working was the greatest source of creative inspiration and is where much of my experience at developing creative thinking methods focusing on behaviour change came from.

I now run Creative Encounters, which is primarily involved in bringing creative thinking capabilities to businesses and teams of all sizes. I also like to get my hands dirty and run the design and strategic marketing company, Leading Thought. Design and animation have always been important to me as a means of communicating a message. I firmly believe the more skill in creative design, the more impactful the message.

Could you tell me how you found out about creativeConf Cambridge?

creativeConf Cambridge found me, with a nice email from Steve!

Could you please explain your main reasons for participating?

For the most part, I work with business people who would claim they don’t have a creative bone in their body. It’s a far more intriguing challenge for me to inspire a group coming together to celebrate creativity. I’m anticipating a smorgasbord of combined thoughts and ideas… as well as loads of laughter.

Could you tell me a bit more about your session?

The session is called ‘Creatures of Habit’. Whether we realise or not, habits have such a controlling factor over the way we do things. When it comes to creative thinking, a bad habit can easily prevent us from ever escaping the ordinary. Introducing a new method or technique when the underlying bad habit hasn’t been conquered can simply result in the old ways reverting back.

What key areas will you cover?

Prepare to meet the creatures of habit that occupy your mind. These 6 main thinking habits can really limit your creative potential. Most people will have some or all of them to some extent and will probably be oblivious. This is all about being able to recognise them in order to begin reversing them and start achieving greater things

What do you hope participants will take away from your session?

Since I’ve been working in the creative industries, I’ve realised creativity isn’t the ability to make something look good. Creativity starts with the purpose, intent and ideas. Artistry alone is not enough. This session focuses on what it takes to be creative in order that inspirational results may follow.

We’re now in a hyper-competitive world where adequate doesn’t cut it anymore. I believe if someone is able to embed this type of habit-based thinking into the way they approach projects, they will have a much greater chance of succeeding, whatever their industry.

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