Learning to Be Creatively Confident

Learning to Be Creatively Confident

By: Lee Boyland

I would describe myself as a once-avid reader; however, I have had to push this hobby to the way back burner in recent years. On vacation a few months back, when I had several hours to ride in the car on the way there, and on the way back, as well as some lounging beach time in between, I decided to start a new book – “Creative Confidence.” This book is sooo inspiring! “Creative Confidence” was written by brothers Tom Kelley, author of “The Art of Innovation” and David Kelley, founder of IDEO and Stanford d. school. The title – “Creative Confidence,” can be defined as the confidence to generate new ideas, solutions or approaches when the opportunity presents itself, and the authors really drive home that anyone  can be creative! Creativity is not a trait that lies in just artsy people.

As I began to draft this blog, I realized there are many concepts in the book that authors Tom Kelley and David Kelley are pointing to, so I am focusing on just a couple of nuggets for now!

Failure –

We are part of a culture that largely is afraid of failure, but there is so much to be learned through failure. Think of famous inventors like Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers. We know that they certainly didn’t invent the light bulb or fly a plane on the first try! They failed, and they learned lessons as a result of their failures. If we are open to accepting that we can’t always get it right the first time, we can look at our failures and see what there is to be learned from them in order to better ourselves and bring ourselves one step closer to success. Embrace your creativity and your ability, and let go of comparing yourself to others. We can’t be the best overnight, so we need to commit to making “rapid and continuous improvements.” Take it one step at a time and stay positive.

In addition to what lessons there are to learn in “Creative Confidence,” about failure, I saw a quote on Instagram recently that I felt was very true and uplifting: “Success is a pile of failure. You’re just standing on top of it and not underneath it.” – Dave Ramsey.

Learning Your Customer Base –  

Now, much of the meat of the lessons the Kelley brothers are teaching us comes from experiences at the d. school. One particular class at the d. school called “Design for Extreme Affordability,” and a team in the class was charged with designing a low-cost incubator that could save low-birth weight babies. The team sought different perspectives of thinking, met with mothers in countries such as Nepal and India, where a majority of the world’s low-birth weight babies are born. The asked questions to get an understanding of what the mothers’ needs were and realities of their lives. They found that many of the affected infants were born in remote areas far from hospitals, and that mothers were unlikely to travel to hospitals and stay there for an extended length of time due to family needs at home, and they were very unlikely to leave their babies there as well. After much research and some trial and error, the team developed the Embrace warmer, which is highly transportable and costs 99% less than traditional incubators. How awesome is that!?

One last nugget of wisdom found in “Creative Confidence…“When you open your mind to the possibility that your capabilities are unlimited and unknown, you already have your running shoes on and are ready to race forward.”


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