Would you rummage through the dumpster to complete a homework assignment? Maybe, but probably not. Just the thought of diving through trash can make your skin crawl. But I’m willing to be that is that teacher said there are a couple of gold bars in that bin, you’d do it in a heartbeat.

This is what Professor Tina Seelig asks her students to do in her classes. She’s unusual but with 35 years of figuring out where people get their creative juices flowing, I’d welcome being quirky too. Seelig is Professor of the Practice in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford. She’s been teaching and writing a lot about creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation for many, many years now (we’ll leave it to you to guess the number).

A Crash Course in Creativity

For this week’s Best Event Talk, she talks about creativity using a Mobius strip, where it’s broken down to six factors: Knowledge, Imagination, Habitat, Attitude, Culture and Resources. According to her, our Knowledge is our toolbox for creativity, Imagination is the catalyst for turning that knowledge into new ideas, and our Attitude is the spark that gets things done.

And although these may seem enough to create an idea, you still need to consider outside factors or environments that influence these three. Resources, Habitat and Culture play a role as well. Knowledge, Imagination and Attitude need to be stimulated by the environment that we are in to become truly innovative.

[Tweet “To be creative, you need to have Knowledge, Imagination, Habitat, Attitude, Culture and Resources”]

Seelig’s talk at TEDxStanford was short but full of a sageful advice and reflection. I can hardly keep up because every word seems so important. As an events professional, consider yourself thinking along the lines of the Mobius strip of the innovation engine that she introduced. How can you use it help create a better, more innovative event for your client?

If you want to turn on your innovation engine, I recommend you watch this short but worthwhile talk. Who says you can’t have structure and process when being creative?

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Glenn Santos

Author Glenn Santos

Glenn has been writing about technology, productivity and lifehacks for 10 years now. He was previously an editor for Android Authority and Geeky Gadgets, and was one of the first contributors for Startup Weekend's main blog.

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