How can the Welsh surpass the Irish in making their own patron saint day, St. David’s Day as popular as St. Patrick’s Day?
The answer may be in a very special version of a cuddle.
A good old fashioned affectionate hug, or ‘cwtch’ – an endearing Welsh word for a hug or cuddle is the secret weapon for enabling the celebration of all things Welsh on St. David’s Day on March 1st to be even more memorable and engaging.
I am urging the people who promote all-things-Welsh to embark on a five year campaign featuring ‘having a cwtch’ and making it a key integral part of the St. David’s Day celebration message around the world. Continue reading
Despite dying 20 years ago and having stopped playing football nearly 35 years ago the legend of my boyhood hero, former West Ham United and England captain Bobby Moore grows.
Rather like interest will grow next year for the centenary of World War I, in spite of an ever-growing time gap, the appetite for commemoration grows.
Why is this?
The answer is that are examples of memes – self-replicating bodies of information that keep a legend alive. Continue reading
Tubespiration! book cover
Turn your next mundane Tube trip into an inspirational journey is the aim of ‘Tubespiration’, a new guide showing how to get your next brilliant idea by using the London Underground as a creativity tool.
Written by leading creative thinking expert and Londoner Andy Green, it contains over 150 different tools or creative prompts using the story and experiences of the Underground to help you get new ideas or solutions for anything, from the petty to the profound during your travels.
The book will be formally launched during World Creativity Week April 15th -21st.
It celebrates both the first and the next 150 years of the London Underground and the 80th anniversary of the publication of Harry Beck’s iconic Tube map design.
It is designed to enable people to take advantage of the down-time in their daily schedule, and preserve a precious opportunity for thinking – instead of being absorbed by computers or listening to headphones.
Produced by the Flexible Thinking Forum, a not-for-profit social enterprise which works to improve creative thinking skills in the community, the new book is available here
On the day that Britain went decimal in 1971 the country is invited to celebrate its nostalgia – on National Nostalgia Day on February 15th.
It aims to both encourage enjoyable, positive reminisces and also identify if our world of today would be better from bringing, or restoring anything no longer around.
The campaign is being promoted by a leading creative think tank, the Flexible Thinking Forum which promotes innovation in the community.
Campaigners are inviting everyone to identify the five things they miss most in bygone age and share with friends and family. Continue reading
There is a delicious irony that one of the initiatives I had planned to do – I failed to deliver.
But then again it was ‘National Failure Week’ – planned for the first full week of February.
The idea was inspired by the efforts last year of a top girls’ school, Wimbledon High School, in holding a “failure week” to teach pupils to embrace risk, build resilience and learn from their mistakes. The emphasis was on the value of having a go, rather than playing it safe and perhaps achieving less. Continue reading
I am very proud of one of my babies. No, not one of my two daughters (of whom I’m immensely proud!) Rather, one of my creative off-springs, a meme – ‘Blue Monday’. It is a source of great happiness – but also some unhappiness.
For the last 7 years I have been promoting the third Monday in January as ‘Blue Monday’ – as now symbolically the most depressing day of the year, associating the concept with a call to promote better mental well-being and mental health issues. Continue reading
Could you help people overcome what is labelled ‘the most depressing day of the year’ – Blue Monday on Monday January 21st – with activities to turn it into a day of ‘binge happiness’ – and also raise funds for mental health charities?
A special campaign web site, www.beatbluemonday.org.uk is offering practical advice to tackle the effects of Blue Monday, the symbolic date for the low point in the year, along with a special ‘5 stage Binge Happiness Work-Out’ programme to help people to make themselves happier.
The 5 Step ‘Binge Happiness Work Out’ consists of: Continue reading
Support is being offered to help people overcome what is labelled ‘the most depressing day of the year’ – Blue Monday on Monday January 21st – with activities to turn it into a day of ‘binge happiness’ – and also raise funds for mental health charities.
The combination of general economic doom and gloom coupled with the domestic grief of unpaid bills, broken resolutions, and bad weather make this potentially one of the worst Blue Mondays ever.
A special campaign web site, www.beatbluemonday.org.uk is offering practical advice to tackle the effects of Blue Monday, the symbolic date for the low point in the year, along with a special ‘5 stage Binge Happiness Work-Out’ programme to help people to make themselves happier. Continue reading
If you have made New Year’s resolutions the critical challenge is to make them happen.
Here’s where you need to use ‘Squeezesteps’.
The dictionary of the future will define a ‘Squeezestep as: “Actively breaking down into smaller, more do-able, nudgeable or more compelling steps in any change requiring you or others to take.”
It implies there is an onus on anyone engaged with change to recognize the need for making change easier for the other person.
Creativity fundamentally works in the same way as if you were making a snowball. It is an incremental dynamic where you add one thing to another, and another, and another…. Every idea you create is a stepping stone to take you somewhere different.
Making small steps is far less frightening than making big ones. It’s far easier, and also gives you more options, for example to shuffle to the right or left, forwards or backwards rather than to make just one massive leap forward.
Nature also works by following lines of least resistance; a river does not flow in a straight line. In your strategy you don’t need to identify the straightest line between you and your objective. You need to identify lines of least resistance.
These lines of least resistance are identified by the easiest squeezstep forward. By being prepared to make many different probes forward – and also being flexible enough to go back and start another route if necessary, you can overcome the biggest obstacles.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time is the old gag, but it’s perfectly true in your gameplan when tackling any big task you face.
One of the key reasons why an idea, a new business venture, or a lifestyle change is unsuccessful is that you may have been required to make too many unbridgeable steps.
Equally, it may have required you to say an immediate ‘Yes’ to your idea, to travel too far for their small steps.
When you have an idea in your head, the tendency is for it to be in concrete detail in your mind. The picture is a vivid, yet self-contained vision. But it fails to take into account the niggling little things, the minor interventions, hurdles and diversions that people have to overcome to also get to your destination.
Whenever you have an idea you need to ask yourself beautiful questions of : ‘What are the small steps I need to ask people to make?’ and “What squeezesteps do I need to introduce to make the change happen?”
I would recommend identifying five Squeezesteps – between where you are now and the place where you want to be. The crucial trick is that two of your five squeezesteps you should have already done.
The reason for this is that it makes starting easier – you have already made the first step. By identifying the second step you have already done, this creates a sense of momentum to make your next step even more compelling and likely to happen.
You can diagnose the optimum step ladder for you to reach the place where you are at by using these 4 motivations:
1. When looking at the detail of your situation, explore beyond its immediate features, identify its benefits – what it does for you, both on a practical and emotional level and the inter-relationship between different elements of your situation.
2. In what ways can you go the extra yard compared to what is already being offered?
3. What niche opportunities are there to the left or the right, foreground or rear of your situation can you take advantage of?
4. Making, consuming and experiencing as many squeezesteps as possible expands the range of opportunities available to you and gives you more to think flexibly around.
Taking squeezesteps helps your flexible thinking move quicker. It can also bring you dividends for you when you least expect.
Here’s to you fulfilling your New Year resolutions and taking Squeezesteps 3,4 and 5.
More people are more likely to make use of their free time to watch porn on the Internet during the Twixtmas festive break, between the Christmas and New Year holidays, than go online to do good, or help charity according to the latest Google search figures.
Internet searches for ‘porn’ are expected to reach their climax in the last week of December with an estimated 13 million searches for adult-related phrases. In contrast, for every on-line search for ‘charity’ there are 20 searches for porn.
Curiously, the fastest rising porn-related search term during the last year in the UK is ‘Tulisa sex tape’.
Campaigners are now urging the public to take advantage of the five days of Twixtmas – the break, between Christmas and New Year holidays – to do at least five socially good things during the period when people are ‘time rich’ instead of being ‘time poor’. Continue reading