Penn. Organizational Dynamics Prof. Steven F. Freeman
Creativity and Innovation in
Organization and Work

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Cheryl Pallant: Generative Thinking

To generate creativity and dynamic problem solving, one needs to connect with an open, generative source of thinking. A way this occurs is through employing both sides of the brain, establishing somatic awareness, supporting subjectivity, and stretching beyond usual conventions.

Monday Feb 6, 2012: Writing Work­shop: exercises are designed to generate a writing flow and uncover an authentic voice and interest in the material. The objective is to increase confidence and for students to recognize the power of their writing (6:45pm -- Kade Center, 3401A Walnut Street, Room 329A)

Tuesday Feb 7, 2012: 5:00 Dinner Lecture: To generate creativity and dynamic problem solving, one needs to identify new behaviors and thought. These can be reached with divergent thought, mindfulness, curiosity and play. We will focus on habit as a main obstacle to innovation and the benefits associated with uncertainty (5 pm -- Faculty Club)

Wednesday Feb 8, 2012: Class: Creativity, generative thinking, and openness takes place through employing both sides of the brain, establishing somatic awareness, supporting subjectivity, and stretching beyond usual conventions. We will discuss and perform exercises designed to identify rigid, linear, and boxed ideas and move into flexible, embodied, expansive thinking (6:30 pm -- Kade Center, 3401A Walnut Street, Room 329A)


About Cheryl: Writer/Creator/Community-maker

Cheryl Pallant is a writer, poet, dancer, writing coach, workshop leader, and professor. She has worked as a journal editor and dance reviewer, and is the author of ten books. She recently completed Ginseng Tango, a memoir on the year she recently spent in Korea, and is currently writing a book on creativity and mindfulness, based on exercises she has developed in a series of workshops she has long been conducting on creativity and innovation, some of which we have an opportunity to experience on Wednesday.

I met Cheryl this fall when I participated in an event she co-founded and continues to co-organize in Claymont, West Virginia called the East Coast Jam, centered around several days of Contact Improvisation. The contact was terrific --but beyond that, I was blown away by the overall experience. Here's a follow-up note I sent to profusely thank everyone involved. And though I really did mean to profusely thank everyone, I imagine it's the organizers in particular who were somehow weaving community with magic wands behind the scenes. We'll learn something about her magic at her Tuesday 5pm Dinner Lecture.

But Cheryl is not "just" a creator and community-maker, but also a skilled, insightful writer. Wonderful as the East Coast Jam experience was, it would have dissipated into a ghost of memory were it not for words: those that I had to conjure to express my thanks compelled me to reflect on my experience and its meaning to me; meanwhile, reading Cheryl's book,Contact Improvisation, in the aftermath of the jam was a pleasure that both recalled and deepened that experience. She writes well and naturally; her voice shines through clear and honest (read the preface (pdf) at the publisher's site). I would savor the book in small doses while eating cereal in the morning and it was as though we were having breakfast together. Given this happy intersection of creativity and writing experience, we're having a special, very different, writing workshop this Monday, one designed to generate a writing flow and uncover an authentic voice. No matter what you write -- or don't write -- this workshop is certain to be a uniquely valuable experience.

Other activities (if you're brave)

In addition to this full slate of Organizational Dynamics activities, Cheryl will also be teaching an introductory Contact Improvisation class at Studio 34 in West Philadelphia on Sunday Feb 6, (12:30). If you're brave and open to something completely different, join us there!  Finally, she'll be leading a series of exercises prior to the Thursday night Contact Improvisation jam (7pm, Feb 9 @ 1720 Mt. Vernon Street, near the Spring Garden Septa Stop in the Art Museum area).

Cheryl's website and blog -- read her 14 essential tools for creativity.  Here is a creativity interview recently up at Creativity Portal.

 

Date Page Created: Jan 22, 2012 Last Page Update: Feb 3, 2012