What Skills Are You Investing In?

According to the World Economic Forum, analytical, creative thinking and complex problem solving, are key skills for now and over the next few years.



The pace of change, particularly around working lives, requires a workforce that can remain flexible, think creatively and make effective choices. Understating how the brain might actually get in the way of these skills and having a kitbag of strategies to boost thinking power, may be more important than experience. Knowing how we have done things in the past will not be as useful as coming up with ideas on how to do things differently.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein



Join me on the 25th January, 2019, to explore the kind of strategies that will open up options and creative problem solving.

Impasse to Insight – creative problem solving for business.


We Were Born Creative – what happened?

Photo of the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

We were born creative. We were born clever. We were born awesome.

Everything we learn for the first years of our lives we teach ourselves: through experimentation, through putting two and two together and seeing the results, through wondering “what if?”  During this time we teach ourselves a language; some people teach themselves more than one.

We then get told to sit still, be quiet, colour in between the lines. Most of us, for whatever reason, start to develop beliefs about ourselves that are unhelpful; beliefs that are contrary to this reality.

“You aren’t creative, you’re not that bright, you’re not as good as…”

I heard twenty years ago about some research that was done with engineers at a car manufacturer. They were trying to establish what made the creative ones that bit more creative.  The answer was this – the creative ones believed that they were creative. That’s it, the only difference that they found.

I don’t know whether this story is true (and if anyone could find me the research I would be very grateful) but I have been exploring this ever since. I was someone who believed that I wasn’t creative. And yet:

  • I could dance from the moment I could walk
  • I was musical
  • I was good at creative writing
  • genetically speaking I should have been creative since both of my parents were

And yet!

It has taken some time for me to say “yes, I’m creative.” What a waste!

So what is stopping you? What beliefs have been holding you still, when you could have been dancing, drawing, singing, writing, learning?

You were born awesome – you still are; let it shine.

Breaking Out

Here is the third entry into the VERY occasional series, responding to the Artwork of My Friends – the first being here and the second here.

I asked my friend Doug Shaw to select a piece of his work for me to write about. Here is my response.

Painting by Doug Shaw

Breaking Out       by Janet Webb

Warm, familiar, not loud, not bright,
This comforting place is my delight.
This shell keeps me secure, held and still,
Away from the cliff edge, safe from ill will.

These bars protect me from unknown harm,
Enclosing with nothing to cause alarm.
They stop me from doing what’s foolish, what’s rash,
Protecting me from what’s harsh, what’s brash.

But painfully bound to a familiar game,
Repeating, repeating, repeating the same,
The solid walls smother and stifle the din
And I shrink and contract; my outlook looks in.

So I break from this jail that’s safe but a bore,
Cut the rope that tethers and learn to soar.
Looking over the edge I see a different view
And risking the fall, I learn something new.

I’ll leave the comfort of what I know
And explore what is hidden in order to grow.
To climb like a vine and snatch at the sky.
And if I fall? Well, for a moment I’ll fly.


Damp Ink; sing with me.

“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life…

…and I’m feeling good.” (enter the brass section) Dum. Da dum. Da dum. Da dum, da.

A while ago a close colleague said that she was thinking about some ideas, mostly from “Damp Ink.” I immediately thought:

“What’s Damp Ink? Perhaps a repository of initial thoughts and ideas or something. Must look into it.”

What she actually said was “Dan Pink”! which made perfect sense in the context of what we were talking about. Set me thinking though. Which is how life works – someone shares a thought and that sets someone else off. Neurons fire neurons. Juxtaposition, changed perspective, looking through a distorted lens – it all works to stimulate, challenge, create and increase understanding.

So Damp Ink is born – my repository of first thoughts and ideas to set you off. Let the music begin.