In the news:

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Spotlight on the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities

Fun Can't Be Forced:
Creativity Central in the news

Creativity and Democracy:
By Tom Tresser

Strategic Innovation:
A very powerful product development solution for companies

Custom Book Covers

200 Pixels AKA Jake's Corner

  200 Pixels by Jake
Quote of the month-
"How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?"
Homer Simpson

Puzzles - They're good for the brain

Language Puzzles:

Example: 1 E. on a C.
Answer: Eye on a Cyclops

Now, your turn...

1 G. L. for M.

1 is the L. N.

2 C. B. as B. as O.

2 N. in a D.

2 P. in a P.

3 B. M. S. H. T. R.!)

3 F. in a Y.

3 S. to the W.

4 S. in a Y.

5 D. in a Z. C.

7 C. in a R.

8 L. on a S.

9 P. in the S. S.

12 D. of C.

17 S. in a H.

18 H. on a G. C.

24 B. B. in a P.

26 L. of the A.

29 D. in F. in a L. Y.

36 I. on a Y. S.

88 P. K.

90 D. in a R. A.

500 M. in the I. F. H.

1001 A. N.

1440 M. in a D.

5280 F. in a M.

20000 L. U. the S.

Click for the answers...

Puzzles supplied by Brainbashers

Website of the month-
I can't wait...

Inspire your staff. Give the gift of creativity.

Our designers are able to create custom book covers that speak to a targeted audience. We can customize our book cover putting your company's logo on large quantity orders.
We can also include a letter of introduction by your CEO.

Please contact us for details.

Charlie Girsch
ph 651.291.0745

  Nuts & Bolts:
Creativity Central
St. Paul

Charlie Girsch
Maria Girsch

1111 Elway St.
Suite 609
St. Paul MN 55116-3236
ph 651.291.0745
fax 651.305.6477

Creativity Central

Ed Holahan
Jake More

5215 N. Ravenswood
Suite 307
Chicago, IL
ph 773.293.4559
fax 773.293.4551

Strategic Innovation

Strategic Innovation

Ed Holahan
Jake More
Dona Vitale

5215 N. Ravenswood
Suite 307
Chicago, IL
ph 773.293.4559
fax 773.293.4551

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Creativity Central cNews
October 7, 2004
Volume 1, Issue 10

We hope you enjoyed reading this issue of Creativity Central cNews.

We'll bring you more exciting news from Creativity Central and our affiliates just one month from now on Tuesday, November 9, 2004.
  Spotlight: Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities
Great People Doing Challenging Work by Ed Holahan

"The mission of the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities is to promote change which ensures that people with developmental disabilities have the same opportunities as others in the community."

Rockford, Illinois - September 2004
The Council asked Creativity Central to give a workshop at their annual meeting. Half of the Council members are new, all of their work is difficult. We were invited to help the ICDD team come together and to energize the participants for the challenges ahead.

One of the really great things about doing what we do is that we come into contact and get to work with some wonderful people. We found ourselves surrounded by thirty of the liveliest spirits on the planet. The energy in the room was tremendous.

I am reminded of a point in the evening when the group was working on the challenge, "How might we get the attention of policymakers?" We began the exercise, as we often do, by asking the participants to call out the most outrageous ideas they could think of to address the challenge. Well, let me tell you folks, there were suggestions from this lovely group of caring people that would make several sailors blush. If I had to choose one word to characterize the group's reaction to the challenge it would be...Passionate!

Of course we went from the wacky to the workable and came up with a half dozen really different, useful approaches to the problem. Good for you ICDD, good for you! Once again, when an open mind meets with tried and true creativity techniques, the results are outstanding.

Thank you to all the terrific folks at ICDD for inviting us into your world, for organizing an outstanding evening and for being such great participants every step of the way.
  Creativity Central in the news: Fun Can't Be Forced

Fun can’t be forced
From SalesForceXP Sept./Oct

Charlie Girsch recently got a group of investment bankers to don lobster bibs and create food sculptures before breakfast–and they enjoyed it! Getting Corporate America’s creative juices flowing is full time work for Girsch and his wife Maria, founders of Creativity Central, a St. Paul MN. based company that conducts corporate brainstorming workshops.

“Our motto is ‘What if? What else? Why not?’” says Girsch. Group experiences can build workplace cohesiveness when done well. Certain people will always derive more from these exercises than others, Girsch admits, but even introverts who are able to let loose for a few hours find a Girsch-led afternoon entertaining and educational.

His tips for successful team events:

Observing is O.K.
Avoid making people participate in activities.

Allowing people a few minutes to write down thoughts before a discussion is an effective way to draw less vocal participants into the discussion.

Don’t ask them to climb mountains before they climb some hills.

All surprises should be positive.
Avoid showing participants what they are doing wrong, show them how to do things right. It makes a big difference in the overall mood.

Everything you do should build people up, not embarrass them.

  Creativity and Democracy: by Tom Tresser

Creativity is America's Greatest Renewable Energy Source by Tom Tresser

We believe that creativity is an essential and irreplaceable element of the American character and mind. Our ability to invent new ideas, things, and ways of relating to one another has been the engine that created our country and that drives our economic and spiritual well-being.

The establishment of America was a creative act. The Declaration of Independence was a profoundly innovative document that helped spark the public's imagination and gave life to a revolutionary idea.

The public readings of the Declaration across the face of the 13 colonies in 1776 were kinds of civic performances that helped turn those colonies into the United States of America in the minds of the listeners.

We believe that creativity and the passion to pursue the dreams released by one's creativity lie at the heart of America's success as a nation and as a people.

Collectively, our creative efforts have generated the driving force in today's global economy - our creative industries are leading the world in new products, entertainment and scientific advancement. America's creative class - artists, cultural workers, writers, software developers, inventors, change agents, community organizers and others who live to create new visions, products and solutions add immeasurable value to the American fabric of life as well as to its economy.

Taken together, our creativity-based industries have been called the Creative Economy.

These industries produced some $960 billion in revenue in America in 1999.1 Included in this set of industries are what have been labeled the "core copyright industries" and in 2003 this set of industries are estimated to produce some $479.4 billion in revenues.2

Over 38 million Americans work in the industries that comprise the Creative Economy.3

The Creative Economy is where the action is for post-Industrial, post-Service and post-Modern societies. This is where the most value will be created and the highest-paying jobs will be. It's also where the fun is.

And it's projected to grow by a 4.8 percent compound annual growth rate through 2007.4

In a sense, creativity is an energy source, a source that lies inside every individual and that is renewable and endless - like sunlight. In fact, creativity is the one energy source that is non-polluting, available everywhere and exists in inexhaustible abundance.

We believe that by unleashing American ingenuity and the drive to create, we will find the path to continued prosperity and economic security.

We don't know where the next Steve Jobs, Jimi Hendrix, Jonas Salk, Jane Addams or Cesar Chavez will come from. Who will be the next pioneers and innovators whose work will immeasurably enrich the national life? If we want to increase the likelihood that they will be American-born or American-based, we need to think creatively about how to nourish, maximize, and accelerate creativity here.

We believe that every person has something precious and important to offer our community and our economy. Great ideas don't respect skin color, religious preference, sexual orientation or economic circumstance. If we, as a nation, restrict opportunity and access to resources to certain people because of some pre-conceived prejudice, then we risk losing the ideas and creations those people might generate.

If we demand that everyone look, act and think like us, then we foreclose on the possibility that some new and unanticipated insight will blossom into the "killer app" that technology writers talk about. Most great innovations happen when people question the usual and the standard ways of thinking.

We don't care where you came from, who your parents were, who you sleep with or what color you are or what you had for breakfast - we just want to know what's in your head and what's in your heart. If we like it, we try it - we buy into it - we take it and run with it.

That is what is so unique about America.

That is what makes us great - what is at our core and what we offer to the rest of the world. That's why 35 million people born in other countries are here right now5. Freedom to be and freedom to create.

We want our elected officials to take note of this distinction and honor it.

We want the next President to make the maximization of our individual and collective creativity a national priority. We urge the appointment of a National Director of Creativity whose job it will be to thoroughly examine the state of American creativity and recommend to the next President ways to preserve, celebrate and extend this vital national resource.

We don't have a prescription for maximizing creativity, but we do believe that two essential underpinnings of America's creative environment are a strong and vibrant system of public education and an open and tolerant society.

We look forward to an administration committed to creating new jobs, new services, and new businesses by tapping a very old and precious American resource - our fabulous pool of American creativity and the American passion to leave things better than we found them.

References / related links:

  1. "The Creative Economy: How People Make Money from Ideas," John Howkins, Penguin UK, 2001, p. 116.

  2. "Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2002-2006 Executive Summary,"

    PricewaterhouseCoopers, May 2002, p. 18. For the latest version of this report.

  3. "The Rise of the Creative Class," Richard Florida, Basic Books, 2002, p. 68 & 328.

  4. PricewaterhouseCoopers press release.

  5. United Nations Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, International Migration Profiles by Country or area

Tom Tresser is serving as Lead Organizer for the Creative America Project, Tom has been a long-time advocate for an increased appreciation for the role of creativity in the life of the community.
  Strategic Innovation: A new Creativity Central Affiliate

We have a new service that we are extremely excited about.

The Strategic Innovation Workshop combines focus testing and intense brainstorming to produce new products for our clients who market consumer goods.

We have partnered with Strategic Focus of Chicago, a top marketing firm, to come up with a new way for highly competitive manufacturers to invent products that have a better chance of success in the marketplace.

Strategic Focus identifies and employs carefully targeted consumers who meet to dream up and speak out what they really want to see from a specific manufacturer. This raw material is monitored by the product development people that the client has assembled. These development people are facilitated by Creativity Central's trainers. The ensuing brainstorm produces focused product ideas that have a huge leg up in the marketplace because they are based on the real desires of target consumers.

This is a tremendous advantage for a manufacturer who is trying to introduce new consumer goods with an excellent chance of success. Launching any new product is notoriously risky. If a company can reduce its risk by pre-testing the concepts and focusing the ideation process they get a leg up on their competition.

For years Creativity Central has been serving clients in various consumer products businesses. Our Brainstorm techniques have helped the people at Kraft, Pillsbury, Guidant, Mix & Burn and many others to develop outstanding, innovative product.

Strategic Focus with its insightful, early consumer focus testing, identifying opportunities for new product, has made happy clients of Sunkist, Vileda, Killians and Samsung among others.

If any of you out there are responsible for the development of new products I strongly urge you to consider what a Strategic Innovation Workshop might do for you.

Click here for more information

  © Creativity Central cNews, 2004 All rights reserved