John Cleese knows a thing or two about inviting creativity. In a stimulating talk on this very subject, Clesse explores the various challenges in getting to what he calls the open mode of creative thinking:
“We all operate in two contrasting modes, which might be called open and closed. The open mode is more relaxed, more receptive, more exploratory, more democratic, more playful and more humorous. The closed mode is the tighter, more rigid, more hierarchical, more tunnel-visioned.”
Cleese begins his talk (again, well worth a view) by reflecting that he has spent the last 25-years watching how various creative people produced “their stuff”, which ultimately lead to his fascination in how he could become more creative.
Although Cleese concedes, “telling people how to be creative is easy —it’s only being it [creative] that’s difficult”; “The reason why it’s futile to talk about creativity is that it can’t be explained.”
Clesse notably cites the work of Pscycologist Donald W. Mackinnon who researched creativity in the 1960s and who sought to explain the major facets of creativity, including the generally ill-defined creative process itself.