I love art, especially crazy and colourful art. I have painted with oil and acrylic paint since I was about twenty years old. My paintings were never planned at all; the inspiration was just there.
In my research for what creativity is, I went along to a workshop about creative painting in 2010. In this workshop I learned that whatever comes out is right. It was a great day and I left with some powerful paintings. Since then I’ve applied this new technique to many projects; that whatever comes out is the right thing and perfect.
I have also exhibited my art twice in London. I hung my art on the wall and the organisers gave me advice on what to display. Many of my friends attended and it was a great event, though I was pretty scared and very nervous about showing my art in public. It’s such a personal thing and you don’t want to hear any negative feedback. After speaking to around twenty strangers at the exhibition and admitting aloud that I was an artist, I relaxed. I think it helps to say things out loud, and then whatever you are doing becomes more real to you.
Another passion of mine is improvisation (improv). When I was planning and pitching my TV programme idea about leadership in 2010, I went to a leadership workshop and met Joe, a guy who loves improvisation theatre. We got along very well and he suggested I see an improvisation show. A week later I was at my first improvisation show and thought it was hilarious; I’d never laughed so much in my whole life.
I signed up to a weekend improv course and loved it! I learned about all kinds of storytelling principles and techniques. Since then I’ve spent a lot of time learning improvisation, attending several courses and evening events. I’ve learned the art of improv from some amazing people. It is such a fun and relaxing way of connecting with people. If you feel in need of a good laugh, go to an improv show.
Now I use a lot of improvisation techniques when I am teaching and training. In improvisation, the most important phrase you can say is ‘Yes, and…’ or something similar. It’s when you say ‘no’ to an offer that you stop the flow of the play. It’s the same in real life. When you say ‘no’ to something then the enthusiasm is gone and the natural flow stops. Instead, try to say ‘Yes, and….’. Try it! I tell you all about this idea in my book Digital Leadership.
All the creativity principles I’ve learned from film directors, artists and improvisations have helped me to understand better what leadership and creativity are and how to use them. And this is knowledge that I want to share with more people.