Cleese começa por dizer-nos que a ciência à volta da Criatividade, não mudou muito nos últimos anos, e de certo modo terá estagnado nos anos 60, o que talvez não seja mentira. A verdade é que ainda hoje em 2012, olhamos para a criatividade como algo misterioso, quando na verdade não existe muito aqui para descobrir ou descortinar. Destaco partes da comunicação directamente aqui para o texto, para que se possa ter uma ideia do que é dito e ao mesmo tempo possa ajudar-nos a criar uma estrutura da comunicação como um todo. Assim Cleese começa por dizer aquilo que a criatividade não é,
“Creativity is not a talent, it is a way of operating…creativity is not an ability that you either have or not have, it is for example and this may surprise you, absolutely unrelated to IQ, provided you’re intelligent above a certain minimal level that is, but McKinnon showed in investigating scientists, architects, engineers and writers that those regarded by their peers as most creative were in no way whatsoever different in IQ from their ‘less creative’ colleagues. So in what way were they different? Well, McKinnon showed that the most creative had simply acquired a facility for getting themselves into a particular mood, a way of operating, which allowed their natural creativity to function…indeed he described the most creative when in this mood as being childlike, that they were able to play with ideas, to explore them, not for any immediate practical purpose but just for enjoyment, play for its own sake.”Daqui vai passar a definir então que modo é este que algumas pessoas adquiriram e que lhes permite serem de certo modo mais criativas. Cleese descreve este modo como um sistema, com duas posições, aberto e fechado.
"I mean the mode that we are in most of the time when at work. We have inside us a feeling that there's lots to be done and we have to get on with it if we're going to get through it all. It's an active (probably slightly anxious) mode, although the anxiety can be exiting and pleasurable. It's a mode which we're probably a little impatient, if only with ourselves. It has a little tension in it, not much humor.It's a mode in which we're very purposeful, and it's a mode in which we can get very stressed and even a bit manic, but not creative."
"By contrast, the open mode, is relaxed… expansive… less purposeful mode… in which we're probably more contemplative, more inclined to humor (which always accompanies a wider perspective) and, consequently, more playful. It's a mood in which curiosity for its own sake can operate because we're not under pressure to get a specific thing done quickly. We can play, and that is what allows our natural creativity to surface."Cleese explica que apesar de o modo Aberto ser o que conduz ao momento criativo, não podemos operar sempre nesse modo, pois o momento da implementação precisa de focagem, precisa de fechar para poder proceder à construção e descrição da ideia. Ora o que nos falta é saber como podemos potenciar o Modo Aberto, e sobre isso Cleese descreve um conjunto de 5 factores: Espaço, Tempo, Tempo, Confiança e Humor.
1 - Espaço
"Let's take space first: you can't become playful and therefore creative if you're under your usual pressures, because to cope with them you've got to be in the closed mode.2 - Tempo
So you have to create some space for yourself away from those demands. And that means sealing yourself off.
You must make a quiet space for yourself where you will be undisturbed."
"It's not enough to create space, you have to create your space for a specific period of time. You have to know that your space will last until exactly (say) 3:30, and that at that moment your normal life will start again.And it's only by having a specific moment when your space starts and an equally specific moment when your space stops that you can seal yourself off from the every day closed mode in which we all habitually operate."3 - Tempo
"So combining the first two factors we create an "oasis of quiet" for ourselves by setting the boundaries of space and of time."
"Most creative professionals always played with a problem for much longer before they tried to resolve it, because they were prepared to tolerate that slight discomfort and anxiety that we all experience when we haven't solved a problem.You know I mean, if we have a problem and we need to solve it, until we do, we feel (inside us) a kind of internal agitation, a tension, or an uncertainty that makes us just plain uncomfortable. And we want to get rid of that discomfort. So, in order to do so, we take a decision. Not because we're sure it's the best decision, but because taking it will make us feel better.Well, the most creative people have learned to tolerate that discomfort for much longer. And so, just because they put in more pondering time, their solutions are more creative.The third factor that facilitates creativity is time, giving your mind as long as possible to come up with something original."4 - Confiança
"When you are in your space/time oasis, getting into the open mode, nothing will stop you being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake.Now if you think about play, you'll see why. To play is experiment: "What happens if I do this? What would happen if we did that? What if…?"The very essence of playfulness is an openness to anything that may happen. The feeling that whatever happens, it's ok. So you cannot be playful if you're frightened that moving in some direction will be "wrong" -- something you "shouldn't have done.So you've got risk saying things that are silly and illogical and wrong, and the best way to get the confidence to do that is to know that while you're being creative, nothing is wrong. There's no such thing as a mistake, and any drivel may lead to the break-through."5 - Humor
"Well, I happen to think the main evolutionary significance of humor is that it gets us from the closed mode to the open mode quicker than anything else.I think we all know that laughter brings relaxation, and that humor makes us playful, yet how many times important discussions been held where really original and creative ideas were desperately needed to solve important problems, but where humor was taboo because the subject being discussed was "so serious"?No, humor is an essential part of spontaneity, an essential part of playfulness, an essential part of the creativity that we need to solve problems, no matter how 'serious' they may be.So when you set up a space/time oasis, giggle all you want."A conferência tem cerca de 35 minutos, e pode ser vista na íntegra no vídeo abaixo. Aí poderão encontrar muito mais coisas, para além do que aqui resumo a partir das palavras de Cleese, poderão ouvir por exemplo muitas piadas sobre o modo como se Muda uma Lâmpada :)
[O texto da comunicação foi copiado da transcrição online]