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Getting Creative with Clean


Practice Group Report

Our topic was Creativity, and we started the meeting by asking “What is Creativity?” Responses included:

  • Putting things together that haven’t been put together in that way before
  • Non-linear, not obvious
  • Taking risks, ignoring normal boundaries
  • Something that happens in response to “You can never do that!”
  • Colour, building things, expanding
  • Start with an idea, improve on it
  • A process, playing, not work
  • Spontaneity, no set outcome
  • Humour, the absurd - as in French literature
  • The unexpected surprise - laughter, one-liners
  • Redefining things, reframing, changing assumptions
  • Making something into something else
  • People think of arts, but can be creative in science, too
  • To do with something growing
  • Having a child
  • Something new, fresh, a thought or a state

Phil spoke about how we had done some work on creativity a few years ago. We started out with some ideas similar to those above, but realised that creativity is more than just a spark or a light-bulb moment. There is also the ‘doing’ that is needed to bring an idea into reality, to fruition. Things need to be tried and tested or practiced. This part is often ignored. We also often forget to consider what happens just before you are creative, e.g. self-preparation and that there needs to be a context to be creative in.

After the discussion, we moved onto practice. Working in groups of six, with one person as client and others taking it in turns to ask questions, we worked with the question: When you’re being creative, you’re like what? And after that, we worked in pairs, thinking about what we would like to have happen in relation to a creative project. This generated a number of personal insights, such as:

  • I’ve discovered where my sticking point is, and now I will be getting up at 6am.
  • I have resources within myself and sometimes impose barriers
  • I don’t want to do the admin (for a particular project) so I need to get someone else to do it
  • I have an internal critic
  • Creativity is not just about starting this… I need a paddle
  • I’ve clarified where I get stuck. There needs to be a combination of desire and decision. When this gets missed out, things hang and don’t come to fruition.
  • Painting a picture of what something will be like when it’s real helps me work towards it


There are a few books about Creativity which I’ve found useful:

Related blog posts


Creativity is Change

17th Feb 2007

By Marian Way


Navigating Space for Creativity

25th Oct 2018

By Jacqueline Ann Surin

About Marian Way

Marian Way's avatar

A highly skilled facilitator and trainer, Marian, who founded Clean Learning in 2001, has developed and delivered training across the world. She is the author of Clean Approaches for Coaches, co-author, with James Lawley, of Insights in Space and co-author, with Caitlin Walker, of So you want to be… #DramaFree.

Marian is an expert Clean facilitator, an adept modeller, a programme writer and an inspirational trainer. She has a natural ability to model existing structures, find the connections between them and design new ways for people to learn. Marian was a leading innovator within the Weight Watchers organisation, which included developing the “points” strategy, a local idea that went on to become a global innovation. She is a director of both Clean Learning and Training Attention CIC, world leaders in clean applications for corporate, educational and community development. She designs our programmes and workbooks, leads workshops and teaches on all our courses. She’s trained people in Great Britain, Russia, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Japan and the USA. Marian is also a recognised Clean Assessor.

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