Tina Seelig: "InGenius", Authors at Google

Uploaded by AtGoogleTalks on 21.05.2012

>>presenter: Alright, good afternoon everyone. Today we are pleased to welcome Dr. Tina Seelig
back to Google for her second Talks at Google Presentation.
Professor Seelig is the executive director at Stanford Technology Ventures Program
and the best-selling author of "What I Wish I knew When I Was Twenty".
Today, she speaks with us about her latest book "Ingenious",
and it brings lessons from her teaching, and research into creativity
and shows how anyone can increase their creative genius
and creative potential. Um, Tina remains one of the most inspirational
teachers at Stanford, both for myself and the many
other folks who have been through her class.
Her courses on creativity impact not only engineers, and D school grads,
but lawyers, doctors, um public health advocates, and and humanitarians in general.
Lessons from her course are applied in companies throughout the world, including here at Google
where we have a program called CSI that teaches many of the same things
that were taught in her class. Um,Together, with other proud alumni
in her class here at Google in the audience,
please join me in welcoming Tina back to Google. Thank you.
[applause] >>Tina Seelig: Thanks so much. Thank you
>>Tina Seelig: It is my total pleasure to be back here again.
It was exactly three years ago that I was here giving you
a talk about my last book "What I Wish I Knew When I Was Twenty."
Who would have known that three years later I would have a new book out and would get
to share with you. This book is based on my dozen years teaching
classes on creativity and innovation and entrepreneurship at Stanford.
And I decided I wanted to capture what I've learned through these experiences.
And uh it's interesting, I had lunch with some of the Googlers today,
and they asked how I got from being neurophysiologist to being a,
you know, teaching classes on creativity and innovation.
And it turns out, I really went into neuroscience initially because
of my interest in creativity. I wanted to know how the brain generated ideas.
And I have to say that, after finishing four years
of my PH.D at Stanford, um, I realized we were still pretty far
from understanding how the brain works and how creativity is generated.
So I went out into the real world to look at creativity in action.
I've worked in startup companies, and I'm just delighted to be at Stanford now
for just over a dozen years. Uh, really focusing on this, on creativity
in individuals, in teams and organizations.
The First question I want to ask is: Where do ideas come from?
Where do ideas come from? Anyone?
>>audience member: Inspiration >>Tina:
From Inspiration. And where do you get inspiration?
>>audience member: From putting two unconnected things together as an example
>>Tina: Great! Connecting things that are unconnected. What else?
>>audience member: [inaudible]
>>Tina: From your environment. You know, the interesting thing here is if
I had asked you How do you do experiments to figure out how
the world works? you would end up coming up with some very
very clear ideas about how to do a science experiment. From
the time we are little, we are given classes and taught
how to come up with hypotheses and how to test them,
how to analyze the data, and basically how to discover
how the world works. But we aren't given a parallel set of processes to think about
how to invent new things. Now here you are in Google where
there is invention, invention going on all the time,
but one of the things that happens is, we aren't actually really
clear about all the variables that are coming into play.
So what I've been trying to do is figure out a way, a model,
that shapes how we think about creativity and innovation
in individuals, in teams and organizations.
So...I am going to start out by showing you a picture of this model,
and I'm going to take it apart and put it back together.
The model I call "The Innovation Engine", and it looks at the things that happen inside
you, the inside of this Mobius strip:
your knowledge, information, attitude and the outside, the things that have to come
into play in the outside world:
the resources, habitat and the culture.
Now the interesting thing is if you ask most people
to make a list of the things that are important for creativity,
they usually start with imagination. Because that's the obvious place to start.
So we're going to start there too....
....With your imagination. Now, we're actually all imaginative.
We wouldn't be sitting here, or standing here, uh, where we are if we hadn't been.
We had to learn through creative problem solving in every single aspect of our lives, right?
Walking, talking, riding a bicycle, and certainly all of the products you are
developing here today. But why is it that many people don't
think of themselves as creative? And a lot of it comes from the type of training
and environments that we've been in. Think about it...
When we're in Kindergarten, we're given problems like this....
..What two numbers add up to ten? or, if we are given five and five, what's the answer?
what's the answer to this?
>>audience member: [inaudible]
>>Tina: Ten, okay. I got a little ahead of myself
there. Okay, if we're given this, there's one right
answer because we're taught that one right answer.
But what if we ask the question in a different way?
What if we ask what two numbers add up to ten?
How many answers are there to this?
>>audience member: infinite answers
>>Tina: Infinite answers. You can of course take the obvious answers like eight plus two,
and three plus seven, but negative numbers, fractions,
decimals, and if we don't ask questions in the right way,
we don't come up with the right answers. And this is very very important,
because one of the first steps in increasing your imagination
is asking the right question. Think about it.
If I ask you, um, if you'll build a bridge for me,
you could go off and build a bridge, or you could come back to me and say,
"Why do we need a bridge in the first place?" And if I said "I need to get across the Bay",
wow, there are so many ways to do that, right? You could walk around, you could swim,
you could take a boat, you could have a helicopter, you could have a tunnel, you could have a
hot air balloon. The fact is if we don't ask
the question properly in the beginning, we don't end up coming with the right answers.
Or the whole field of possible answers. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying
if he had a problem to solve, and it was terribly difficult,
and his life depended upon it, and he only had an hour to solve the problem...
he'd spend the first fifty-five minutes framing the problem,
because the frame of the problem is essentially the frame
in which the answers will fall. And so we have to think about practicing this.
This is NOT trivial. If you think about it,
the entire Copernican revolution came about by reframing what we think of the solar system.
Instead of saying the Earth is the center of the solar system,
by reframing it and saying "Wow what would happen if the sun was the
center of the solar system?" All of a sudden it opened up the entire field
of astronomy.
This is not just true in science, this is true in art as well.
Think of artists like Escher who challenge us to look,
question the foreground, and the background. And most of his artwork really looks at changing
the way we frame the picture.
There's some really fun ways to practice doing this every day. Really fun ways.
My favorite way to do it using jokes. So, um, you guys are probably familiar
with the Pink Panther, the Pink Panther and Inspector Clouseau, uh looks at a dog
on the street and he's about to go and pet him
and he says "Does your dog bite?" and, uh, the, uh, person who's carrying the
dog says, "No, my dog doesn't bite."
He reaches down, dog bites him and he says, "What happened?"
and he says "Well, that's not my dog."
[crowd laughs]
The fact is the frame changes in the middle, and this happens all the time.
If you look at jokes, you will find that jokes are funny because the frame switches.
Here's an example: Two women are walking, uh, playing golf one
day, and, uh a funeral goes by, in the cemetery
next door, and one of them stops, quietly bows her head
and says a prayer, and her friend says "You are the most thoughtful
person I could ever imagine!"
She says, "Well, it's the least I could do. We were married for
twenty-five years."
[crowd laughs]
Again, the frame switched in the middle of the joke.
THAT's what makes it funny. So look at jokes as way for you to practice,
even on a day to day level, how to frame problems.
Now, another way to increase your imagination, and you brought this up earlier,
is to connect and combine things that are not obvious.
And this is an incredibly powerful tool, because most new inventions actually come
about by putting things together that already exist
but in non-obvious ways. One of my favorite ways to explore this is
looking at the Japanese art of Chindogu. And the art of Chindogu is creating unuseless
inventions. Now these are things that aren't really useful,
and they're not really useless, but they are kind of unuseful.
So here's an example, you know, the shoes with the, uh, uh,
umbrellas on them. Well, it might not be completely practical,
but opens up a really interesting set of ideas, and you'd say "Whoa, what might that be if
we had an equivalent to umbrellas on our shoes?"
Or speaking of shoes, what if we had little [laughter] dustpans on our shoes?
Now I would say, this is actually really interesting. We normally have to get down on the floor
to sweep things up, what kind of ideas does this unlock by thinking
about what happens if you put a dustpan your shoes?
Or what if you put a mop on a baby's tummy, right?
Why not, if instead of the baby making a mess, the baby's job
is to clean up [crowd laughs] after itself okay? [crowd laughs]
So as it's , you put it on the floor, you know, sort of like
better than a little robot, you know, the baby crawls around,
cleans up the floor. Okay. So you have framing problems, you have
connecting and combining ideas, it's also important,
no, uh, this is an example of an uh, every day way to combine and connect ideas.
One of my favorite approaches is uh using the New Yorker Cartoon contest.
How many of you read the New Yorker? Lots of you? okay. It's one of my favorite
things, um, and in the back, there is the contest where there's cartoon
that has not captions, and there's almost always things that are
incongruent that are in the picture. Things that shouldn't be together, things
that are out of scale, things that seem ridiculous when you put them
in the same frame. And it's your job to connect them, to create
some storyline that in a really fun and interesting way connects them.
So here's a picture of two businessmen and a hobby horse,
and here is the caption that they had, "We'll start you out here, then give you more
responsibilities as you gain experience."
[crowd laughs]
Maybe that could happen here at Google. I don't know.
[crowd laughs]
So, I said you've got to connect and combine ideas,
you've to reframe problems, you also need to challenge assumptions.
Now what does this mean? This is actually critically important
for your imagination. It means going beyond the first right answer.
Most of us, when we try to solve a problem, come up with the first answer
and think we're done. And this is terribly problematic if you
want to come up with a really creative solution. And it's one of the reasons that we do brainstorming,
because brainstorming is a great way, if used properly,
to really generate a LOT of ideas, often ideas that are unexpected.
The way I like to teach my students to challenge assumptions
is that I give them problems that don't have a right answer.
In fact, they are problems I have no idea how I would tackle
and so I want to be as surprised by the types of results
they come up with as they are. Uh, let me tell you a story
about a recent project I gave: This was in Japan. I was asked to run, um,
a couple of workshops with students at Osaka University. I want
to frame this by saying I was told I'm going there because these students
are NOT creative, and they kind of wanted to prove it to me.
And I said "No no no no your students are amazingly creative, and
I can demonstrate it." So after running a two hour workshop with
them, I gave them this challenge. And this is the
design brief. Essentially it says: Your job is to create
as much value possible. Value measured in any way you want,
in two hours, starting with the contents of one trashcan.
You can pick whatever trashcan you want. So basically we're taking
something that doesn't even have zero value, it has negative value.
Right, this is, basically you pay people to take away the trash, so
we're going to take this. Take something that people thinks has no value,
and create as much value as possible in two hours. So to raise the
stakes a little bit, I also invited, um, my colleagues around the world
and the U.S. and Asia, Europe, Latin America, to participate with their students
as well. So we now had thousands of students from around
the world who are participating at the same time. Each
one picking whatever garbage can they wanted, and creating as much
value as possible in two hours. They had, basically, some time to think about
it, but as soon as they opened up, you know, spilled out the garbage can, they
had two hours. Interesting thing happened that was unexpected.
The students ended up spending a bunch of time at the beginning, discussing,
and thinking about and debating what value meant to them. They thought about
happiness and health, about community and knowledge, and of course
financial security. And that ended up helping them really frame
the way they looked at whatever garbage they had.
So you wanna see what some of the students did?
So this is a team. The first one is from Ecuador. And they picked a garbage
can I probably would not have picked.
It's a garbage can filled with yard waste. All sorts of leaves,
Wow, what could you do with this? I mean this is, you know, this is compost.
Well these students looked at it a different way, and created a mural
with all of this yard waste. Pretty cool? Beautiful.
There was a girl in Ireland who found a garbage can filled with old socks that her
mom was throwing out from her brother's sock drawer.
All these holey old socks. Boy, I probably wouldn't have picked that
one either. She took them, cut them apart, sewed them
back together, and made a beautiful sweater. Pretty cool?
Wow, who thought of making a sweater out of old socks?
Pretty interesting idea.
And then there was a team in Japan, and this team went to the local laundromat
and they got the plastic bags and the hangers. And they realized there was a spot on the
campus that was called "the dead zone." It was part
of a big grassy hill that was all kind of damp because of the grass
was always just a little bit wet. And people didn't want to sit there because
it was kind of uncomfortable. So they made these mats that you could sit
on, and you could roll them up and keep them in
your backpack. And whenever you wanted, you'd roll them out.
But they didn't stop there, they decided to start an entire community
around this, and they painted games like Twister, on these mats so that when you
go there and you rolled out your, your mat and sat
on it, you could play a game with someone else there.
In fact, what ended up happening was the local vendors started coming by,
and selling coffee and pastries and they ended up creating an entire community
around this area that had really been a dead zone.
So, we've talked about framing problems, connecting and combining ideas,
challenging assumptions. But the fact is, your imagination is NOT enough.
These are great places to start. You need to start with a base of knowledge.
And if you do not have a base of knowledge, then you don't have any tools
for your imagination. This is incredibly important. Your knowledge
is a tool box for your imagination. The more you know, the more you have
to work with. Now the interesting thing is, it doesn't have
to be something that is even directly related to the problem you are trying
to solve. In fact, uh, at lunch I had a very fascinating conversation with
some of the Googlers here, about neurophysiology. And we ended up talking
about really single cell neurophysiology and talking about all the
lessons you can learn about organizations and social networking,
based on looking at individual nerve cells. Pretty cool? And
I could talk about this and share these ideas because I am a neurophysiologist.
And the fact is, you can bring knowledge from any field, but
you NEED something to work with.
So how do we get knowledge?
We get knowledge, of course, by going to lectures, and reading books,
and by going to school. But you know what? You also gain knowledge
by paying attention to the world. By being more observant
than anyone else. Because when you're paying attention,
you see problems that need to get solved, and you
often seen solutions that are right in front of you.
Now, most people don't do this. In fact, magicians know this.
This is why magicians play with your attention. They know that
a single, a hand gesture, or a little joke, or pointing to someone
in the audience can totally distract you and you don't see
what's going on over here. On the other side, are comedians.
Like Jerry Seinfeld, okay, who draw your attention to things.
And they basically focus on things you didn't pay attention to,
like "did you ever notice that, standing in line, or buying shoes".
They pick something mundane, and it becomes very funny with that
level of scrutiny. One of my favorite stories on how to increase
this comes from Stanford. One of my colleagues, Bob Segal,
who teaches classes all over the world. He takes students to
Madagascar, and to the Galapagos, and to Papua New Guinea
and he takes them on these excursions where they are essentially naturalists.
Well, he does a class called "The Stanford Safari".
In a two week immersion program, the students act like naturalists
at Stanford. Now, not only do they walk away learning everything,
from the pest controller and the organist, and the librarian,
and all the presidents, you know, they end up getting this deep dive
into the university. They also walk away with an incredible
appreciation for what can happen when you actually pay attention.
So we have our imagination, we have our knowledge base,
but you also need the attitude that a problem can get solved.
If you do not have the confidence, the motivation, the drive, to push through
when a problem seems daunting, you are not going to gain the knowledge,
you are not going to [inaudible] engage your imagination,
and you're not going to come up with a solution.
Most people in the world view themselves as puzzle builders.
That means they're going out and getting all the pieces they need
and putting them together, to solve their problem.
But what's the problem with that?
The problem with that is, if you are missing a piece what happens?
Oops, it can't be done. And another thing with a puzzle is, you're
basically solving a problem that's a known problem, right? A known
problem with a known solution.
But what if you're trying to solve problems that don't have a known
solution? And in fact, they're really challenging?
Instead you need to view yourself as a quilt maker. Quilt makers are
people who take the resources that they have available to them,
and they bring them to bear on the problem that they are trying to solve.
And by looking at this image of this quilt, I hope you realize
that the results are truly remarkable. Much more remarkable than putting together
a known puzzle.
It's interesting though, because we grow up, and we usually hear
Murphy's law, which says: If anything can go wrong, what? It will, right?
In fact, often people, I don't want to ask how many of you have this,
a poster in your office. But the idea is that this was a common thing,
that people had this poster that says if anything can go wrong, it will.
Well, there's a problem with that, if that's what you believe, then you're
going to basically stop every time there's a problem.
Peter Diamandes, who runs Singularity University and X PRIZE Foundation,
walked into one of his colleagues' offices, and they had this sign up of Murphy's Law.
He got so angry, he picked up a marking pen, he went up and crossed out "it will" and wrote
"fix it!" [crowd laughs] If anything can go wrong, fix it. That is
the mindset of a true innovator and an entrepreneur, is someone who when they
see a daunting challenge says, "I am going to do everything in my power to
fix it."
So, this is your internal combustion engine for creativity:
your knowledge, your imagination, and your attitude.
Your knowledge is the toolbox for your imagination. Your imagination catalyzes the transformation
of your knowledge into new ideas. Your attitude is the spark that sets this
in motion. But you know what, you can be as creative
as you want, if you are not in an environment that stimulates this, then
basically, you're hosed. And this is a problem in a lot of places,
because you get really creative people who really want to
solve big problems, and they are in environments that don't foster
it. So you have to look at other pieces of the puzzle.
The first thing you have to look at is the habitat.
Now you are incredibly fortunate here at Google to have
this incredible habitat. You walk around, and I just want
to take pictures at every corner, because you walk into the,
into the whole facility of the Googleplex and you say this
is a place that is designed for me to be creative. And this builds on the fact that when we're
kids, it looks more like kindergarten, right? In
fact the color scheme matches that in kindergarten: primary colors,
red, lots of, lots of things that stimulate your imagination,
lots of manipulatives, the space is very flexible. Really cool.
When you go into kindergarten, do you think that's a place you could be creative?...
...Absolutely! But unfortunately, what happens is most of
us graduate from kindergarten, and we end up
in classrooms that look like this....
...Wow...this is really disappointing, and, you know,
the rows of chairs are lined up in, in straight lines.
They're bolted to the floor. This is to make it easy
for the teacher. So that it, you know, things are easy to clean up.
Do you think it makes it appropriate for creativity? No, and then we say,
you know, these kids, they're just not so creative anymore.
And then they get out of this; they graduate from high school and college
and they go to work in environments like this. Wow...and then again people say
our people are not creative. Well, this is ridiculous. As I said, we're
all creative and we're waiting for this to be unleashed.
I feel fortunate enough. to work at Stanford, and our spaces are very
conducive to creativity. This is a picture of the D
school at Stanford, where we have, un, our ubiquitous red couches,
the furniture all moves. It's not expensive. We have most of the furniture
is from IKEA, you know, uh, foam cubes that can be moved around. Lots
of whiteboards. You walk into the space, and you say: WOW. This is a place where I
could be creative. And you know, here are some pictures of my
class, it looks like a kindergarten, the students are working, actually on a pretty
complicated problem here, but they've got the sort of material here, you know, Play
Doh and markers, and construction paper, or they're working on the floor, working on
a simulation game, and you know, AGAIN, it looks more like a kindergarten.
And as we know, innovative companies do this well. This is at IDEO, where when
somebody leaves to go on vacation, it is very likely that when they come back,
their office has been transformed. You go on a road trip, and you come back and
your office is now in the back of a van. You go on your honeymoon in Paris, and you
come back and your office looks like the Eiffel Tower.
This is NOT frivolous. This is a messaging that every single thing
that you do is ripe for creativity. And here's a picture, right, this is Google
in Zurich. I don't know exactly what these pods are for, but they're very, obviously,
you walk in and it feels very playful. Or at Pixar, where there's a slide going through
the middle of the building.
So having an environment, a physical environment is important.
You also need to think about the rules, the rewards, the constraints,
the incentives. All of those things come into play, and those things all
to contribute to the types of habitats we live in. But in addition,
we are really sensitive to the types of resources we have available to us.
Now, what are resources? Interesting thing is, here we are in Silicon Valley,
we think of resources, wow, we certainly have a lot of money around, a lot of
money we can spend on projects. But resources come in so many different flavors.
Think of natural resources, think of communities, think of processes that we have in place.
Each of these can be leveraged. And one of the problems is, people who don't
live here often think that they need to replicate what we're
doing in Silicon Valley. They think that the only types of resources
that are valuable are the ones that are found here.
But other parts of the world have equally valuable resources
that they need to learn to leverage.
So besides the habitat and the resources, it's incredibly important
to think about the culture, because the culture in any organization
affects everything you do, you think, you feel, you act, is affected
by the culture. Now one of the most important pieces of a culture
is a willingness to experiment. To try lots of things,
and keep what works. And one of the problems is, that people often,
especially as an organization gets bigger and bigger,
get more afraid of failing, and also get more afraid of showing
things to something, someone who's more senior until it's fully baked.
So they spend a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of energy, a lot of resources
right, especially if you've got resources, on making a project look finished.
Well, there's a huge problem with this. The problem is, you might have committed to
something that's a bad idea, and now, you've put bunch
of time, money and energy into this, and in fact, when
you show something to someone and it looks finished, they are
much less likely to give you feedback.
One of my favorite examples of a way to do this well
comes from IDEO. I'm going to show you a video clip,
of, uh, came from one of their projects, one of their recent projects.
They were designing a new iPhone app called "Monster Maker",
in their toy group. And the idea was, uh, is a little game
and they wanted to see if the concept was going to work.
So this is the prototype that they did to test the concept.
I want you to tell me how much money they spent,
how much time it took, how much engineering talent,
and whether this was effective.
>>[video clip] >> woman: cue music [techno music starts]
So these are possible dance moves for Monster Maker.
So music starts, and I'm the player so I come in and I touch
the monster and he gives me a special dance move, ha ha
, and I go and touch again, and he does a different one. And it can go
for as long as I want. Because he has a few signature moves. When
I've had enough, when I'm done dancing I touch the back button,
he pauses and the music stops. [techno music ends].
Monster Maker [laughter on video]
>>man: Cool! [More laughter]
[inaudible] >>man: Whoa!
[laugher on video] [video ends]
>>Tina: So it's kind of funny isn't it, but how much time
did it take to do? Like nothing right? Maybe an half an hour
to make this. Okay? How much money did it cost to make this? Practically
nothing, right? How much engineering talent did it require?
Nothing. How effective was it in testing the idea?
Fabulous. This is the attitude you need, to be willing
to try lots of things, do rapid prototypes and get the feedback.
One of the problems we have also, about trying lots of things,
is we feel as though, if it doesn't work out well, that it's failure.
And, you know, we talk a lot about Silicon Valley and about
our comfort with failure. But I really want to reframe
the way we think about that. As a scientist, when I do an experiment that
doesn't turn out as I expected, I don't call that a failure.
I call it data.
This is really important. Data is information. And we love
data. Data tells you about interesting things. In fact,
some of the most incredible discoveries in science
came from experiments that were failed, that ended up with results
that were surprising. And so the fact is, you need
to look at the same sort of surprising results in the same way.
As, Wow, this didn't work, what does that tell us about our user?
What does that tell us about our customer? What does that tell
us about whatever we're looking at? Because that's incredibly
useful information.
The other thing that's really important to keep in mind is
that culture is way beyond, way beyond just experimenting.
The culture is like the background music of an organization.
Now think about it, if you watch a movie, the background music
is an incredibly powerful character in that movie.
When you watch a movie and something daunting is going to happen,
the music tells you. When something wonderful is going to happen,
the music tells you. The music is the background soundtrack
of any company, and we really need to keep that in mind.
Both in a, because it affects every single thing we do.
So this is now the external engine for creativity, right?
The resources, habitat, and culture. But let me show you
how they all fit together. Because you might think,
oh Gee, that's kind of interesting, you made this
little pretty picture with this Mobius with the inside and the outside.
But there's actually a reason it's all braided together.
Because the inside and the outside are there, but the inside and the outside
dramatically affect each other.
Let me show you how. You could look at imagination and habitat.
Your habitat is the external manifestation of your imagination.
If you don't imagine it; you can't build it. And also, the habitats
you build, directly affect the way you think, the way you feel,
the way you act. Does that make sense? So essentially,
we need to think, especially as we're managers of organizations,
what kind of habitat am I building? Because the habitat I build
will affect the way the people I work with think and feel, and act.
In addition, knowledge and resources are parallel. Because the more
you know, the more resources you can unlock. And the types of resources
you have, determines what you know. Think about it. If there are lots
of fish in our environment, it's likely I'm going to know something
about fishing. And the more I know about fishing, the more fish
I will catch. The more venture capitalists there are
in my community, the more likely it is I'm going to know about
venture capital. The more venture capitalists, the more I know about venture capital,
the more likely it is is I'm going to get funding. Make sense?
So the fact is resources, and um, and knowledge are directly related.
In addition, attitude and culture are parallel. And this should seem
obvious, right? The culture is the collective attitudes of the individual.
And of course, the culture affects how each of us feels.
So let's look at a story how each of these things works together.
I was just recently, in February, in northern Thailand. And I met
this wonderful woman, her name is Lek. And she grew up in a very
poor family up near Chiang Mai. And her family had an elephant.
The elephant was part of her family, and she loved this elephant.
She ended up learning, as she got older, that elephants in Thailand
are treated very very poorly. Um, they're in the logging industry,
where they're stepping on mines and getting horribly hurt.
They're abused by tourists, where they're completely overworked,
and and really to total exhaustion. They're in circuses where they're
they're basically treated terribly. She decided she had to do something
about this. So let's look at this. She started with the motivation,
the drive, the commitment to do something to help these elephants.
She learned as much as she could about them. She gained her base
of knowledge. Okay? She learned that there are only 500 elephants left
in captivity. That thousands of them are...no that are left in the wild
and that thousands of them are in captivity. She figured she needed
to do something. So she leveraged the resources that she had available,
which were actually the sick and hurt elephants, to build a habitat,
which was an elephant nature preserve. And she invites people
to come there as volunteers, and to work there, and people
to come and visit any day. And so I went there with some of my colleagues. I was totally
transformed by this experience. I was one of these tourists
who would have come in and said "oh let me go ride an elephant."
But after spending a day there, I became as passionate as anyone else
who was there that I needed to do something to help save these elephants,
and to help with their plight.
And this is the point...you can start anywhere on this innovation engine.
This Mobius strip is shaped like this because everything is intertwined.
You can start by creating a habitat, that stimulates other's imaginations.
You can start by getting the knowledge that is going to fuel your imagination.
And you certainly can start with the attitude that you want to start a problem,
solve a problem, and then do everything you can to make it happen.
The fact is we each have the keys to this innovation engine.
It's up to us to turn them.
Thank you very much.
So I would be delighted, this is just sort of a summary here,
for all this, but I would be delighted to answer any questions.
You're gonna ask a question? Perfect.
>> male #1: I have a habit of asking the first question.
>>Tina: Good. Great! >> male #1: Um, this isn't
so much a question as I want to give a pointer to something
that you said that resonated very well, for uh, a bunch of us here.
Your IDEO prototype. um there was a small team here, Alberto Savoya,
and Steven Eueller, >>Tina: sure
>> male #1: who, who were pushing this notion of pretotyping.
>>Tina: yeah >>male #1: It resonated perfectly, and I think
that uh, I guess it's a sideways plug, if, if ya, if people in the audience
haven't seen Alberto's video. Pretotyping.org. Um, I think it resonates very well with that
specific example.
>>Tina: Exactly. In fact, I know him and really am a huge fan of his work,
and he's coming to run a workshop in MY creativity class on pretotyping, so. It's all great.
thank you very much.
Any other questions? Comments? Thoughts?
So let me ask you, while you're thinking about any questions you might have.
What part of this, is anything surprising here? What was the most surprising?
What was the most interesting? What was the most unusual? What might be
the most valuable piece of this? Something that might be actionable for you?
>> male #2: habitat
>>Tina: Habitat. So say more about that.
>> male #2: [inaudible]
>>Tina: Right, that the habitat is really important. Yes. Great.
So what are you, is there anything you'll do differently in the habitats
that you're in?
>>male #2: So I'm in a really boring office, and so I'll be fixing that.
>>Tina: [chuckles] Oh great. Terrific! Super. Anyone else, any other thoughts about? Yes.
>> male #3 : Hi, um, thank you for the presentation. I just kind of had a cur-, a question
about the kind of the culture, because I know you went into kind of the community in Japan,
and they were saying how people, that students there weren't as creative. So I want to maybe
hear just a few more of your thoughts on the culture
piece of all of this.
>>Tina: Yea, right. Happy to. So here's the story behind, the back story behind that
My last book, "What I Wish I Knew When I Was Twenty", um, has been relatively popular here
in the U.S. but it became totally crazy popular in Asia, especially in Japan, and so they
asked me to do a TV series for Japan on what was happening in my class. So, we, um, did
an eight part series at HK from Japan, did an eight part TV series on my creativity class.
And it showed eight weeks in a row in Japan. And everyone was very excited about this,
but said "You know what, this would never work here." And I said "That's just not true."
And they said "Please come and prove it." So I ended up going, and I worked with some
students at Osaka University, and could not have been
anymore impressed. The students walked out at the end saying, "I had no idea I was this
creative." And the fact is, they had the knowledge, they had the imagination, they certainly had
the attitude, but they needed to be in an environment that allowed them to unleash
their creativity. And I find that so true. What people come
here to Google, and they walk in the door, they don't even have to know what their job
is, right? You can hire people without them knowing what job they're going
to do, and say "I want to work here." Why? They walk in and they say this is a habitat
where I know I can really stretch my imagination. And I think it is
something people are hungry for.
>> male #4: [clears throat] Hey, this is great, I feel like
one of the challenges for some of the young people in this room... and we probably have,
uh, probably everyone in the room, we probably
have to read your book. Um I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of what you need to do
and the problem is just time. I work about 60 hours a week, and then beyond that I want
to watch TV and hang out with my girlfriend. And so just finding time to be more creative,
and foster all of this.
>>Tina: I love that you asked that question. I work probably the same number of hours,
okay? It's, it's not about time, it's about an attitude.
If you look at the things that you're doing, at every problem as an opportunity for creative
solution, then you actually find that there are opportunities to bake this
into your life in everything you're already doing.
So I invite you to think that way...Just try it because, um, uh, even if it's walking to
this room. So I have a whole chapter about observation,
and about paying attention. Um, even while you're sitting here looking around the room
to train yourself to look at things that other people don't notice, right? How high
are the ceiling, what are the floors made of, who's sitting here?
Or what's going on? Even in those little downtime moments, to force yourself think in a slightly
different way it really starts unlocking these opportunities. So thank you.
>> male #5: I am on the sales team, and point about your
presentation that really stuck with me was when you said that we all need
a base of knowledge in order to be imaginative. And I think it's important
to say that that base of knowledge we should have should be from all areas,
as you pointed out. It could be from anywhere. Just one example I wanted to share
is, I don't watch TV, I don't have cable, like I think a lot of it is a bunch of junk.
But when I go home, and I visit my family, they like to watch TV so I'll sit
there and watch it with them. Well, one day I watched and I saw a commercial for
the Dominoes Pizza Tracker. I mean for some reason, that inspire, that gave
me an idea of a new way to track ads. Like customers calling us, they give us
issue, we resolve it secrecy and then we tell them when we're done. For some reason,
that commercial taught me "oh..that's what customers care about.." We should tell them
every stage of the process. Like they care about their pizza, I'm sure they
care about these expensive ads that we're supposed to run. So if I had
not been exposed to knowledge that I was for so long ignoring,
because I don't like to watch TV, that just one idea that came to me
in a totally unexpected place.
>>Tina: Yeah. And in fact, it happens everywhere. Let me give you another
example that is sort of related to Google. Um, there's a fellow, in fact, a story
I told in my book, "Ingenious" about him because it totally blew my mind in so many respects.
His name is David Friedberg, and he used to work at Google. And he lived up in the city
and he would drive to Google every day, and every day he drove to Google he would
pass this bicycle shack, that was, you know, bike rental place, near the train station.
And he would notice that on days when it was raining, guess what, they were closed.
And every time he'd go by, he'd go "oh they're open today" "They're closed today."
Wow, isn't it interesting that their business is so dependent on the weather.
He started thinking: what other business are affected by the weather?
And started thinking, of course, of ski resorts, or movie theaters, or farmers.
Um, all sorts of businesses that are affected, wedding planners, okay?
He decided to start a company that basically sells weather insurance
to people who need it. In a completely different way, like farmers
get crop insurance, so, but instead of that they can just track the weather
you get paid if it rains. Okay, so you can basically figure it out. He,
you know what the thing is, it first of all started with him observing
something probably other people didn't pay attention to. Just the bicycle shack
on the way to work that turned into a whole business. The other thing is,
all the people in the company knew nothing about weather, knew nothing
about agriculture, but they brought in people who were neurophysiologists,
who knew about, you know, dynamic models. People who are astrophysicists,
who knew how to analyze big data. Of course, over time, they're learning about
meteorology; they're learning about agriculture, which they'll take to
the next venture. But essentially they came with basic knowledge
about, completely different fields, brought them to bear on creating
a brand new and quite successful venture.
Well, I just want to thank you so much. It is a huge honor to be here.
Thank you so much.