John Cleese on creativity. This first video is just a more recent short extract, summarising some of his thinking, but here’s a longer lecture (from an expensive training video), in which he expounds upon the topic, offering advice in much more detail. He recognises that we need time to be creative, going so far as to say that creativity simply is not possible if we’re constantly distracted and «always checking out watch» (this was 1991!)…
The third factor that facilitates creativity is time—giving your mind as long as possible [uninterrupted] to come up with something original.
If while you’re pondering, somebody accuses you of indecision, say: «look babycakes, I don’t have to decide [until Tuesday], and I’m not chickening out of my creative discomfort by taking a snap decision before then, that’s too easy!»
The next factor is confidence, nothing will stop your being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake; you cannot be playful [creative] if you’re frightened that moving in some direction will be wrong, you’re either free to play, or you’re not. You’ve got to 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.
He finishes with some excellent advice to stamp out creativity in your organisation and get a bit of respect. 😈