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Leilani Rashida Henry

The best way to come up with great ideas is to understand and hone your creative process, says Leilani Henry, founder of Being and Living Enterprises. Henry, who helps companies such as Lucent Technologies and Time Warner ignite their creative fires, took a group of about 50 RealTimers through a workshop that guided them in identifying different stages in the creative cycle and various stumbling points.

First, Henry expanded the definition of creativity — it’s a physical process as well as a mental one. She pointed out that brain cells reside throughout the body (not just in the cranium) and that simple exercises, such as touching elbows to opposite knees can stimulate the right and left sections of the brain to communicate better.

“There is an overfascination with technology,” Henry says. “I’m more interested in the body — the biological technology we take for take around every day.”

Next, Henry dissected the creative process into five repeating stages:

  • Intent — Sprouting the original idea and honing a focus.
  • Initiate — Kicking off the process and attaining momentum.
  • Interconnect — Putting together different ideas and networking.
  • Innovate — Executing.

The group then divided among the phases and created human “moving sculptures” to express their interpretation of those stages. The exercise showed how the creative process can include physical and aural (as well as mental) elements.

“Ultimately, your creative process is something that is totally unique,” Henry said. “Finding a way to stimulate that in yourself is a lifelong journey.”

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