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  • I wanted to talk to you today

  • about creative confidence.

  • I'm going to start way back in the third grade

  • at Oakdale School in Barberton, Ohio.

  • I remember one day my best friend Brian was working on a project.

  • He was making a horse out of the clay

  • that our teacher kept under the sink.

  • And at one point, one of the girls who was sitting at his table,

  • seeing what he was doing,

  • leaned over and said to him,

  • "That's terrible. That doesn't look anything like a horse."

  • And Brian's shoulders sank.

  • And he wadded up the clay horse and he threw it back in the bin.

  • I never saw Brian do a project like that ever again.

  • And I wonder how often that happens.

  • It seems like when I tell that story of Brian to my class,

  • a lot of them want to come up after class

  • and tell me about their similar experience,

  • how a teacher shut them down

  • or how a student was particularly cruel to them.

  • And some opt out thinking of themselves

  • as creative at that point.

  • And I see that opting out that happens in childhood,

  • and it moves in and becomes more ingrained,

  • even by the time you get to adult life.

  • So we see a lot of this.

  • When we have a workshop

  • or when we have clients in to work with us side-by-side,

  • eventually we get to the point in the process

  • that's fuzzy or unconventional.

  • And eventually these bigshot executives whip out their Blackberries

  • and they say they have to make really important phone calls,

  • and they head for the exits.

  • And they're just so uncomfortable.

  • When we track them down and ask them what's going on,

  • they say something like, "I'm just not the creative type."

  • But we know that's not true.

  • If they stick with the process, if they stick with it,

  • they end up doing amazing things

  • and they surprise themselves just how innovative

  • they and their teams really are.

  • So I've been looking at this fear of judgment that we have.

  • That you don't do things, you're afraid you're going to be judged.

  • If you don't say the right creative thing, you're going to be judged.

  • And I had a major breakthrough

  • when I met the psychologist Albert Bandura.

  • I don't know if you know Albert Bandura.

  • But if you go to Wikipedia,

  • it says that he's the fourth most important psychologist in history --

  • like Freud, Skinner, somebody and Bandura.

  • Bandura's 86 and he still works at Stanford.

  • And he's just a lovely guy.

  • And so I went to see him

  • because he has just worked on phobias for a long time,

  • which I'm very interested in.

  • He had developed this way, this kind of methodology,

  • that ended up curing people in a very short amount of time.

  • In four hours he had a huge cure rate of people who had phobias.

  • And we talked about snakes. I don't know why we talked about snakes.

  • We talked about snakes and fear of snakes as a phobia.

  • And it was really enjoyable, really interesting.

  • He told me that he'd invite the test subject in,

  • and he'd say, "You know, there's a snake in the next room

  • and we're going to go in there."

  • To which, he reported, most of them replied,

  • "Hell no, I'm not going in there,

  • certainly if there's a snake in there."

  • But Bandura has a step-by-step process that was super successful.

  • So he'd take people to this two-way mirror

  • looking into the room where the snake was,

  • and he'd get them comfortable with that.

  • And then through a series of steps,

  • he'd move them and they'd be standing in the doorway with the door open

  • and they'd be looking in there.

  • And he'd get them comfortable with that.

  • And then many more steps later, baby steps,

  • they'd be in the room, they'd have a leather glove like a welder's glove on,

  • and they'd eventually touch the snake.

  • And when they touched the snake everything was fine. They were cured.

  • In fact, everything was better than fine.

  • These people who had life-long fears of snakes

  • were saying things like,

  • "Look how beautiful that snake is."

  • And they were holding it in their laps.

  • Bandura calls this process "guided mastery."

  • I love that term: guided mastery.

  • And something else happened,

  • these people who went through the process and touched the snake

  • ended up having less anxiety about other things in their lives.

  • They tried harder, they persevered longer,

  • and they were more resilient in the face of failure.

  • They just gained a new confidence.

  • And Bandura calls that confidence self-efficacy --

  • the sense that you can change the world

  • and that you can attain what you set out to do.

  • Well meeting Bandura was really cathartic for me

  • because I realized that this famous scientist

  • had documented and scientifically validated

  • something that we've seen happen for the last 30 years.

  • That we could take people who had the fear that they weren't creative,

  • and we could take them through a series of steps,

  • kind of like a series of small successes,

  • and they turn fear into familiarity, and they surprise themselves.

  • That transformation is amazing.

  • We see it at the d.school all the time.

  • People from all different kinds of disciplines,

  • they think of themselves as only analytical.

  • And they come in and they go through the process, our process,

  • they build confidence and now they think of themselves differently.

  • And they're totally emotionally excited

  • about the fact that they walk around

  • thinking of themselves as a creative person.

  • So I thought one of the things I'd do today

  • is take you through and show you what this journey looks like.

  • To me, that journey looks like Doug Dietz.

  • Doug Dietz is a technical person.

  • He designs medical imaging equipment,

  • large medical imaging equipment.

  • He's worked for GE, and he's had a fantastic career.

  • But at one point he had a moment of crisis.

  • He was in the hospital looking at one of his MRI machines in use

  • when he saw a young family.

  • There was a little girl,

  • and that little girl was crying and was terrified.

  • And Doug was really disappointed to learn

  • that nearly 80 percent of the pediatric patients in this hospital

  • had to be sedated in order to deal with his MRI machine.

  • And this was really disappointing to Doug,

  • because before this time he was proud of what he did.

  • He was saving lives with this machine.

  • But it really hurt him to see the fear

  • that this machine caused in kids.

  • About that time he was at the d.school at Stanford taking classes.

  • He was learning about our process

  • about design thinking, about empathy,

  • about iterative prototyping.

  • And he would take this new knowledge

  • and do something quite extraordinary.

  • He would redesign the entire experience of being scanned.

  • And this is what he came up with.

  • He turned it into an adventure for the kids.

  • He painted the walls and he painted the machine,

  • and he got the operators retrained by people who know kids,

  • like children's museum people.

  • And now when the kid comes, it's an experience.

  • And they talk to them about the noise and the movement of the ship.

  • And when they come, they say,

  • "Okay, you're going to go into the pirate ship,

  • but be very still because we don't want the pirates to find you."

  • And the results were super dramatic.

  • So from something like 80 percent of the kids needing to be sedated,

  • to something like 10 percent of the kids needing to be sedated.

  • And the hospital and GE were happy too.

  • Because you didn't have to call the anesthesiologist all the time,

  • they could put more kids through the machine in a day.

  • So the quantitative results were great.

  • But Doug's results that he cared about were much more qualitative.

  • He was with one of the mothers

  • waiting for her child to come out of the scan.

  • And when the little girl came out of her scan,

  • she ran up to her mother and said,

  • "Mommy, can we come back tomorrow?"

  • (Laughter)

  • And so I've heard Doug tell the story many times,

  • of his personal transformation

  • and the breakthrough design that happened from it,

  • but I've never really seen him tell the story of the little girl

  • without a tear in his eye.

  • Doug's story takes place in a hospital.

  • I know a thing or two about hospitals.

  • A few years ago I felt a lump on the side of my neck,

  • and it was my turn in the MRI machine.

  • It was cancer. It was the bad kind.

  • I was told I had a 40 percent chance of survival.

  • So while you're sitting around with the other patients in your pajamas

  • and everybody's pale and thin

  • and you're waiting for your turn to get the gamma rays,

  • you think of a lot of things.

  • Mostly you think about, Am I going to survive?

  • And I thought a lot about,

  • What was my daughter's life going to be like without me?

  • But you think about other things.

  • I thought a lot about, What was I put on Earth to do?

  • What was my calling? What should I do?

  • And I was lucky because I had lots of options.

  • We'd been working in health and wellness,

  • and K through 12, and the Developing World.

  • And so there were lots of projects that I could work on.

  • But I decided and I committed to at this point

  • to the thing I most wanted to do --

  • was to help as many people as possible

  • regain the creative confidence they lost along their way.

  • And if I was going to survive, that's what I wanted to do.

  • I survived, just so you know.

  • (Laughter)

  • (Applause)

  • I really believe

  • that when people gain this confidence --

  • and we see it all the time at the d.school and at IDEO --

  • they actually start working on the things that are really important in their lives.

  • We see people quit what they're doing and go in new directions.

  • We see them come up with more interesting, and just more, ideas

  • so they can choose from better ideas.

  • And they just make better decisions.

  • So I know at TED you're supposed to have a change-the-world kind of thing.

  • Everybody has a change-the-world thing.

  • If there is one for me, this is it. To help this happen.

  • So I hope you'll join me on my quest --

  • you as thought leaders.

  • It would be really great if you didn't let people divide the world

  • into the creatives and the non-creatives, like it's some God-given thing,

  • and to have people realize that they're naturally creative.

  • And those natural people should let their ideas fly.

  • That they should achieve what Bandura calls self-efficacy,

  • that you can do what you set out to do,

  • and that you can reach a place of creative confidence

  • and touch the snake.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

I wanted to talk to you today

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【TED】David Kelley: How to build your creative confidence (How to build your creative confidence | David Kelley)

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    VoiceTube posted on 2013/04/06
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