Video from BIL 2014 SF: “Creative Disobedience: How, When, and Why to Break the Rules”

Here’s the video from my BIL 2014 SF talk, “Creative Disobedience: How, When, and Why to Break the Rules.” Time is approximately 20 minutes long. Enjoy!


Many people would agree that creativity is the number one key skill for success in this century. However, by definition, creativity requires breaking rules, and defying the status quo. Additionally, sometimes following the rules—and even the laws—can actually stall progress. How do we make a good decision about which rules and laws to break, and which ones to follow?

In order to maximize innovation, creative disobedience must be tolerated, encouraged, and even required, given the situation. Needless to say, doing this effectively is a tricky balance between disruption and maintaining forward progress on the overall goal. The most critical skill then, is understanding when to be creative—and to what degree—given the specific context.

In this talk, I will take you on a full tour of what creativity is, what it isn’t, and why breaking the rules is sometimes necessary for progress. I will also discuss recent research on attitudes about creativity. For example, companies consider creativity one of the most-desired traits in their current and future employees, yet it is rarely rewarded in practice. Why the discrepancy? How can this be changed? Finally, I will give you a short ‘How To’ guide on increasing the creativity in the workplace, where it is highly desired, but often most discouraged.

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