Creativity & innovation coaching for leaders and teams

If you have ideas but don’t act on them, you are imaginative but not creative. Creativity takes courage especially in times of turbulence, and coaching can help you overcome the obstacles that block fruition. I coach individuals and teams, including creatives and change agents, on bringing deeper levels of creativity into their lives.

  1. If you are looking for ways to foster creativity and innovation at work, or
  2. Explore art as a catalyst for creativity, innovation, teamwork and collaborative leadership in business, or to
  3. Discover your ideals and aspirations and bring them to life..

I can help. My coaching is informed by my background as a professional artist and designer, published author, and corporate creativity/innovation consultant — as well as neuroscience as it applies to creativity, leadership, change and resilience.

For example, recent studies in neuroscience suggest[1]

  • Change is pain. Organizational change is unexpectedly difficult because it provokes sensations of physiological discomfort.
  • Behaviorism doesn’t work. Change efforts based on incentive and threat (the carrot and the stick) rarely succeed in the long run.
  • Humanism is overrated. In practice, the conventional empathic approach of connection and persuasion doesn’t sufficiently engage people.
  • Focus is power. The act of paying attention creates chemical and physical changes in the brain.
  • Expectation shapes reality. People’s preconceptions have a significant impact on what they perceive.
  • Attention density shapes identity. Repeated, purposeful, and focused attention can lead to long-lasting personal evolution.

Develop the mindsets, skillsets, toolsets and habits to deepen your practice as a creative, be it in business, science or in the arts. It has been my mission to liberate creativity and make life and work a work of art for over 25 years. I view the coaching process as a co-creative appreciative inquiry that forms a crucible for surfacing deep creativity, insights and the gold of wisdom.

Creativity at Work Coaching based on Appreciative Inquiry

Coaching via Appreciative Inquiry

I use a framework based on Appreciative Inquiry as shown above, which shifts the focus from looking at problems and deficiencies to focusing on strengths, ideals, aspirations and successes. The question is not what problem do you want to solve, but what is it you want to create? This model is closely tied to the way artists and designers work towards creating a vision or a desired future.

Design thinking in coaching

I use design thinking as a discovery tool to find opportunities, and a strategic tool to turn ideas into innovation. The model below from the UK Design Council illustrates the path of discovery through a sequence of divergent thinking to explore possibilities, and convergent thinking to narrow your focus and deliver results.

Design Thinking for Coaching based on Double Diamond UK design

Elements of coaching include:

  • Customized learning activities, inventories, and resources
  • E-mail support between calls

Deepening your creativity involves

  • Building creative confidence and courage
  • Developing creative habits
  • Setting intentions and taking action
  • Releasing outmoded beliefs and situations that no longer serve you
  • Building creative resilience
  • Shifting from reacting to creating
  • Overcoming creative blocks
  • Starting or finishing a significant creative project
  • Discovering insights and opportunities through artful reflection, incubation, and experimentation
  • Becoming future-ready and staying a head of the robot-curve
  • Making the shift from “collecting dots to connecting dots.”

Benefits of coaching

Expect to make a positive change in your life.  Some of my clients have won contracts to bring creativity into the workplace, some have received promotions, some have overcome creative blocks to begin or complete a significant creative project, and some have made profound changes in their lives by finding and pursuing their calling.

Coaching helps you get clear about what you want and realize your aspirations faster than if you are on your own.

  • Overcome barriers that keep you from making progress
  • Developing new habits for success
  • Maximize your strengths and abilities
  • Improved business performance
  • Finding aha moments of illumination and creative breakthroughs
  • Achieve more with less effort
  • More time for reflection and creative pursuits
  • Create sustainable change in your life and work
  • Improve your ability to influence, inspire and motivate others to turn ideas into action
  • Reduce stress and increased well-being
  • Live life with purpose, passion and integrity

Coaching is offered via group facilitation on-site and followed up with group conference calls. 

One-on-One Coaching on a Limited Basis: Tap into your deepest creativity and bring your highest aspirations to life

A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner — continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you — is a fine art, in and of itself.”
—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic (2015)

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Case Study

Objective: Build a consultancy to develop innovation in Norway, using the arts as a catalyst for business

Approach: Provided a blend of coaching and consulting to help Ms Skoglund create a vision for her company, identify mission objectives, values, conduct market research, create a strategy to attract clients, and develop pilot programs.

Outcome: As a result of coaching/consulting, Ms Skoglund received funding for her innovation initiative, and won contracts from business to introduce her pilot programs.

“I learned that I could understand my life in new ways through ‘The Heroes Journey” and how to work in the different phases of the journey.’ Through our coaching sessions I learned how to develop my company and prepare pilots on developing innovation competence in Norway. I also learned from Linda Naiman’s experiences how to develop a group process using artistic methods, and that’s why the pilot groups were so successful. The tools, the conversations, and other helpful things Linda introduced to me to, are more important now, than ever. The coaching conversations made me think that I was a part of a bigger evolution,- bringing new positive methods to business. And that Linda’s experiences will help us in the further development.” 

— A Skoglund

Testimonials

I have no doubt that if you want to go from surviving to thriving – in your personal or professional life – coaching will open you to your own potential. Linda’s deep knowledge base, direct approach and compassionate insights set me on a new path quickly and permanently. The techniques I learned from her continue to help me build resilience, creatively adapt to change, and be a successful leader in my life and work.

— K Ribich, Denver

Linda helped me tremendously when I was going through a challenging life transition. She guided me through crucial junctures and assured me I was on the right path. She held me accountable to my goals and called me on my assumptions. The resources she provided enabled me to not only clarify my priorities but also begin to live the life I’ve imagined. By my last coaching session, I had articulated a vision for my life and work and developed a strategy to make it happen. Thanks Linda!

—Drew, former SVP

Linda Naiman capably distilled the essentials of design thinking to a practical and inspiring action plan for infusing creativity into business, education, and personal life. Her passion for the potential of design thinking to create transformative solutions to complex problems is clearly evident. Linda’s work is research based, action-oriented, and user friendly. In her words, “Problem-solving is making something go away. Creating is bringing something into being.” Linda artfully crafted our collaborative learning experience to create a deeper understanding of design thinking and its practical application to learning and teaching.
— Maxine (a school principal) and Iris (a K-7 teacher)
My experience with Linda has been life-changing –such a positive experience. More than once Linda had the courage to point out that I was out of alignment with my own integrity, my own values and knowing -essentially calling me on my “bullshit.” I attribute breakthroughs in key areas of my life, to the conversations I had with Linda. If you’re looking for an easy route find another coach. If you’re looking for someone who is going to hold you to your own integrity, your own worth, your highest potential and help you get there then pick Linda. Won’t be easy but the journey will be well worth it.

—David A., Director

One of the most poignant learnings I have gained through our coaching sessions is to gauge where to put my focus and energy: where are the green lights and where are the red lights? Sometimes i have been hovering in the yellow light zone, hesitating to call something for what it was: a red light. Stopping, putting an expiry date on activities and business relationships that are going nowhere–helps me to put energy into positive initiatives. Knowing that a green light is bright green really helps me to put more focus there. Thanks so much for helping me find clarity!

—Faculty member at UBC

Through my coaching sessions with Linda, I have built a solid foundation for my career and life goals. Now being able to clearly articulate my ideas, I feel more confident in my decisions and direction. I now know what fits and what doesn’t within the larger picture. I’d recommend Linda to anyone who wants to get clear about their vision for the future and what it takes to make it a reality.

—L. M. Designer

When I started working with Linda I was in the middle of a career transformation. She helped me to focus, identify business strategies, and take the necessary steps to get my business off the ground. Linda has been a great coach assisting me in many aspects of my professional life. Her skills helped me to identify the areas in my business that needed clarity and improvement. When I started working with Linda I was in the middle of a career transformation. She helped me to focus, identify business strategies, and take the necessary steps to get my business off the ground. I highly recommend Linda as a business coach. — Leslie Fenner,

Linda provided structure and guidance as well as direct and honest feedback. She was very firm with me at times, asking me to be very specific and dig deeper or go further into exercises and ideas. I needed a thoughtful and steady push and somehow Linda knew and provided that. Through my coaching sessions with Linda Naiman, I have built a solid foundation for my career and life goals. Now being able to clearly articulate my ideas, I feel more confident in my decisions and direction. I now know what fits and what doesn’t within the larger picture. During my coaching with Linda I applied and received a grant. This success is the direct result of the work done in my coaching relationship.” —L Madera, Vancouver

“Linda provides a valuable service for any professional who is at an impasse in their life and work.” — Executive, Vancouver

“Our conversations have had a lasting effect on me and our family life.” —UBC Manager

Reference

[1] The Neuroscience of Leadership: Breakthroughs in brain research explain how to make organizational transformation succeed, by David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz, 2006

Contact us today for details