The Hambidge Center served as the foundation of our creative research in 2009. So, in 2019 we went back to our roots to shoot a video about where it all started. Ten years ago, the goal of our research was to increase the number of disruptive idea’s someone could create by reigniting their imagination and creativity. We did this in four stages, over the course of six hours. It was at Hambidge where we discovered and proved that creativity could be taught and learned.
Tucked away in the North Georgia mountains, The Hambidge Center attracts artists from all over the country and world to explore their creativity in brand new ways. Hambidge encourages artists to fully engage in their work by providing space to test and discover new ideas. Away from the every-day hustle, Hambidge is a natural clean slate for artistic expression.
We knew that if you took away the desk, the phone calls, the meetings, and got back to the essence of who you are, then you could suppress your critical filters and engage creativity. With all the right resources for artistic community and exclusion from the everyday status quo, Hambidge was the perfect place to rediscover and strengthen innate creativity.
So that’s what we did. With a group of leaders from the for-profit and non-profit sectors, university systems, consulting firms, and other executives, we discovered that with training, we could increase an individual’s ability to create disruptive ideas by 240%. But how?
We began with a benchmark test to understand each individual’s Thinking Profile – their tendency to sway critical, creative, or to switch back and forth when problem solving, and their ability to create ideas using our four categories – fluency, flexibility, originality, and disruption. Fluency measured number of ideas created. Flexibility measured unique approaches, meaning if you reinvented McDonald’s you would consider various aspects such as the facility, the menu, the drive thru, the brand, and so on. Originality measured an idea’s uniqueness, whether it makes sense or not. Disruption measures an idea’s potential to disrupt the status quo. These ideas are most often original, highly creative, and keep trends of the future in mind.
We then took each individual into Barker’s Mill on site at The Hambidge Center. They were coached and trained to use our Genius Thinking Patterns, and they started to see how they could use these patterns and tools to reinvent the future with something as seemingly archaic as the old grist mill. The third test was outside the mill, where they were encouraged to repress their critical filters and create ideas without the aid of a coach. They were to use what they had learned in the previous session to continue to create disruptive ideas of the future. Lastly, we gathered everyone and had them create ideas together, each individual bringing their unique approach to problem solving. Through these four tests, we could see how much each person improved and how their ideas became bigger, better, and more disruptive.
Unsurprisingly, not every client today wants to give up their cell phone and go into the woods. Instead, we use what we proved at The Hambidge Center – that the right cognitive balance of Thinking Profiles combined with training on Genius Thinking Patterns can ignite a team’s capability and an individual’s capacity for creating incredible, disruptive ideas of the future.
We are grateful to The Hambidge Center for fostering our research and for their hospitality as we returned to capture our story. Check out our video to take a deep dive into the story behind it all.