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Avast, Ye Scurvy Dogs!

Yes, it's that time of year again.  The Drake University College of Business and Public Administration's graduate level elective in Creativity for Business is alive and well.  And, as in past years, I made the students come in costume this weekend.  And, as in past years, they didn't disappoint me with their creativity.

First place this year was an amazing impersonation of Elvis, complete with original song score.  We had Barbie, chefs, Joan of Arc, referees, and a host of others.  For a first in this class, we had Daphne and a LIVE Scooby Doo (who was generally better behaved than many of the students).

I love the reaction I get from outsiders when I tell them I'm able to get 35 graduate students to show up to class in costume.  Why?  How?  Well, yes, they are graded on this assignment.  But the real kicker is this allows them to internalize creativity.  Since we spend the bulk of the class centered on Roger von Oech's four roles of creativity (explorer, artist, judge, warrior), this assignment encourages each student to focus on the role which speaks most to him or her.  And because they have to present to their rationale to the rest of the class, they'd better be prepared to articulate (and they always are).  Dare I say that they have fun?  It gives them a chance to laugh at themselves while they solidify their creative identity.

Me?  I took a page fromChris Brogan's playbook this year and opted for a pirate (as did two of my students).  Although I learned a creative lesson myself through this choice:  make sure your eye patch is sized for the adult head, lest you cut off the circulation.

Now I'm already looking forward to 2011.


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