Connection Point October Sound Waves 2

Creativity Is Essential: A Q&A With Seth Godin

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Seth Godin is a bestselling author of 19 books. He is also the founder of the altMBA and the Akimbo Workshops. Prior to his keynote session, Godin spoke with Connection Point about his background and experience and what he’ll share with ATD Virtual Conference: Unleash Potential attendees.

What can attendees expect to learn from your keynote session?

This is a fork in the road for the professionals working in L&D. As organizations pivot to either thrive or simply survive in a new world, it’s the team that’s on board that will determine what happens next. And the shift from compliance to leadership could never be more urgent. In my keynote session, I will help attendees see just how much leverage they have to help people develop into the leaders that they need right now.

Why is creativity important for TD professionals to harness?

Not only do we need to hire for and develop creativity in others, but we need to dig deep to find it in ourselves. That’s because the best practices don’t exist yet—we have to create them. Our organizations need leadership, not simply management, and it’s up to each of us to model that and teach it. It begins with us realizing that attitudes are skills and that leadership is not the same as management.

What is a common roadblock to creativity in the workplace, and how can we overcome it?


There are only two, and they’re related. The first is believing that creativity is a talent—that some people are creative and others aren’t. And the second is fear. Fear of failure and ridicule and, ultimately, a loss of status.

We amplify the fear in just about everything we do at work, and we reflect that fear by announcing that creativity is for other people and, anyway, it’s a crisis and we’ll be creative later.

We can do better than that. We must.


How is finding your voice linked to creativity?

Do you have a voice? Where did it go? What would happen if you could share your generous insights with people who need to hear them? What would you do if you were sure you were going to fail? What’s so worth doing that you would try it anyway? Shifting to a posture of generosity is heroic, and it’s urgently needed. Once we realize we have something to say, we unlock the door to creativity at work.

What is one action TD professionals can take right now to unleash potential?

That’s it: Ask. Ask why. Ask how you can contribute something more than effort, and ask why you haven’t. Ask what if. What if we did it differently? We can’t train our way out of this situation. Our only hope is to develop our way forward instead.

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About the Author

Connection Point is the daily news source written by ATD staff for the ATD Virtual Conference, relaying news, session coverage, and other updates.

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