Getting to Yes, And

Sarah Stein Greenberg: Creative Acts for Curious People


Sarah Stein Greenberg

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Kelly connects with Sarah Stein Greenberg, the Executive Director of the D School at Stanford University to discuss her new book "Creative Acts for Curious People."

What does the D school at Stanford do that is so different from other design schools?

“The D school is kind of an unconventional Institute in that we work with students and faculty from all across Stanford. And there are several different schools at Stanford: so we have medical students working alongside engineers, working alongside public policy students, and working alongside English majors. And that mix of student perspectives means there's this very potent blend of opportunity when it comes to creative work. And we'll take those teams of students, coming from those different disciplinary backgrounds, and what they lack when they walk in the door at the D school is a common way to navigate an open ended problem.”

One of the things I appreciated in your book is how you center human’s emotional lives as central to our personal creativity.

“There's a lot about being at the D school that is centered around emotions and the way in which emotions are actually a really important part of creative work. We don't shy away from that, in fact, I was lucky enough to be a Grad student when the D school got started and I took some of the very early classes. And at the time, there was actually a full time clinical psychologist who was on staff who actually helped teams.”

You also write about the conflict that happens when two people are in two different mindsets about their creative work.

“A lot of team conflict happens when one person is in an exploration mindset and the other person is in the decision making mindset. And just being able to articulate back to a common vocabulary is so important. Can you say to someone ‘Oh, I really think we need to be expanding our options and expanding our solutions. Can  we just hold off on making that decision for 15 more minutes?’ And then make a provisional decision  to get more data so it's about having that way to avert those deep misunderstandings where your feelings get really hurt just because somebody is in a completely different frame about where you are in the process.”

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