Speaker + Author + Creativity Evangelist
Denise R. Jacobs
How to Unblock and Enhance Creativity


Denise R. Jacobs is a Speaker + Author + Creativity Evangelist who speaks at conferences and consults with companies worldwide. As the Founder + CEO of The Creative Dose, she promotes techniques to unlock creativity and spark innovation in people, teams, and workplaces, particularly those in the tech world. She teaches game-changing techniques for busting through creative blocks, developing clear and effective communication, cultivating collaboration, and up-leveling productive creativity. Denise is the author of Banish Your Inner Critic, the premier handbook on silencing fears to unleash creativity. A web and tech industry veteran, Denise is also the author of The CSS Detective Guide and co-author of the Smashing Book #3 1/3 and Interact with Web Standards. She is also the founder of Rawk The Web and the Head Instigator of The Creativity (R)Evolution.

Morning Keynote

How to Unblock and Enhance Creativity

As a designer, you need ways to work better so that you can create more, but what do you do when you hit a seemingly insurmountable mental wall? You need to bust through your mental barriers to unblock your creativity and allow it to flow.

Combining the neuroscience of creativity with methods to increase productivity, we’ll discover techniques and tools to get past the mental barriers that keep you stuck and slow you down – which is also known as the Inner Critic. We’ll explore ways in which to dramatically enhance your creative self-esteem: to feel like your ideas are good enough and stop committing “ideacide.” We’ll then uncover how to prevent criticism and judgement from immobilizing you and shutting down your creative process, how to leverage the collective genius of a group to amplify creativity, and tricks for generating more ideas than you ever thought possible.

These approaches will not only help to enhance your productive creativity, but they will also help you to operate from a place of passion and excitement. By the end, you’ll have a roadmap of how to not only get unstuck, but also how to channel your creativity as a force for positive change in the world.

Morning Workshop

Unblock Creativity

As creative professionals, we are called upon to produce and deliver original strategies and solutions to make our companies or clients stand out in the crowd, requiring a high level of creative thinking and generation of innovative ideas. But standard working conditions often can extinguish our creative fire, making it tough to come up with fresh ideas precisely when we need them most. What we need to bust through our mental barriers to unblock creativity and allow it to flow.

First, by using the tenet of Unblock, we’ll tackle the Inner Critic, the unconscious deterrent that stands between the seeds of your great ideas and the fruits of achievement. You’ll discover effective techniques for recognizing and removing your personal creative blocks, so that you can have the mental space and energy to begin to allow your creativity to flow. Then, by using the tenets of Connect, you’ll will learn methods for developing strong communication skills to articulate and share ideas, as well as listening to and amplifying the ideas of others. We’ll then move on to explore concepts around the sources of creative inspiration, as well as some unconventional ways to access your creative spark and encourage the generation of ideas. Through the course of the workshop, you’ll gain tools that will help to free your mental energy, facilitate your ideas coming through, and let your true talents shine.

Attendees will learn:

  • Methods for getting creatively unstuck by managing the Inner Critic and minimizing self-criticism
  • Techniques for stimulating the flow of ideas
  • Tools become an active listener and effective communicator
  • Ways to reframe and learn from failure
  • Tricks for gathering sources of inspiration that kick-start the creative process
  • Develop and/or regain creative confidence as well as feeling reengaged with work and other creative projects
Afternoon Workshop

Master Creative Collaboration

Collaboration requires more than simply putting a bunch of smart people together in one room. Truly successful collaboration comes from the creative chemistry of a group and the blending of everyone’s ideas and concepts to create the desired outcome. In order to generate the most innovative contributions, team members need to bring not only their good ideas, but also the right mindframe to the table.

Through the process taking a real-world problem and running through a series of creativity and innovation exercises to develop and execute upon an action-plan, the team will learn and actively apply best practices in creative collaboration for optimum team productivity and output.
By using the tenets of Combine and Play, participants will learn how to become adaptable and responsive to the suggestions of others, combining ideas using play, and learning effective techniques for tapping into a group’s creative brilliance to reach higher levels of collective creative output and performance.

When these practices are incorporated into a company’s culture, it creates an environment where team members can more easily collaborate to produce and apply innovations in a meaningful and permanent way for themselves, their team, and their entire organization.

Attendees will learn:

  • Tools become an active listener and effective communicator
  • Methods for getting a team of talented members to work better together
  • Ways to bring out the creative best in others
  • How to encourage and leverage the aggregate genius of a team
  • Collective ownership
  • A process for approaching creative problem-solving with a playful, fun attitude