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'April 21st, World Creativity and Innovation Day'

Written by Mike Petrakis.


On April 21st, we celebrate the World Creativity and Innovation Day.

Creativity is one of the most wonderful elements that define and expresses as a humans our culture, having a significant role in our evolution.

Creativity is to see the world with a different eye, to create questions, to interpret and to simplify the elements around you and your feelings.

Below I have collect and present some of my most important quotes on creativity and innovation, and do not forget..

Don’t be afraid to constantly ask questions!










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'An Artistic Trainer'

Written by Mike Petrakis.

Artwork: Wassily Kandinsky - 'Disintegrated Tension', 1930

A 2016 study, shows that Organizations spent $359 billion globally on training.  But…

  • 75% of 1,500 managers surveyed from across 50 organizations were dissatisfied with their company’s Learning & Development (L&D) function;
  • 70% of employees report that they don’t have mastery of the skills needed to do their jobs;
  • Only 12% of employees apply new skills learned in L&D programs to their jobs; and
  • Only 25% of respondents to a recent McKinsey survey believe that training measurably improved performance.

So what (in my subjective opinion) are the elements of a good and successful trainer? How a trainer needs to function to get the best results by his/her trainees?

In this article I present my personal opinion, methods and view, through the tutorial that I deliver in my courses and workshops in organizations and my open courses for individuals, as a Trainer and Learning and Development Specialist and always adapted trough significant scientific researches,

Companies spend a fortune on training every year and in every industry. Another study by The Conference Board of Canada estimates that more than $12 billion was spent on employee training in 2012. The question remains: If training is the answer, what does an effective training program look like?

Great trainers drive change. They introduce new techniques and elements to the training – a blended learning or virtual learning element for example.

A great trainer will feel the reward of delivering something that really adds value for the participants. Great trainers are passionate about what they do. They will always must to experiment with new ideas and activities, each time reflecting on the success and development.

I always aim to use and express my innovative methods and practices by thinking that, in order to influence and develop also an innovation way of thinking, it should be the trainer himself/herself to set a prime example in order to convey the philosophy of innovation. In my training courses I tend to use also surreal titles and connections to inspire imagination and creativity, on how to frame and reframe ideas.

As well use context-relevant pictures, as these help people understand concepts better. Doing this in a clever learner-centered manner, one where the technology and the content have been built around proven learning methods provides an optimal learning experience, key to learning.

And connecting learning with real-world practices resonates with learners, as they are motivated and inspired by their ability to apply theory effectively in practice, even if they don’t know that is what they are actually doing. Even when teaching very complex materials this method works by giving the learner practical relevance through explanations using stories that revolve around known real-world examples (their own business, job roles, offices, etc.).

Very important is that a great trainer should have done a research and to know about, what the client does, what their challenges are, and how they expect the training will help them reach their goals.


90% of info transmitted to the brain is visual

70% of our sensory receptors are in our eyes

50% of our brain is active in visual processing

40% of people respond better to visuals


Below I present my beliefs for the elements of a great trainer.

  • Good Knowledge about his/her topics
  • Creative and Innovative Enough
  • Balance and Equality between the Trainees
  • Embrace, Inspire & Motivate
  • Knows how to Observe, Accept, to Receive and to <Collect>
  • Critical Thinker
  • Leader
  • Flexible
  • Diversity and Enrichment
  • Balance between IQ & EQ
  • Connect and Interact
  • Asking a lot of questions and motivate the participants/trainees to ask questions as well
  • Cs – Collaborate, Communicate, Conciliate, Cognitively flexible
  • Approachable
  • Create a Constructive Dialogue
  • Is a Trainer and Trainee at the same time

‘A Trainer’s job is not only to teach trainees. A Trainer’s also responsibility is to teach trainees to know how to learn, as well to give them the motivation at the same time to constantly want to learn’.

In the beginning of my training courses, I always starting by asking questions, as an example below…

What if…?  (Invites imagination), What else…?  (Starting asking questions over and over again) Why not…? (Starts to explore, creating and framing)

In my courses I always aim to <share > the period  of time , so to make the courses more productive, to better structured in the minds of the trainees, for much longer period of time, so to become a mode of functioning and behavior, because…

Studies also show that by using spaced repetition, we can remember about 80% of what we learn after 60 days which is a significant improvement.

A key point for the success in training sessions is to have in mind that people retain things better when they can connect a new ideas to old ones.

A good trainer should have a wide range of activities be flexible and use different learning styles to adapt in any situation. Also needs to vary the training approaches and the interaction patterns in the training room and to know how to make sure participants get the most from the training.

As well the more personalized and interactive the activities are, the more immediately transferable the results will be. A great trainer will feel the reward of delivering something that really adds value for the participants. Great trainers are passionate about what they do. They will want to experiment with new ideas and activities, each time reflecting on its success and development.

Artwork: Wassily Kandinsky

Images in training sessions

In my training methods I use drawing cause according to Association for Psychological Science , drawing improves memory across a variety of tasks and populations.

Pictures can help act as ‘anchors’ to something we have already learned / been exposed to. They aid memory recall. We know that we remember things 65% better when they are attached to pictures.

Also why images have more impact in training in the link below


In constantly evolving society and market with many new training trends, new technologies, and the ongoing cycle of change in business, the trainer’s ability to adapt will make him/her/the training more effective. Great trainers drive change. They must be able to introduce new techniques and elements to the training.

Artwork: Arthur-Dorval-Sans- ' Titre'

‘Education/training through art/creative industry also expressing that cultural and social progress is essential for economic growth’


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'A Remarkable Leader'

Written by Mike Petrakis.

Artworks: Iulian Opie – ‘Man’ – ‘Woman in high heels with telephone’

First, I would like to wish to everyone, a wonderful, healthy and especially creative 2020.

So, which are the elements for a remarkable and innovative Leader? How a great Leader create his/her own mark? How a Leader give us a perspective on our social condition and he/she can change our lives meaningful?


Below I suggest 22 elements that must accompany the culture of a remarkable Leader.

  • He/she knows how to connect with the people, society and our world.
  • Deepened in everything and he/she is flexible.
  • Function beyond the traditional ways.
  • Convey meanings, in non obvious and captivating ways, as opposed to giving simple directives and making straightforward declarations of fact.
  • He/she present a stylistic distinctiveness that is an honest expression of his/her individuality and personal beliefs.
  • He/she offer complex and challenging information that stimulates intellectual effort and imaginative contemplation.
  • Provide emotionally rewarding experiences that are shared among members of a group, promoting stronger bonds and fostering personal fulfillment.
  • He/she Inspires, is consistent, creative, unique, passionate, and knows how to engage.
  • Cultivating uncertainty and alternative ideas, preserving the questions.
  • Portraying paradoxes and has the ability to go deeper.
  • Integrating whole-brain – mindfulness generative thinking.
  • Connect emotionally with literally.
  • Creating and connecting emotional with logical stories.
  • He/she has colorful personality and background.
  • Knows how to explore, how to express, how to experiment and how to execute his/her ideas.
  • Produce cohesive patterns by selecting, rejecting, and relating the various components available to him/her and to express his/her vision.
  • Recognize the central role of imagination and individual performance.
  • His/her mind, making effective syntheses.
  • His/her personal prejudice, belief, tradition, and temperament, build and destroyed every time he/she makes rearrangements of his/her possibilities.
  • Compromise between the vision he/she has and the limits are available.
  • Learn from critiques of success and failure.
  • He/she has the desire to communicate his/her purpose.

Artwork: Mark Titchner - 'We Want Strong Leadership'

A Remarkable Leader drawing on the right minds, has his/her own style, his/her own trade mark, knows how to connect all the elements and he/she is not copying…

A Remarkable Leader put people first and his/she enable people with the right capabilities his/she needs to succeed. A Great & Remarkable leader shaping his/her and our future, not reacting to it, his/she is courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made him/her successful in the past, but will not make him/her successful in the future.

He/she builds also great teams around him/her that are diverse, innovative and courageous, to help him/her succeed every day…

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ABCD- 'About Business Culture Development' (Part 2)

Written by Mike Petrakis.








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ABCD- 'About Business Culture Development' (Part 1)

Written by Mike Petrakis.

Dear friends in my articles titled 'About Business Culture Development' Part 1 & 2, I decided to <keep? some paragraphs from my previous posts expressing my view, philosophy, knowledge and experience as a Founder Director in the Art InSide Business program for the function and development of creativity, Innovation, Leadership, soft skills engagement etc, in organizations and at the individual level as well... 











I remain at your disposal and I would be happy to continue our discussion via my email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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'So, Why Art/ Creative Industry for Business & Entrepreneurship Culture?'

Written by Mike Petrakis.


Many organizations and professionals have used and using phrases like….Our quality services are a work of art, We are not creating products - We are creating Art, Artistic services etc. to highlight quality and innovation of their products, of their culture, or to promote their services, attract new audiences or even to show diversity.                                   

So, what about the art/creative industry in business, entrepreneurship, in the organizational culture, or at in the professional level, whether we want to develop creativity in an organization’s culture, (Whether it is Clan, Adhocracy, Market, Hierarchy, or…), furthermore when we want to innovate, develop collaboration, communicate, solve problems etc

Art/Creative Industry could develop new ways of approaching and behaving at work, resolving conflicts and problems. Increase the union - collaboration of employees with skills beyond the traditional in entrepreneurship such as accessibility, communication, for attracting new customers, creating new forms of company’s expression, as well for learning new environments where employees develop their content capabilities and activities.

Artists, great businessmen and entrepreneurs begin their work with intention and purpose. To establish more flow in their work, where the first step is to prioritize and focus on what is most important.  Devote their best thinking time for tasks that most need our creativity and focused attention and don’t allow interruptions.

Through art, we experience certain kinds of truth, including Emotional truth, cultural values, sensory experience, sense-making, and meaning-making.

Furthermore qualities such as seeing with new eyes, sensing and perceiving, mastery, finding beauty, meaning, elegance, rhythm, melody, harmony, and composition — can be applied to all aspects of our lives.

Habits of Artistic and Creative People

  • Prepare the ground for creativity
  • Live by/in Questions
  • Feed their brain by different/divergent sources
  • Express, Experiment, Explore, Execute and Expand
  • Always replenish their creative stock
  • The secret for liberating ourselves
  • Making connections.

Why art in Business?  Because art generate deep insight by going beyond rational-cognitive ways of knowing and providing new ways of understanding people's real lives experiences and views.

Art make us a cocktail-makers, how to use and mix everything, from ideas, elements, things, people etc and everything around us…


Has the success of transmitting to everyone the ability to search, experiment and plays an important role as an antidote to two very bad habits in business, such as trite behavior and cynicism.Art/ Creative Industry could bring and develop the passion, sincerity, insight, innovation and personality, bringing more philosophical approach and reaction to the things, to social issues and to our world.  

In the 1960s in Silicon Valley, companies—mostly industrial ones such as IBM, Bell Labs, and Hewlett-Packard—invited artists to spend months (and sometimes years) in their research centers, experimenting and collaborating on original artworks. And LACMA’s Art + Technology Lab is really a 2.0 version of a curatorial project that ran from 1967 to 1971

In the 50 years since those early experiments, tech corporations have so seamlessly constructed a culture of innovation that the artist-in-residence is now an uncontroversial—if not expected—feature of the landscape.

Many companies like Glaxosmith Kline, IBM, IKEA, Target, Samsung, Bang & Olufsen, Bell Labs, HP, LexisNexis, Intercontinental Hotels, Coca Cola, Pepsi etc are making arts based learning workshops to develop the culture inside their organizations.

In my opinion, organizations and entrepreneurs if they want to grow and modernize need to focus and develop their culture, where art/creative industry could have a significant role.

Peter Ferdinand Drucker - Management Consultant, Educator, Author

Yes, engaging Art/Creative Industry with business improves the personal effectiveness of our personality. It creates new models for how things could be different and push the spirit to explore more creative processes. Submits the inner range of everyone to use it, to have the mood to create new ideas, while leaving it open for a long time and spark our curiosity.Art has an impact in giving the motivation on a deeper direction for employees.

The training through the elements provided by art/creative industry connected to business, could help and significantly enhance key areas such as creativity, innovation, soft skills, Leadership and EQ & CQ development

What Art could teach us in Business and Entrepreneurship

  • One problem could have more than one solutions and one question more than one answers.
  • It shows us the many ways in which we can see and interpret the world.
  • It includes the adaptability of any problem, where it could change according to the circumstances and the opportunities.
  • Teach us that small differences can have great consequences.
  • Helps to discover the breadth and the variety of our character and to transfer it to our profession and workplac

Here I would like to make a statement, that as entrepreneurs, organizations and business in general have much to learn and receive not only theoretically also especially in practically level , by the art/creative industry for developing creativity, soft skills, leadership, innovation etc, so I believe that artists in nowadays should develop and evolve in contact and collaboration with our society, for the develop and promotion of their work  recognizing that they need to learn and master the elements of entrepreneurship if they want to become professionals in their field.

Anything could be art, anything could become product or service…

Qualities of Artful Making

  • Release. Freedom - accepting disputes• Collaboration and Integration.
  • Ensemble total - the overall quality that various people exhibit through co-operation, where something that cannot be done on its own is created.
  • Motivation and purpose.• Art is a creative game/play and unconscious connection.
  • Critical thinking approach.• Balance and adaptability..
  • Opened to accept, and receive. 

Some of the suggestions through my collaborations as a consultant and through my seminars which I use as a starting point for the organizations · 

  • Starting by asking clear, focusing, synoptical questions. 
  • Having empathy and controlled interaction.
  • Increasing knowledge of people is the key of innovation.
  • All learning they should know that has an emotional base. 
  • Deployment of learning sessions will increase knowledge retention.
  • Focused attention in fundamental to acquiring new knowledge.
  • Enhancing brain capacity supports learning.·  
  • Flexibility of the learning process must be accepted.·
  • Should demand and embrace diversity, also to be opened.

I’ll be glad to have a dialogue through my email

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‘From Adobe’s study about Creativity and… about Creativity’

Written by Mike Petrakis.


                                                                                                                                     Artwork: Andreas Gursky

Recently Adobe published a global research about creativity in the workplace, in the education system and our society.

Interviewing around 5.000 people, from USA, UK, Germany, France and Japan research shows that 8 in 10 people aim that unblocking creativity is essential for economic growth but a few people (only 1 in 4), could express and live their own potential.

More about the study’s results you could see on the photo below.

Also about creativity and our education system, I would like to provide a very significant study by George Land (Author, Speaker, Consultant, General Systems Scientist) in 1968, where he conducted a research to test the creativity of 1,600 children ranging in ages from three-to-five years old who were enrolled in a Head Start program. This was the same creativity test he devised for NASA to help select innovative engineers and scientists. The assessment worked so well he decided to try it on children.  He re-tested the same children at 10 years of age, and again at 15 years of age. The results were astounding.

  • Test results amongst 5 year olds: 98%
  • Test results amongst 10 year olds: 30%
  • Test results amongst 15 year olds: 12%
  • Same test given to 280,000 adults: 2%

Creativity at its highest point is to connect the IQ with EQ and both to work in balance.’

Many times the companies/organizations that I have collaborated and delivered seminars/courses for developing creativity inside their organization, think that creativity will <blossom>, without even having done any preparation, and will <sprout> by on its own.

As well with a 2 or 4 hours seminar, the behavior and function of people who have been thinking in the same way for years, will change at once and become immediately creative. Also the most funny situation is that there are trainers/educators who persuade the executives and the employees inside the organization that they will change - boost their way of thinking and functioning within a very short time. At that time we are talking about magicians or some people with divine qualities, but not of course educators...It is, in my opinion, a great mistake of delivering and performance. 

                                                                                                  Artwork: Wassily Kandinsky

 What is Creativity?

 ‘Creativity is marked by the ability or power to create or bring into existence, to invest with a new form, to produce through imaginative skill, to make or bring into existence something new’.

The important thing to remember is that creativity includes generating the idea or concept, as well as applying that idea and producing or manifesting the end product or result. Creativity and imagination is an integral part of being human and separates us from the other beings.

Every human being is capable of creative thought. We have creative abilities that often show up very early in life.

And one is sure, that we can all be creative, as long as we practice it by making connections and collections, divergent thinking and approach by, people, Ideas, elements, all kind of things and meanings, based on Critical Thought, and Knowledge

There are a lot of procedures, a lot of enrichment and understanding the scale and the steps, so we can first bring back and refresh creativity.(Because the first thing is the restoration, we are all creatives and we must unlock our minds first and foremost).    

Those who are routinely creative are skilled at connecting information from various sources in new and different ways. Creative entrepreneurs, thinkers and artists use their own experiences and aspirations as a starting point for dreaming up new things. When their own experience is insufficient, they go straight to the source and partner with people who are more embedded in a culture than they are.

”There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period'' Brene Brown Scholar, Author & Public Speaker

 In today’s competitive world, it is more important than ever for businesses to attract and keep highly talented people. In order to do that, they must provide a workplace environment that is challenging, creative, and fun. Since creativity is the source of innovation and invention, it would behoove all companies - large, small, or in between -to help promote a creative atmosphere in which this talent may flourish.


Especially in the workplace some tips for helping employees to embrace creativity are:

  • Look for these creative people. Recognize them for the intelligent innovators that they are.
  • Create an atmosphere that’s conducive to creativity. You need to let the ideas come forth and thrive. Be tolerant about ideas that don’t work out initially. You have to be patient and there’s always a next time when more fresh ideas can be implemented.
  • Acknowledge the people in the company who generate new ideas. It’s important to foster that creativity and show visible support. Embrace those innovators!
  • Reward the creators with public recognition, monetary rewards, or both perhaps!

It takes continuous practice as long as the trigger or tinder, and the click are given. It also needs continuous activity and research - knowledge, as well as to become a polymath. The problem I often encounter in Greece is that companies / organizations expect their employees to become more creative, more passionate about their work and develop their communication and collaboration within the organization and with customers without creating the right environment.

Not just with the participants (different background), not just on targeted and research questions, not just on balance, equality and diversity. But also in preparation, e.g. how the space and the surrounding environment should support the workplace to nurture and develop creativity.

Creativity and Leadership

                                                                                           Artwork: Andreas Gursky-'Desk Attend'

Creativity especially for a Leader is an important skill, whether he/she collaborates, communicates, develops the vision of the company / organization, solves important issues-problems, or negotiates, even when he/she contacts and connects with other executives, with employees, with clients and everything surrounds him/her. 

More about Creativity and Leadership at the links below…



The four stages after for Creativity by Graham Wallas

  • Preparation (preparatory work on a problem that focuses the individual's mind on the problem and explores the problem's dimensions),
  • Incubation (where the problem is internalized into the unconscious mind and nothing appears externally to be happening),
  • Illumination or insight (where the creative idea bursts forth from its pre conscious processing into conscious awareness);
  • Verification or Validation (where the idea is consciously verified, elaborated, and then applied).

And three tips…

  • Enrich and Increase your knowledge
  • Boost your Imagination through Incubation
  • Choose and take advantage your Creative Pickups!

'Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value. It is a process; it's not random.'' Ken Robinson Author, Speaker and International Advisor on education in the Arts to Government

* The Adobe’s study was produced by research firm StrategyOne and conducted as an online survey among a total of 5,000 adults, 18 years or older, 1,000 each in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan. Interviewing took place from March 30 to April 9 2019. The data set for each country is nationally representative of the population of that country.


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