DisruptHR Buffalo: Interview with Dr Roger Firestien

rogerDr. Roger Firestien is the Senior Faculty Member at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at the State University of New York- Buffalo State. The Center confers the only Master of Science Degree in Creativity Studies of its kind in the world.

Roger has been called “The Gold Standard” of creativity training by his clients which include: Disney, AT&T, Clorox, Los Angeles Times, Farmers Insurance, General Electric, General Mills, Merck, UBS, American Hospital Association, Young Presidents Organization, University of Illinois, Federal Executive Institute, US Air Force, Department of the Treasury, NASA and many more.

Dr. Firestien is the author and co-author of five books. His expert views on creativity have been reported in “Fast Company” and “The New York Times.”

Roger holds a Ph.D. in Communication and a Master of Science degree in Creativity Studies from the State University of New York.  When he’s not traveling, he lives in Buffalo, New York, and regularly works cattle on the SK Herford Ranch near Medina, New York.

Dr. Firestien took some time to speak with us prior to his speaking at the DisruptHR Buffalo event on October 5th, 2016.

Editor: What does your company do?

Roger: The  International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State is the largest academic program focusing on the deliberate development of creativity in the world.  The Center was founded in 1967 based on the work of a famous Buffalonian Alex Osborn.  Alex Osborn invented the brainstorming technique.  Yes, brainstorming was invented in Buffalo.  Alex Osborn is also the “O” in the advertising agency BBD&O, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world.

We offer a Master of Science degree in Creativity and a graduate certificate in Creativity and Change Leadership.  It has a distance program that attracts students from all over the world.  More than 600 individuals have graduated with the Master of Science Degree in Creativity Studies.  I was the 7th person to earn the degree.  

Editor: What does an average work week look like for you?

Roger: I teach two graduate classes at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State.  Additionally, I consult nationally and internationally to help  individuals and organizations apply their creative to create breakthroughs.  I have the best job in the world.

Editor: What made you decide to be a speaker at DisruptHR Buffalo?

Roger: I met Holly Nowak and she asked me to be involved.  When she told me about the unique format, I took it on as a challenge.

Editor: What will you be speaking about at DisruptHR Buffalo?

Roger: The title of the session is: “Never Run out of New Ideas –  Creativity on Demand.”  I will be speaking on how to be deliberately creativity so that you can turn on your ideas at will instead of waiting for creativity to happen.

Editor: What are the major learnings that attendees will take from your session?

Roger: Attendees will learn several techniques that they will be able to apply immediately to create new fresh ideas.  These ideas can be related to their work in HR or to any aspects of their lives.

Editor: You only have 5 minutes to present at DisruptHR Buffalo. What unique challenges and opportunities does this format offer?

Roger: I think it is really fun to put the key essences of creativity into a five-minute “bite.”  I wanted to make the session fun but also relevant so that people can apply their creativity so that they do not have to leave creative breakthroughs to chance.   

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Author: Editor

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