The Creative Process: How Appreciative Inquiry and Internal Family Systems Invited Everyone to Make Everyone’s Invited

I’d been meaning from the start to tell the story of the making of the album Everyone's Invited, because I felt the way it was made was maybe as significant as the album itself. Now I’ve finally had the chance, and the results may be some of the most worthwhile writings I’ve ever published.

Making this album was a truly unique experience for me, not only because it was the first time I’d taken on making an album. It was novel because of the particular way I went about the project. It was guided by two influences that at first glance may not seem to have anything to do with making albums: Appreciative Inquiry and Internal Family Systems. I don’t want to spoil the story by telling too much of it right here! For now, then, suffice it to say this:

AI started as an organizational development process and philosophy. The IFS model is a way of understanding the human mind that informs some particularly effective methods of psychotherapy. Both of these things turn out to be useful in lots of other places, though, far beyond the business meeting and the psychologist’s couch. Of all the ideas and tools I’ve ever come across, AI and IFS are both near the top of the list of things that have the potential to bring about real and lasting positive change for people, whether individuals or groups of whatever size.

And Everyone's Invited wouldn’t exist without them. Indeed, the whole album was created because of these two things and how I used them together.

I’d made the album as something for kids and adults to enjoy together. Beyond entertainment was the hope that people might actually get something out of the songs, something they could use to make good things happen for themselves. Now, I have to add another layer to all of this. I hope that, in discovering the story of how the album and songs were created, people will enjoy gaining some insight into the creative process, but even more I hope that they may learn that creative processes in general — including making good things happen for each other — can be helped along tremendously by harnessing the power of Appreciative Inquiry and the Internal Family Systems model.

The album and song posts all now include their stories. To hear the whole tale as it happened, start with the story of the album as a whole, followed by the stories of each individual song in the order they were written:

At the bottom of each song’s story you’ll find a link to the story of whatever song was written next, so you’ll be able to easily follow the entire story from beginning to end.

I encourage you to add your comments to any and all of the individual album/song posts, letting me know your reactions to each of the stories.

Also, share your own stories — of art or other things that have inspired you, of how you came to do something artistic or creative, of how the OHB’s songs have impacted you, whatever you like — at the Fan Clan.

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