There are days that I'm on fire with creative ideas--I have tons of Post-It notes and email reminders to prove it!

But there are also those dreaded days that a creative block strikes, when it's like pulling teeth get the wheels turning again. When that happens, it's time to turn to the pros. TED Talks are a great source of inspiration, particularly their segments on creativity.

Linda Hill: How to manage for collective creativity.

Want to find the secret to unlocking the creativity hidden inside your daily work? Want to give every idea a chance?

Linda Hill, Harvard professor and co-author of Collective Genius, has studied some of the world's most creative companies to create tools and tactics that keep great ideas flowing from everyone within the company, not just those who have been designated "creatives."

Seventeen minutes is all it takes for Linda to help you get your creative juices flowing again!

Nadi Radjou: Creative problem solving in the face of extreme limits.

With years spent studying "jugaad," known also as frugal innovation, Radjou is a wealth of information with a message you need to hear. Jugaad was pioneered by entrepreneurs in emerging markets, who discovered how to get spectacular value from limited resources. The practice that is now globally recognized and a wealth of examples of human ingenuity at work accompany Radjou's talk.

Creative blocks can often stem from what feels like limited resources and capabilities. Check out Radjou's three principals on how we can do more with less.

Eddie Obeng: Smart failure for a fast-changing world

The world is changing much more rapidly than is realized by most, says business educator Obeng, and our creative output is not able to keep up. In just under 12 minutes, he highlights three important changes we should not only understand, but implement for better productivity. He also calls for a stronger culture of "smart failure."

Realistically speaking, there are two ways you can fail in our new world.

One, you're doing something that requires following a procedure and it's a difficult task so you get it wrong. How should you then be treated? Probably by being fired.

Conversely, maybe you're doing something new that has never been done before and you get it completely wrong. How should you then be treated? "Well, with free pizzas!" says Obeng.

In fact, you should be treated better than the people who succeeded. Hence the term "smart failure."

It's a theory I can totally get on board with and one already employed by some of the most innovative brands out there.

Tom Wujec: Got a wicked problem? First, tell me how you make toast.

Making toast doesn't sound particularly complicated--until you're asked to draw the process step by step. Wujec loves to engage people and teams by having them draw how to make toast because in doing so, the process reveals unexpected truths about how we can solve our biggest and most complicated work problems.

After nine minutes with Wujec, try doing his exercise yourself. See if you agree with his surprising insights, born out of watching thousands of people drawing toast.

Looking for more TED inspiration? Check out these must-watch TED Talks for entrepreneurs.

Published on: Jun 25, 2015
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