LCD Model for Creativity

Our LCD model, shown below, underpins our approach on how to cultivate creativity in organisations. LCD stands for Listen, Connect and Do. It builds on the ideas of design thinking by Kelley and Kelley (2013), Theory U by Scharmer (2009), as well as that of Csikszentmihalyi (1996), Amabile (1996) and Tan (2013).

The LCD model puts a person’s ‘state of being’ at the centre of the approach and highlights how it underpins other key aspects of creativity including listening, connecting, and doing, i.e. you need to BE creative. We define ‘state of being’ as the emotional, mental and physiological condition of a person.

Trefoil Knot

Listen: In our LCD model, listening implies listening to (and observing) others as well as to our own selves, i.e. being open, aware, and attentive to our own ‘state of being’ as well as to that of others. This builds on the ideas of empathy and being aware of the feelings, needs and concerns of others to help gain new creative insights, as well as the ideas of reflection and gaining feedback from people on ideas being developed.

Connect: This is about engaging with others and being open to connecting with people we haven’t previously considered connecting with. Our concept of connecting again brings in the aspect of being self-aware of our own emotional, mental and physiological condition while connecting with others, and being open, aware, and attentive to new ideas and opportunities.

Do: Our concept of doing is about taking action, exploring, experimenting and prototyping, but doing so while being mindful of our own ‘state of being’. This relates to the ideas of play – play gives people permission to explore ideas in a non-linear manner including the exploration of ideas that might seem totally unrelated to the challenge at hand.

The LCD model not only focuses on listening, connecting and doing with a person’s ‘state of being’ at the centre but also emphasises the importance of the dynamic movement between these aspects. The symbol of a ‘non-trivial’ trefoil knot for the LCD model conveys that it is not possible to untie the different elements – each element is indelibly linked to the other.

More details on the LCD Model are given in Loudon and Deininger (2014) – see publications list.


Amabile, T.M., Conti, R., Coon, H., Lazenby, J. and Herron, M. (1996): Assessing the Work Environment for Creativity, The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 39, No. 5, October, pp. 1154-1184.

Csíkszentmihályi, M. (1996): Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, New York: Harper Collins.

Kelley, T. and Kelley, D. (2013): Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All, New York: Harper Collins.

Scharmer, C.O. (2009) Theory U: Learning from the Future as It Emerges, Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Tan, C.M. (2012): Search Inside YourselfIncrease Productivity, Creativity and Happiness, London: Harper Collins.

Research Findings

Our definition of Creativity is:

‘The ability to come up with ideas or artefacts that are novel, valuable and substantive’


From our research, five main elements have consistently appeared in relation to creativity. They are ‘state of being’, play, natural preferences, dynamic movement, and self-determination/ intrinsic motivation. Each term is defined below:

State of Being: the emotional, mental and physiological condition of a person

Play: when a person engages in an activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious purpose

Natural Preference: a person’s natural inclination or spontaneous reaction

Dynamic Movement: the continuous motion of personal experience that is of a non-linear and spontaneous nature.

Self Determination / Intrinsic Motivation: “behaviours that are volitional and accompanied by the experience of freedom and autonomy—those that emanate from one’s sense of self” (Ryan and Deci, 2000).

© Miredi -

© Miredi –


    • Ryan, R.M., and Deci, E.L. (2000a). Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being. American Psychologist, 55(1): 68 – 78.
    • Ryan, R.M., and Deci, E.L. (2000b). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations: Classic Definitions and New Directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology. 25: 54–67


Recent publications include:

  • Loudon, G.H., Zampelis, D. and Deininger, G.M. ‘Using Real-time Biofeedback of Heart Rate Variability Measures to Track and Help Improve Levels of Attention and Relaxation’. ACM Creativity and Cognition Conference, 27th-30th June, Singapore, 2017. (to be published)
  • Coleman, S, Treadaway, C., and Loudon, G. ‘Avenues, Values, and the Muse: An ethnographic study of creative activity to support the wellbeing of residents living with dementia in residential care’. 10th Internal Conference on Design and Emotion, 27th – 30th September, Amsterdam, 2016.
  • Loudon, G. and Deininger, G. ‘The Physiological Response during Divergent Thinking’. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 6, 28-37. 2016. doi: 10.4236/jbbs.2016.61004.
  • Fuzi, A., Clifton, N. & Loudon, G.H. ‘New spaces for supporting entrepreneurship? Co-working spaces in the Welsh entrepreneurial landscape’, Proceedings of the 8th International Conference of entrepreneurship, innovation and regional development, Sheffield, UK, June 18-19, 2015.
  • Watkins C. A., Loudon, G. H., Gill, S. and Hall, J.E. ‘The Challenges of taking a User-Centric Approach within developing countries: A case study of designing medical solutions for Zambia’, Proceedings of the 11th European Academy of Design Conference, Paris Desartes University, Boulogne Billancourt, France, April 22-24, 2015.
  • Deininger, G.M. and Loudon, G.H. ‘Correlation between Coherent Heart Rate Variability and Divergent Thinking’ at the Creativity and Cognition 2011 Conference in Atlanta, Georgia from 2nd-6th November, 2011.
  • Loudon, G.H. and Deininger, G.M. ‘The Relationship Between Play, Prototyping and Creativity’ at DESIRE ’11, the Second International Conference on Creativity and Innovation in Design, Eindhoven, the Netherlands, on 19-21 October, 2011.

HRV and Attention

Our research shows that the real-time biofeedback of heart rate variability (HRV) measures can track and help improve attention levels. We have developed and tested a software solution that runs on an iPhone and communicates wirelessly in real-time with ‘Bluetooth smart’ heart rate monitors such as the Mio Alpha 2 and Mio Fuse watches.

The main motivation for the research study was to provide a solution for children who find it difficult to concentrate by providing a way to train and improve their own attention levels. This is of significance as one of the key factors affecting creativity (as well as learning in general) is attention. A solution that can help improve ‘relaxed concentration’ levels for children could have a significant impact on their ability to learn and enhance their creativity.

This research work was funded by Innovate UK. You can see more details in our blog post. We plan to publish more details on the research findings in the coming months.

HRV Monitor Data