The exponential growth of technology is driving a pace of change that is consistently disrupting industries around the world. At the same time, creativity has been identified as a top quality future leaders need to possess to navigate these turbulent times (IBM, 2010; Walinga, Cunningham, & MacGregor, 2011). This qualitative phenomenological study explores the role of pause in enhancing personal creativity and creativity training experiences for leaders. While research studies in the fields of creativity, leadership development and information overload are plentiful, there is a lack of research in how the practice of pause might impact creativity training experiences or influence a leader in how they function throughout this tech saturated world. In this study, 11 creativity training experts were interviewed regarding the pause practices they have adopted and what role the practice of pause plays during the creativity training experiences they conduct for leaders. Six themes emerged: Creativity experts in this study reported that their practices of pause produce positive benefits, involve nature and/or outdoor activities, typically limit or avoid technology, time constraints have the potential to influence the role and implementation of pause within a creativity training experience, the practice of pause in training increases the likelihood of attendee engagement and pause practices in training are likely influenced by the creativity training environment. Recommendations include exploring generational perspectives of technology and pause practices, examining the impact of retreats in creativity training, and investigating cultural dynamics related to pause practices. This study presents key findings for both researchers and leadership development professionals about the role of pause as a personal practice to enhance creativity, as well as a practice within creativity training that has the ability to enhance the learning experience.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Creative thinking; Awareness; Creative ability in business

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Rhodes, Kent;