Passion Sundays

When Creativity and Logical Thinking Meet Passion You Get Results

The first Belgian Certified Speaking Professional says creative thinking opens new horizons

Do you start the day feeling happy? Passion is the key to begin every day fresh and ready to accomplish your goals.
Cyriel Kortleven paved the way for other Belgian speakers. He has a background in economics. Yet when he discovered creative thinking, he got so passionate about creative problem solving that he became the first Certified Speaking Professional in Belgium. His life filled with passion as he discovered amazing new potential.
In terms of change or innovation, it’s vital to use brainstorming and be open-minded. Don’t reject anything from the start and take into account several solutions. Cyriel thinks that overcoming idea killers is a big step ahead to solve problems.
‘I love it! Every day! I wake up very happy!’. Cyriel’s attitude towards work is a role model for anyone. You should love what you do and look forward to your activity every single day. Find that special something that makes you tick.
Want to be more creative? Learn exclusive tips. Share all with your friends too and spread the passion.

Live Passionately

Moustafa Hamwi
Passionpreneur & Chief Energy Officer
Award Winning Author & Speaker


Moustafa:       Hello everyone and welcome back to Passion Sundays – the best way to end a week and start another! Our guest today, all the way from Belgium is a specialist on creative problem solving – Cyriel Kortleven! Thank you very much!
Cyriel:             Hello!
Moustafa:       I hope I got the name right.
Cyriel:             Absolutely right. Thanks!
Moustafa:       That’s an interesting twist. I know people who do problem solving, people who do creativity. You’ve got creative problem solving. Tell me a bit more!
Cyriel:             I think a lot of companies are faced with a lot of challenges, changes that are happening. How do you cope with them? You have to be creative to make sure you work on most challenges. You need both. You need logical thinking and you need the creativity part.
Moustafa:       Nice.
Cyriel:             So, yeah, how can people get it right? What I’ve seen in a lot of companies is that they build up a ladder. What is a ladder for me? It’s an inefficient system so for example, I use the metaphorical banana peel that is lying on the floor and the solution is a ladder. But you feel… that’s not right.
Moustafa:       Just to get over the problem.
Cyriel:             To get over the problem. But you know, the banana peel has been rotting away after a month or something. But the ladder is still there. And I see so many companies with a lot of rules, procedures, systems that they’ve built up with the best intention but the world has changed. So in this moment you’ve got to think in a logical way. Hey, wait a minute. Let’s have a look what have we created and then think in a creative way how can we create a way around it. How can we solve it?
Moustafa:       I love it! How did you end up doing this?
Cyriel:             I studied economics, so that’s totally different. I learned 1+1 is 2 and then at one moment I worked as a management trainee so we got a lot of training, leadership, coaching and got into creative thinking. And then I learned that 1 and 1 can also be eleven or could be a plus or it could be something else. And that really wowed me. My brain exploded with new potential and since then… that’s already 15 years ago so I love it! Every day! I wake up very happy!
Moustafa:       You’re very passionate about what you’re doing! I can see that!
Cyriel:             Absolutely!
Moustafa:       It sounds also beautiful but the typical question that I ask in situations like this is: It must have been tough somewhere along the way…
Cyriel:             Absolutely. You know, people are open for change but there is so much change happening that people start to have resistance. So when: ‘hey, are we going to change something?’, immediately people go through what I would call idea killers. And to overcome those, yeah it’s sometimes hard work because people have build up patterns or they think ‘we’ve already tried this, we don’t have money, so let’s stick to the situation that we already know’ and then it’s quite hard work to convince people ‘hey, maybe there is a second solution or a third one or a fourth one and maybe one of those solutions may help you to solve your challenges in an easier way. So think the biggest challenge if you talk about change or innovation – overcoming those idea killers.
Moustafa:       Ok. it’s all beautiful when you are teaching it to people. Are you able to apply all this creativity in your own work?
Cyriel:             It’s hard, you know. I’ve heard a speaker yesterday… She was saying ‘probably the thing that you’re teaching, the one who needs it the most is yourself. But I think it’s also a skill and I think I’m getting better and better at it. So one of the things of the problem solving is making a lot of associations. During those 15 years my brain… I can make really quick associations to look there and look there. So I’m getting better at it but still a lot of times I’m in the ‘idea killer – yes but no’ mode. But I guess that’s pretty normal.
Moustafa:       And that’s normal. So how would you advise someone who finds himself in that space?
Cyriel:             One of the things that helps is one simple method. I’m from Belgium so we love our beers. We created a beer coaster. Red side, green side. On the red side you have some ideas ‘yes, but we’ve tried it…’. How do we use this is what I call the 3 Minute Rule. What’s the 3 Minute Rule? Next meeting you have with your team, tell agenda points. Please 9 of them logical thinking. Make decisions like you normally do and maybe just one agenda point where you think ‘hey, we could use some ideas for this one’. What you do is you put the beer coaster in the middle of the table and say ‘3 minutes, no idea killers. Everything is possible with all the money’. Then you start brainstorming, people come up with normal ideas and also really crazy ones. But maybe you say ‘Hey, but Cyriel we’ve already tried this’ but then you take the beer coaster, show him that card. What does it mean? It doesn’t mean that you can leave the meeting, you know. But you killed one idea, you have to come up with two new ones.
Moustafa:       Oh, ok. I like that. So punishment as a positive thing and driving it forward.
Cyriel:             Yes! To go forward and it’s so simple! What is really like is giving people some simple, very practical tools because there are so many out there with complex ideas and models. Keep it as simple as possible and it’s fun. As people start to use it, then they understand: ‘Wow, this is working! and then you are able to really innovate and get into change again because you see it worked with such simple methods.
Moustafa:       Awesome, I love it! All I’m gonna say is the best way to conclude this episode and come up with more passion for everybody else.
Cyriel:             Absolutely!
Moustafa:       Cyriel, this has been amazing! Thank you very much for being with us today!
Cyriel:             Thank you! It was great! It was a pleasure!
Moustafa and Cyriel: Passion!
Moustafa:       What do you think? I would really love to hear your opinion. So if you found this episode as creative as I did, leave your comments on the blog below and do share it with your friends. And if you’d like more tools, tips, techniques and exclusive videos that I only share on my website, go to And until next episode – live passionately!

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Hi, I’m Moustafa

Dubai’s real-life “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.” On a one-way ticket to India, I’ve gone from meeting a Swami out of 13 years in caves, to natural healing from a disease to become the Passionpreneur. I’m an international speaker and coach helping people find and pursue passion.

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