We Are Now Go Create. Who We Work With. Please enable it to continue. Working With Us We understand the business case for creativity — after all our team have lived and breathed it at the corporate sharp-end working for WPP and global brands. Explore Our Courses. Who's It For? Anyone who wants to improve their creative thinking skills and develop a toolkit of ways to explore problems. How Long For? All these things demand high levels of innovation, creativity, and ingenuity. At the moment, instead of promoting creativity, I think we're systematically educating it out of our kids.
We have a major problem with our education systems, not just in America, but in many of the old, industrialized countries.
With that amount of waste, there's something wrong with the system— with impersonal forms of education, with people sitting in rows and not discovering the things that impassion them or invigorate them or turn them on. That's increasingly the case with this culture of standardized testing. It's totally counterproductive. Looking back at our own education, we came alive in certain sorts of lessons with certain teachers when we were given an opportunity to do things that invigorated us.
And when you find things you're good at, you tend to get better at everything because your confidence is up and your attitude is different. Too often now we are systematically alienating people from their own talents and, therefore, from the whole process of education. This isn't, to me, a whimsical argument, like, "Wouldn't it be nice if we all did something we liked.
For some people, it's gymnastics; for some people, it's playing the blues; and for some people, it's doing calculus. We know this because human culture is so diverse and rich—and our education system is becoming increasingly dreary and monotonous. It's no surprise to me that so many kids are pulling out of it. Even the ones who stay are often detached. Only a few people benefit from this process. But it's far too few to justify the waste. People often associate creativity with the individual.
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But is there a social dimension to creativity that's particularly relevant in the 21st century? Most original thinking comes through collaboration and through the stimulation of other people's ideas. Nobody lives in a vacuum. Even people who live on their own—like the solitary poets or solo inventors in their garages—draw from the cultures they're a part of, from the influence of other people's minds and achievements.
In practical terms, most creative processes benefit enormously from collaboration. The great scientific breakthroughs have almost always come through some form of fierce collaboration among people with common interests but with very different ways of thinking.
This is one of the great skills we have to promote and teach—collaborating and benefiting from diversity rather than promoting homogeneity. We have a big problem at the moment—education is becoming so dominated by this culture of standardized testing, by a particular view of intelligence and a narrow curriculum and education system, that we're flattening and stifling some of the basic skills and processes that creative achievement depends on.
Look at Thomas Edison. He was one of the most prolific inventors in American history. He had over 1, patents in the U. Patent Office. But actually, Edison's great talent was mobilizing other people. He had teams of cross-disciplinary groups working with him.
They gave themselves clear objectives and tight deadlines and pulled out every stop to work collaboratively. So there's no doubt in my mind that collaboration, diversity, the exchange of ideas, and building on other people's achievements are at the heart of the creative process.
An education that focuses only on the individual in isolation is bound to frustrate some of those possibilities. But people think they can't teach it because they don't understand it themselves. They say, "Well, I'm not very creative, so I can't do it. But there are actually two ways of thinking about teaching creativity. First of all, we can teach generic skills of creative thinking, just in the way we can teach people to read, write, and do math. Some basic skills can free up the way people approach problems—skills of divergent thinking, for example, which encourage creativity through the use of analogies, metaphors, and visual thinking.
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I worked a while ago with an executive group of a Native American community. They wanted me to talk to them about how they could promote innovation across their tribe. We sat around a boardroom table for the first hour, and I guess they were expecting me to get some flip charts out and show them some techniques. We did a little of that, but what I actually got them to do was to get into groups and draw pictures of some of the challenges they're facing as a community.
Well, the minute you get people to think visually—to draw pictures or move rather than sit and write bullet points—something different happens in the room. Transform ideas and methods completely. Adaptation is the least destructive and the most creative solution in some circumstances. Think of recycling and the use of discarded materials.
Think of resources. Your mental resource.hiyulil.com/includes
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How long would you survive a goal of insistent innovation?. If I demanded from life the destructive intensity of a Nova star, its radiation would prevent me from appreciating the rest of the Universe. In the continuum between adaptation and innovation, my creative style tends to the former. I read and learn, I consume and I adapt. There are, however, opportunities to slide towards the innovative.
I recognize that both styles have their place. But what about you?