Saturday, March 8, 2008

Seek To Be Creative

"Everyone should seek to be creative, even though
creativity is full of risks and uncertainties."

-- Edward de Bono

Edward de Bono has made a career of teaching the skills of creative thinking. Yet, isn't it sad that most people think they are either creative, or not. And, by extension, we think the same of our children - some are creative, and some are not. Believing that one is either born creative or not is, using Carol Dweck's, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, definitions, a very fixed mindset about creativity.

Edward de Bono believes that everyone has the capacity for creativity and that creative thinking can be learned and further developed. So, what happens to our natural creativity? I think we are taught at a young age to play it safe, not to take risks, not to follow an uncertain path, not to experiment and see what we learn. We are shamed if we fail at anything, regardless of what that failure gives us the opportunity to learn. Thus, we are taught to value safety and certainty more than creativity and learning by doing. We are taught and encouraged to be staid, steady followers. As Buckminster Fuller laments, "we are all born genuises but school un-geniuses us." Not just school, but also our parents, our culture, our society.

For me, the question becomes what are the costs we pay individually and collectively for not fully developing and valuing creativity? What problems could have been solved long ago by a impetus of collective and coorperative creative thinking? What level of happiness could have been achieved by so many had their creativity not be stunted, thwarted, and shamed? Recognizing that creativity is a critical competency for the 21st century, how shall we design for creativity's resurgence?

It will take creative minds to answer these and many other questions about the way forward. The first step? Ask the right question. These are but a few of the right questions.

Leave a comment or your right question.

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