Why do people think that learning to be creative is impossible?
Translation of the article “Why Do People Think You Can’t Teach CREATIVITY?” By Tina Seelig, a professor of creativity and entrepreneurship at Stanford School of Engineering.
I consider it a crime not to teach young people creativity and entrepreneurship. We build our lives every day, but we are also responsible for global problems and the only sure way to solve them is to use the acquired knowledge, skills and abilities.
Unfortunately, most modern educational centers resort to memorization techniques, memorization, instead of teaching the generation of ideas. Students are taught to admire the heroes of the past, instead of being taught to become heroes of the present.
And this is a problem – the knowledge gained from past years does not always turn out to be correctly applied to solve urgent problems of our time.
Many people think that learning to solve problems creatively is difficult, if not impossible. Therefore, they label themselves as “uncreative”.
Looking at people who successfully cope with difficulties, coming up with original and non-standard ideas, as well as successfully implementing them in life, they believe that these skills are innate. But this is not true!
Of course, someone is born with a creative streak, someone masterfully masters the art of persuasion to achieve what they want, but all this can be learned – you just need a desire.
One of the reasons many believe that learning to be creative and entrepreneurial is impossible is due to unclear terminology, as well as the invisible transition from coming up with ideas to implementing them.
What is creativity?
Very often at my seminars, asking the audience: “What is creativity for you?” I get a whole list of different answers:
– For me, creativity is thinking outside the box;
-… going beyond;
-… to think wider;
But all of these answers are cliches imposed by society.
In fact, in order to master the skill of generating ideas (creativity), a person must have a set of necessary skills and abilities, including knowledge of science, music, and even baseball. Those. to become a creative person, your horizons should be as wide as possible – the more you know, the easier it will be to “be creative”.
After several years in this field, teaching creativity and entrepreneurship courses at Stanford School of Engineering, I have built a framework to help you master the basic skill set you need to take your first steps in the field of creativity.
For starters, there is a strict hierarchy of skills with fantasy in the corner:
– imagination contributes to the development of creativity;
– creativity leads to innovation;
– innovation leads to entrepreneurship.
This sequence can be compared to learning to read and write: children, or rather babies, make incomprehensible sounds and scream – this is their way of communicating. Later, when they realize that these sounds make sense, they learn to combine them into words. Later – in sentences. And even later, teachers in schools go to great lengths to help develop communication and writing skills by adding strict grammar rules, learning new words, and reading correctly.
Below is what I call it – the Cycle, which will help you understand and master the method of developing creativity in yourself.
1. Imagination helps to come up with ideas that have not yet been invented or implemented
2. Creativity helps to bring these ideas to life
3. Innovation is needed for creativity to help realize an idea in the absence of the necessary methods
4. Entrepreneurship will help to apply innovation in creativity, and in the future, the finished product – in life.
A similar cycle applies to all new startups and existing firms, as well as innovators of all types, where the implementation of a new idea, whether it be a product, service or work of art, is the result of a brilliant idea.
Items such as iPhone, crayons or a kitchen stove could not help but inspire millions of people around the world to create, realizing what horizons these seemingly ordinary everyday objects open up.
Likewise, leaders of companies or teams can inspire colleagues for creative achievements by going ahead and beckoning others to new achievements. The entrepreneurial spirit is contagious, and a good idea is even more contagious.
Once you have mastered the cycle presented above, you will discover hidden talents that will allow you to come up with many cool ideas, find unique solutions and bring the most interesting ones to life.