Creativity: Some myths and misconceptions
- Creativity is something which only some very special people have – It’s that unique talent and gift that set them apart and above from everyone else
- One is born creative or not
- Creativity is about artistic expression
- Creativity is divinely inspired and unpredictable
Creativity is a systematic process and a very crucial cog of the innovation wheel. It can be learned by understanding and applying the creative thinking process.
George Land’s Creativity Test
A study by George Land, NASA scientist in 1968, revealed that we are all born naturally creative and as we grow up to be adults, we learn to be uncreative.
He gave a creativity test to 1600 children at the age of 5 years. He re-tested the same children at 10 years of age, and again at 15 years of age. The results were astounding.
“What we have concluded,” wrote Land, “is that non-creative behavior is learned.”(Source: George Land and Beth Jarman, Breaking Point and Beyond. San Francisco: HarperBusiness, 1993)
Some people are more creative than others but through a process, creativity can be stimulated and supported through training and an environment. In the current business environment, which is uncertain, ambiguous, ever-changing and very complicated, every organization and individual is exhorted to innovate, disrupt and prove themselves to be a game-changer. Reality is: Many organizations continue to struggle with innovation and what they are doing is what we call incremental improvement and not breakthrough innovation. The reason being they have not spent time in honing the art of creativity.
One would think that it’s very obvious to start with oneself. It’s ironic how often we overlook such simple realities about ourselves that we could exploit to become more creative. Creativity is about new way of thinking.
Awareness about different dimensions of the brain and the role each quadrant plays in origin of new ideas is where it all starts.
It’s a myth that only right brained people are creative. Creativity is in all quadrants of the brain. We can train the brain to be creative by specifically using those parts of the brain we traditionally don’t use. This results in new creative thoughts for those business challenges which we are so accustomed to seeing only from an old lens of our preferred brain preference. Human beings are born with a preferred brain preference and learning to navigate the whole brain and coming up with new ideas is easily learnable. Learning how to imagine and use that part of your brain where imagination lies is a crucial step of creative thinking.
In conclusion: Drop the myths of creativity and start honing the art of creativity if you want yourself and your organization to innovate.
This is part 2 of the blog post the earlier blog where we established the role of Imagination, Creativity and Innovation . Read previous blog here.
Beyonder: Our flagship program on creativity, in partnership with KNI, addresses the demand for the leaders of the future to be proficient in the art of creativity. It is a skill that can be learned and practiced. Beyonder’s foundation is in Whole Brain Thinking.
Know more about Beyonder
Puja Puja, Managing Partner, Head of Coaching & Leadership Practice at Recalibrate Pvt. Ltd.
Puja is a Columbia University certified coach and is acknowledged by business leaders and executives for connecting them and their organizations to their inner compass by leveraging Whole Brain Thinking.