Are you waiting for an apple to fall on your head? I met Phil Roberts a few months back and enjoyed meeting a school principal who is open-minded and innovative in their thinking. Are you familiar with having a conversation with someone you have just met and feeling like you are talking with an old friend? It's how I felt in my first conversation with Phil. Last Monday, we had another chat. We had an interesting conversation about creativity and innovation, and one of the things we spoke about is the false perception of creativity. Many people see coming up with creative ideas as a magical moment. A moment of inspiration that comes out of the blue. Like Newton sitting under an apple tree, an apple falls on his head, and there it is! He suddenly came up with a unique idea about the law of gravity. This false perception of creativity as divine inspiration is damaging as it creates an expectation that coming up with innovative ideas is a quick and instant event. When you really understand the creative process, you know that the process of creativity is quite the opposite of that. Creativity is not an escape from hard work and discipline. It is stepping into and embracing a very disciplined process and way of thinking. Phil and I spoke about the rigorous routine required to innovate and the irony that creativity comes through such monotonous, hard work. He shared with me his creative journey as a musician. How he had to work so hard at being a musician. He had to learn the theory and practice every day. Sometimes he had to play the same couple of bars for hours to get it right. This is the hard work that yields creativity. Phil was talking about how often, in the education system and literature, it is overlooked that becoming a truly creative genius requires hard work. And how, through my book Think Unique, children can learn and understand that you must work at it. Now teachers, through Think Unique, can teach their students the process they need to follow to become creative and innovative thinkers.
What do you do to enhance your creativity? And how do you help your students become innovative in their thinking?
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