Creativity – Strengthen, don’t Stifle

Why is it so hard to encourage people to dream and be creative?

Sir Ken Robinson, who has to be one of my favourite speakers, gives his views on education and creativity, and when you hear him, you can’t help but agree with him – especially if you have children, because what he talks about – you see in your own children.

Have you seen how creative children are, compared to adults? But as they get older, they start to lose some of that creativity and divergent thinking. I agree with the idea that creativity is actually educated out of us as we get older, because the current education system model is designed to create ‘sameness’. I have always been a creative person, I am strongly a ‘red marble’ person – creative, innovative, full of ideas and easily distracted. I wanted to be an artist, from a very young age – but my father didn’t believe you could make a career out of it and never encouraged me.

As I once again pick up my paints, and sit at my easel, I realise how much harder it is for me to be as creative and innovative as I once was. I still have remnants of my creative self lurking somewhere in my brain and that is why I like being an ideas person – I love brainstorming ideas, mind mapping and exploring possibilities – but just like the red marble that I am – I also get easily distracted, and that is often not helpful.

A Painting I did in 2009

A Painting I did in 2009

We are all creative and innovative. Whether it is fixing something, creating a recipe, finding a short cut or being an artist – we are creative and innovative beings.

So I urge all leaders, of teams, businesses, communities – to encourage your people to dream, look at possibilities, don’t be afraid of what other people will say, put the ideas on the table and see where it will take you. Imagine what we could achieve, if we all learned to once again be the creative creatures we were when we were little – anything was possible then – and it still could be.

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