There is a myth that creativity is an exclusive gift bestowed on a lucky few who are naturally creative. The reality is that creativity is a skill that everyone already possesses, although some people are more creative than others. With the same resources, different people will come up with different solutions — some more successful than others.
Sadly, the innovation skills we learn as children at play atrophy as we enter adulthood. According to one study[i], the average child thinks of 60 alternatives for any given situation. The study also found, however, that the average adult thinks of only 3 to 6 alternatives for the same situation.
Buckminster Fuller wrote, “Every child is born a genius, but is swiftly degeniused by unwitting humans and/or physically unfavorable environmental factors.”[ii] Or, as Land wrote in his final report on the Breakpoint study, “noncreative behavior is learned”.
While a small part of this tapering of creativity may be due to heredity, for many it stems from individuals failing to express their creative potential. For others, creativity has been buried by rules and regulations.
Fortunately, creativity skills are not perishable—they don’t have an expiration date. Creative ability can be enhanced, improved and applied like any other skill. If athletes can be coached to perform better and musicians can learn to play better, certainly people can lean to think better and be more creative.
It is a mistake to think that innovation is an activity rather than a capability. Given sufficient motivation, instruction, and patience, everyone can reawaken and raise their level of creative skill. The first step is to believe you are creative.
[i] Land, G., & Jarman, B., Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future—Today. New York: HarperBusiness, 1992.
[ii] Buckminster Fuller, Children’s Literature, “Every Child is Born a Genius”, Volume 9, 1981, pp3-6.
Permission to reprint all or part of this article in your magazine, e-zine, website, blog, or organization newsletter is hereby granted, PROVIDED: 1. You give full attribution to the author; 2. The website link to www.Roitblat.com is clickable (LIVE), and 3. You leave all details intact (i.e. links, author's name, etc.).
Latest posts by Bob Roitblat (see all)
- Nobody Wants to Buy Your Products or Services. Here’s Why! - July 27, 2017
- ROI2 – Return on Innovation Investment – Is Just as Important as That Other ROI - June 5, 2017
- To be Successful, Participate in the Outcome Economy - April 10, 2017