If Life Were Twitter, Creativity Would Be Trending

Thu, Jul 15, 2010

Blogs, Fearless Creativity

If Life Were Twitter, Creativity Would Be Trending

The faster we spin our lives, the more often we’re building the plane already in flight; creativity is urgent to avoid a harsh inadvertent landing.  Yet, where do we get this creativity stuff?  I want the “how to” bullet list please.

There is no substitute for doing the work of problem finding. I’m talking attitude here, not formula.  “Permission to suck” is the dreaded essay test. I prefer you schedule me for first period algebra class where they teach rules and the right answer; put my right brain on auto pilot, give that responsibility to others. Eighth period art is the preferred creative release but it’s elective.

Societies emit default mechanics; bear down on a problem to find the offending part. Experience and the proper advice manuals help you fill the gaps when the solution isn’t obvious. Search for the right tool, after all there is a right tool for the job, and a single best solution to make everything work as it should. There are multiple choices “A” through “E” but never “none of the above”.

Do you know your CQ score? Likely not. Management 102: You get what you measure; most of us know our IQ score (intelligence quotient) – and BTW, our collective IQ is increasing.  Asked and answered, drill and kill, read and recite – it’s how we learn – we are schooled. Are you even aware there is a CQ?

Our most talented are ambidextrous. Common sense informs me that using half of what God gave us leads to lower promise. If taught to be disruptive by telling your own story in your own way and, in turn, refining delivery using our mechanic’s mind, we’d all develop a higher creativity quotient [CQ]. The essay test would excite more than intimidate.

“They didn’t stop asking questions because they lost interest: it’s the other way around. They lost interest because they stopped asking questions.”

“… Gary G. Gute found highly creative adults tended to grow up in families embodying opposites. Parents encouraged uniqueness, yet provided stability … yet when kids were bored, they could seek change too. In the space between anxiety and boredom was where creativity flourished.

It’s also true that highly creative adults frequently grew up with hardship.  Hardship by itself doesn’t lead to creativity, but it does force kids to become more flexible – and flexibility helps with creativity.”  – Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman for Newsweek

As we automate civilization, CQ is too easily ignored. Creative tools offer instant, usable and often surprisingly good solutions; we skate.  Internet skating, iPhone skating, Photoshop skating – copy and skate is a function of keyboard short keys. I’ll wait for solutions to come to me from outside; I’ll Google “How to _____”. Schooled in short keys, we’re ill prepared for building a plane in flight.

Effortless information flowing at us means we access the easy recipe; we don’t have to think creatively so, by default, we don’t – and we don’t more often than we used to.

Ironically, an accompanying article to The Creativity Crisis is Forget Brainstorming: What you think you know about fostering creativity is wrong. A look at what really works offers a list of how to nurture creativity.

[With an appropriate sarcastic posture] here’s the Bronson-Merryman recipe:

1.  Don’t tell someone to “be creative”.
2.  Reduce Screen time.
3.  Get Moving.
4.  Follow a Passion.
5.  Ditch the Suggestion Box.
6.  Take a Break.
7.  Explore Other Cultures.

The discussion on The Creativity Crisis begins at minute marker 10:00

3 Responses to “If Life Were Twitter, Creativity Would Be Trending”

  1. Susan Says:

    Love this post, the podcast interview on a child’s creativity quotient is awesome. The drop is not too surprising. Not sure if it’s really the technology presence, agree more that there are significant problems in our educational system (and the structure of a child’s day).

    I can remember as a child, I did things like calligraphy, ballet, creative writing, foreign languages, woodshop, etc. Many of them afterschool. These days it’s tutoring or sports and that seems to be the extent of it. Couple that with the downsizing of arts & music programs and its a recipe for disaster.

    Once a week, I have creative time for my kiddos (2, 6, 7) and we do something fun (not expensive, often simple). Might be lego building, might be Playdoh, might be a museum trip, might just be a trip to the local botanic gardens to explore. Whatever. It’s so important for parents to take the helm and ensure that their children’s minds are in exploratory mode for as long as possible. Plus, my kids still have a computer & a Wii system, they’re just not on 24/7.

    Susan

    • Bruce DeBoer Says:

      Thanks Susan. I hope this catches on. Even as adults, I’m not sure any of us are encouraged to spend time thinking any longer; a requirement for creativity. I include myself in this. Rewind to my childhood, it’s clear to me that my education was dominated by regurgitating information. Since then I’ve been working hard to exercise my divergent mind – I think most of us can say the same thing.

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