|It’s spring in the East, time to start planting summer flowers. The seeds that you sow will grow or they won’t, depending on the conditions they encounter.
Same with creativity.
Everyone is born with creative strengths. One landmark study showed 98% of kids are creative geniuses. Just 12% of those same kids were creative geniuses by age 15. Adults? Only 2%.
We HAVE to get better at growing creativity. Creativity fuels innovation. Creativity leads to powerful contributions and self-knowledge.
At home, at the office, or at school, there are three main forces that either help or stunt the growth of creativity.
1. ATTITUDES: CREATIVE STRENGTHS
By now, most people realize creativity is essential to thrive in life. Top companies like McKinsey list several creativity skills as the essential characteristics of future hires.
But since creativity means thinking differently, when people do think or act differently they are often misjudged. We need a clear understanding of exactly what creativity is so we can recognize and nurture it in ourselves and others.
Leaders–teachers, managers, parents–must be especially clear since they are apt to inadvertently miss opportunities to channel it.
Our Strengths Spotter tool gives you an easy first step in understanding creative strengths. Reading and applying Creativity for Everybody is the second (and it is now almost free on Amazon!).
2. PROCESSES: ALLOW PATHWAYS
Believe it or not, the way we make decisions and conduct business in a family, company, or classroom has a major effect on creativity growth. As you saw in my TED talk, even slightly tweaking our questions helps creativity along.
In our Sparkitivity workshops, we teach creative problem solving tools and methods to help teams gain a common language to guide interactions. We consult with leaders to help them lead in a way that encourages individual and team creative growth.
3. CLIMATE: SUSTAINS GROWTH
We don’t expect wildflower seeds to grow in Chicago in January, and we shouldn’t expect innovation to develop within a fear-filled, back-biting climate.
Instead, we need trust, openness, sufficient challenge, healthy debate, freedom, and support for new ideas. What starts with process becomes culture.
Sparkitivity has created a climate check tool to help schools and businesses do a back-of-the-napkin assessment. (Families can use it, too!)
Our entire growing library of tools and resources, including the Climate Check, is now available on our new online Client Hub! If you are a current Sparkitivity client and you’d like access to the hub, please email me for your password.
Attitudes about creativity, day-to-day processes, and the culture and climate of a team or organization are three major forces that support or hinder creativity. Applying best practices from the science of creativity to each factor preps the soil, lets in the sunlight, and provides plenty of water so seeds of creative thinking will grow and flourish.