Einstein said that. Really. I mean, his hair implies he knows how to have fun, right?
So often, we separate creativity and intelligence. We think people, or ourselves, are 1, and not the other. I think they are 2 sides of the same coin.
The Case for Creativity
1. Creativity Solves Problems. I hear so many business people bemoan their lack of creativity. Not true. Trust me. It's not. Everyone is creative. Julie Gillis has a post by that name.
In it, she says we are "problem solving creatures". It's true. Creativity leads to problem solving. And the world has a lot of problems that could use solving. What if we truly believed ourselves capable of solving them?
2. Creativity Values Diversity. A study by British psychiatrist Dr. Michael Kirton
states that everyone is creative, but has different ways of expressing it. (Um, yeah. The Brits paid money for that.) But his assumption is this- if we realize how we like to express our creativity, and allow ourselves to do so, we will be more tolerate of others' creativity, and will allow them to express themselves more fully. In our melting pot country, with international connections being the norm in business, news, even leisure activities, this valuing of diversity is incredibly important, if we wish to be good neighbors, employees and global citizens.
3. Creativity is Surrounded by Prejudice, That Is, Like All Other Prejudices, Stupid. Hugh MacLeod wrote a book called Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Being Creative (Easy, fun read. I high recommend.). In it he writes:
Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the 'creative bug' is just a wee voice telling you, 'I'd like my crayons back, please."
Why have we allowed society to make us believe only a few are creative? Do only a few deserve to be creative? I believe we feel only a few are doomed to be creative, never grow up, never be "real adults". When will we reclaim "Creative" from the Dirty Word list and make it a word synonymous with leadership, problem solving, insight and intelligence?
Is one person as creative as the next? I don't know. Sir Ken Robinson seems to think so.
And holds, as does MacLeod, that it has been "educated out of us."
Yet Gordon Torr, Managing Creative People
, disagrees. He states: Believing that everyone has the capacity to be just as creative as the next person is as ludicrous as believing that everyone has the capacity to be just as intelligent as the next person,…."
Here's what I believe. We think intelligence is worth learning. We send our children to school to learn. We take courses ourselves to expand our horizons, challenge ourselves, or become a better job candidate. So if "Creativity is just intelligence having fun", if we are all born with a certain amount of creativity, like we're born with a certain amount of intelligence, shouldn't we be doing all we can to foster it, grown it, learn more of it? If we can educate it out, can't we educate it in? If creativity solves problems, values diversity, fights prejudices, isn't it worth a try?