Monday, July 04, 2011

How To Teach Creativity: Six Lessons

I just read a piece by August Turak on the Forbes blog (read it here). My takeaway is the six lessons on teaching creativity that Turak claims his mentor, Louis Mobley, embedded in the IBM Executive School. It affected me deeply and made me think; hence, I am trying to reproduce these six lessons here:

One, the linear methods of teaching - books, workshops etc - do not work in teaching creativity. This is not about giving answers and formula, but about encouraging a person to ask questions. Radically different questions! And these need to be generated in a non-linear way.

Two, teaching creativity is more about 'unlearning' than 'learning'. So, the whole experience was designed to be a humbling experience, even in a frustrating, infuriating way. The end objective was to make people feel - wow, I never thought that way before!

Three, one does not learn to be creative; one must BECOME creative people. So, the learning experience was designed so that no answer is ever adequate. The objective was to open the learners to an alternative mode of thinking, and to make them live with it.

Four, the fastest way to be creative is to hang around with creative people. Completely agree!

Five, creativity is highly correlated with self-knowledge. Mobley's school was designed to be one big mirror.

Finally, a pre-condition of creativity is to be able to be wrong. One good idea comes from ten, even hundred, bad ones. Failure is the seed-bed of creativity.

This is my five minute summary of what I just read. Off to the gym then!

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