Looking to be that creative executive? Want innovation and creativity in your business?
Want to increase the likelihood of finding scalable and sustainable solutions? Start by exploding the number of potential choices and possibilities before beginning your process of analyzing and sorting for best options.
The capacity for thinking of many new possibilities is rooted in divergent thinking. You need to incorporate stuff that goes beyond what is known. Divergent thinking is directing our attention outward to include seemingly unrelated information. That shift of perspective is significant and fundamental to discovery.
Who are some of the best divergent thinkers?
In 1965, George Land, a general systems scientist started a research and consulting institute to study creative performance. He studied the most likely people to exhibit genius level divergent thinking. Guess what he found?
Ninety eight percent of 1600 children he tested in kindergarten exhibited genius level, divergent thinking capacity. What is scary is, in his academic research that followed those same children throughout their education track, the older (more educated) they became, the weaker their capacity for divergent thinking. Their capacity for divergent thinking shrank in direct proportion to their learning to search for and provide THE CORRECT ANSWER.
Here is a video by Sir Ken Robinson that refers to that landmark study and its relevance to where we are today. The challenge? How do we prepare our children for living in a world where we need to cultivate innovation and new solutions?
Our educational framework follows the same industrial revolution model that is failing our workplaces and our contemporary institutions.
We are at the edge of what we know.
There is no one right answer anymore.
The challenges we face require complex, conceptual thinking that start with a huge capacity for new ideas…lots of possibilities… and a tolerance for diverse perspectives.
Our search for new solutions could present a whole new meaning and relevance to….
bring-your-five-year-old-to-work day. 🙂