Yes, You Too Are Creative
The first session I attended today was run by David Kelley, founder and chairman of IDEO, titled “Creative Confidence: Cultivating The Mindset of Today’s Innovators.” There were a number of takeaways in the session, but I wanted to focus on one in particular: the notion that some of us are creative and others are not.
David describes this phenomenon as creativity confidence. At a very young age, kids jump from one thing to the next with ease. They draw, paint, color, learn, and play without bounds. We can be Superman flying above the clouds. We can be an amazing dancer or artist. We allow our imaginations to run freely and without any walls or limitations.
At some point however, many kids simply, in David’s words, “opt out of being creative.” Some of this is probably due to the way that children are taught in schools and raised in the home. Suddenly we find ourselves “good” at some things and “not so good” at others.
David, like me, is an electrical engineer by trade. His parents never discouraged him from trying things and sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing. That builds into part of the IDEO philosophy of living in a culture of prototyping. In this scenario, you put something together, you test it with others, you find the strengths and weaknesses, and then you improve on the next iteration.
I wholeheartedly agree with David’s comment that you can truly unlock creativity in a big way through diverse teams. The more experiences you bring together from a wide set of people, the more ideas you can generate and paths to be explored.
As David put it so eloquently, “creativity is a team sport now.” We all have things we can bring to the table of creation, and the idea of letting ourselves think and work in a kindergarten-like environment where we go back our early days of “anything is possible” sounds like a lot of fun.
Creativity is truly a mindset. So, don’t try to manage it – as David said, sometimes you just have to let it rip!
Bob Schukai is global head of mobile technology at Thomson Reuters, where he is responsible for overseeing the development and execution of mobile growth strategy across the organization. Prior to joining Thomson Reuters, Schukai was vice president of wireless/broadband technologies for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. from 2005 to 2010. During that time, he was responsible for global research and development activities in the areas of mobile/wireless, broadband, Internet protocol television, and games. Schukai also spent more than 18 years working for Motorola in the US and United Kingdom. In his last role at Motorola, he served as director of global 3G strategy and business development. He is a 24-year member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a technical and professional association of more than 365,000 individual members in approximately 150 countries.