“We are all creative” is one of the premises of my new book Fire Up Innovation.
When I asked a group of adults to raise their hand if they believe they are creative, usually only half do. Why is that?
We are taught that to be creative you have to think and act a certain way, that only artists and maybe some visionary entrepreneurs are creative and if you are not in that category you are likely not creative. Once, I did this experiment and asked the same question to a group of kindergarteners: they all raised their hands!
And the five-year-olds are right.
Every day, as children and as adults we solve problems we had not dealt with before and for that we have to use our creative minds, try new things and experiment. Yet, somewhere around 6 or 7 years of age, many of us are led to believe that questions have right or wrong answers, that artists are the creative ones and, by the time we are teenagers, we lose our belief in our own creativity.
Our bodies and our minds are all tools for creativity but we have to learn to use our tools and consciously practice them.
Recently, I began singing lessons and that has been one of the most humbling experiences I ever had. I believed I couldn’t sing because I couldn’t hear the sounds, and had no pitch, but I learned that was not the issue. I can hear well and I have a great pitch, I just don’t know how to make a sound with my palate, how to breathe and relax my tongue and my diaphragm.
To continue the metaphor, I did not know how to use my creative tools to access that part of myself. While singing is still a major challenge for me and I often sing out of tune, I am learning and getting better at it, one note at a time.
I believe it is the same for creativity, we are all creative but we have to learn or rather relearn how to access it in a conscious way and in a business setting how to be creative together.
My book, Fire Up Innovation, provides a framework and tools to help relearn and access our creativity and ability to innovate and change both individually and as a team.
And I am curious: how do you sharpen your creativity?