By Sharon Reed
For centuries, artists, scholars, and scientists have debated whether creativity is a product of nurture or nature; whether creativity can be cultivated through learned technique or whether it is reserved for those genetically predisposed towards art, music, and other traditional forms of creative expression.
Creativity is so much more than artistic expression, and while genetics can indeed factor into one's innate creative capacity, there is evidence that our creative potential can be nurtured and may even be enhanced by personal setbacks and struggles in the same way that innovation is often born of constraint and limitation.
Moreover, when we understand that creativity, like innovation, consists largely of rearranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know, we begin to understand that creativity is indeed both individual and universal in nature.
Everyone can learn to apply the creative thinking process and innovate in their own spheres of impact, whether in business, nonprofits, art, civics, politics or our personal lives.
Yet according to Adobe's 2012 study on creativity, while 8 in 10 people feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth and nearly two-thirds of respondents feel creativity is valuable to society, only 1 in 4 people believe they are living up to their own creative potential.
So where does that leave us and how can we cultivate creativity, both individually and organizationally?
In the book The Innovator's DNA, Clayton Christensen, Jeff Dyer, and Hal Gregersen point to five key behaviors that optimize the brain for discovery: associating, questioning, observing, networking and experimenting -- each behaviors and disciplines that the Innovation Institute can help nurture to expand creativity.
We also believe that disruption, collaboration, and the willingness to consider differing viewpoints are not only key to expanding our creativity, but also essential in developing our creative leadership potential.
Are you ready to cultivate creativity and develop leadership potential but unsure where to begin? The Innovation Institute can help. Learn more about how we delivered a customized team-building program for Glen Raven and Wray Ward to help them collaborate more creatively. Contact us to discuss how we can help you do the same.
©2018 McColl Center
for Art + Innovation