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Creative Minds

Value Added: Creative minds are essential to success in nearly every facet of life, including the workplace.
Creative Minds

Creative Minds

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Oklahoma WONDERtorium

David B. Goldstein

Oklahoma Creativity

Show Details

Show 1646: Creative Minds
Air Date: November 13, 2016



Rob McClendon: Hello everyone. Thanks for joining us here on “Horizon.” I’m Rob McClendon. Well, it may be true that there is no “I” in team, but if you actually look at the word, there is an “M” and an “E.” Too often we check our individuality at the office door to everyone’s detriment. Creative minds are essential to success in nearly every facet of our life, including the workplace. But it is in our jobs where we’re often are the most cautious and that reluctance to share who you are and what you think may well be a trait we learn well before that first job. Here to explain is our Blane Singletary.

Blane Singletary: The great artist Pablo Picasso once said, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once [we] grow up.” More and more experts are saying creativity is an essential in everyone’s life, regardless of your occupation. While fostering imagination in children is important, the people we spoke to said it’s never too late to regain that creative spark.

Blane Singletary: Here at the WONDERtorium in Stillwater, it’s playtime. And here, fun is taken very seriously.

Clayton Moore: When kids play, they’re doing their most significant work. Montessori said that play is child’s work, and they’re absolutely right.

Blane: He says play has been unfairly undermined by society because many people just don’t realize what’s going on in kids’ brains during playtime.

Moore: Because when that child is playing, they’re not killing time, they’re making the most out of their time. And the majority of what a child will learn between the ages of about zero and 8, they learn through play. They’re not just playing, they’re building their brains. They’re learning about the word around them. They’re emotionally invested, they’re learning what’s important to them, what’s important to people around them. That’s why play is such an efficient, inclusive model for kids to learn through.

Blane: While child’s play may seem chaotic and lacking purpose, rest assured, a purpose is there. Moore says it’s all in the process, not so much the end result.

Moore: For example, when a kid gives you a finger painting, it doesn’t look like any representative object. But what that child is giving you is a representation of a process. They felt the paint with their fingers. They moved it around on the page. They were thinking about something at the beginning. They were thinking about something different at the end. They’re saying, “I did this thing,” not, “I completed this thing.” I did this from beginning to end, and that’s the absolute important part of play.

Blane: Children create and do things because they enjoy the act of creating and doing. And that enjoyment can seem to fade away as we grow up. But it’s still there, and author David Goldstein says we just have to know where to look for it.

David Goldstein: There’s a misconception that a lot of people don’t think of themselves as creative. In fact, there’s a recent study that showed only one in four people think they’re living up to their creative potential. In fact, we all can be.

Blane: If you ask 10 preschoolers to draw you a picture, you’ll probably get 10 pictures. But ask a group of college students or adults, and you likely won’t get as enthusiastic a response. Goldstein says it’s not the creativity we’re losing as we age, it’s our confidence in it.

Goldstein: A lot of us are discouraged away from creativity at a very young age, and it’s often because a teacher tells you how they’re creative and they show you how they’re creative, but they don’t, it might not be how we’re creative.

Blane: It’s a lot like the teacher in that classic song by the late Harry Chapin, “Flowers are Red.”

[Song: Flowers are red, young man. Green leaves are green. There’s no need to see flowers any other way than the way they always have been seen].

Blane: With teachers only teaching one way of doing something, a growing student’s creativity can gradually be stifled. Enter author and consultant Scott Noppe-Brandon, who says it shouldn’t be this way, and creativity should be an integral part of the classroom.

Scott Noppe-Brandon: First and foremost, it’s who we are. As people we’re imaginative and creative beings. We were born that way. It’s part of our DNA. It’s part of our emotional, psychological makeup. But we also need to understand it because we live in an age where we have to keep trying to solve problems, come up with new solutions, new innovations.

Blane: Scott Noppe-Brandon has traveled the world preaching his message of imagination, creativity and innovation, or ICI. He views it as a continuum, because in order to make something innovative, you have to circle back to imagination and creativity.

Noppe-Brandon: Those terms are not arts-based terms. They’re workforce-based terms. They’re human terms. Think of artists and philosophers and mathematicians and technology people, they’re all imaginative and creative. But also cab drivers and chefs and, you know, everybody can be and should have the opportunity to be imaginative and creative.

Blane: So how do we re-ignite that creative, imaginative spark within all of us? Again, David Goldstein.

Goldstein: The first step is to know ourselves. A second step, I believe, is to go back to what you loved to do as a child. All of us loved to do things. Every student in my son’s preschool was creative, and they were creative storytellers, actors, they built things with blocks.

Blane: But it’s never too late to start viewing our daily routine creatively. And the sooner we do, the sooner we all can enrich our world.

Goldstein: What I think we need to do is expand the pie of people who see themselves as creative. We rely on other people to be creative, the lone inventor or the inventors in the R&D lab, but we’re all creative and we all can be. And if more people in our country see themselves as creative, then we could have more output. I’d like to just increase the top of the funnel, and I think this could help everyone.

Blane: Scott Noppe-Brandon also told us that it’s important for everyone to be creative, because we don’t know where the next great innovation is going to come from.

Rob: Thank you Blane. Now, when we return, we look at some new innovative work on a very old crop.