Creativity = Innovation

Creativity =  Innovation
“Creativity is thinking up new things.
Innovation is doing new things.”
=Theodore Levitt=

A creative mind gives birth to innovation. Creativity allows the entrepreneurial mind to come up with new ideas and solve problems in a new way. And the best time to tap into the wellspring of creativity is during childhood because creativity declines steadily as a child grows into an adult, as shown by a study in Utah.

Age Group                                                       percentage of creativity used
Kindergarten children                                        95% - 98%
Junior school children                                        50% - 70%
High school children/university students 30% - 50 %
Adults                                                              less than 20%

It is no wonder then that few adults come up with Eurika ideas in adulthood. Those who were able to come up with revolutionary ideas as adults were able to do so because they had a fertile, creative mind. Take the cases of Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo and Albert Einstein.

A study of their handwritten notes showed that they were far ahead of their time, and unlike their contemporaries who were limited by the language of words, all three of them used the language of words, all three of them used the language of images through illustrations and diagrams to make their creative thinking visible.

Among Filipinos, we want the entrepreneurial mind to flourish despite the tendency of many businesses to be copycats or imitators of successful products. A study by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor indicated that Filipino business are mostly small (micro) in scale and may be lacking in originality and innovativeness, reflecting the copycat syndrome.

We want to raise a new generation of entrepreneurs who are capable of original and innovative thinking. This is only possible if the creative minds honed.

ABC of developing creativity

Always seek to develop new ideas and improve processes. When children complain about something, encourage them to come up with creative solutions. There are always better ways of doing things and the possibilities are endless. Allow children to experiment with materials or designs. Encourage them to jot down their ideas in a notebook. With dedication, mentorship and research, an idea can become a reality.
Lllac Diaz, founder of My shelter Foundation, uses the more affordable, soil filled earth bags to construct schools instead of traditional cement and wood, allowing him to build more schools with the same budget.
The imagination and creativity employed by children when they play with blocks or construct with LEGOs can lead to a similar innovation.

Be flexible and resourceful. Creativity is not possible without flexibility of thought. Flexibility allows a person to see things from different angles. To consider things from other points of view and to represent old concepts in new ways. Resourcefulness is flexibility in problem solving. Any aspiring entrepreneur knows that change is something you need to constantly keep up with. Flexible thinking should thus be encouraged among children and teens.
Teachers and parents should allow children to come up with different ways to arrive at the same solution. Flexibility and creativity will die in homes and schools that encourage  only one correct way of doing things.

Creative imagination.  In Albert Einstein’s wise words, Imagination is more important than knowledge, for imagination is limitless. One of the valuable 21st century traits of students is the ability to think out of the box.
The use of imagination should be encouraged in all the intelligences – creative writing (word), problem solving (number), song writing (music), dance choreography (body), experimentation (nature), painting (art) and projects (people and self). Allow them to explore the limits of creative imagination by giving them recycled materials to play with. Your future architect, engineer, designer and imaginer will be at work.

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