Thursday, May 12, 2016

Looking for Inspiration: Ken Robinson. Creativity & Divergent Thinking

I love to go outside the ski businees box looking for inspiration. Honestly, I think the lack of disruption is, in some cases, one of the main problems right now in the ski industry and tourism marketing. We limit ourselves to follow the main current and we are really afraid about be wrong and try new things.

And we must do it because we are "in a place where we have no idea what's going to happen, in terms of the future. No idea how this may play out (...) Nobody has a clue (...) what the world will look like in five years' time. So the unpredictability, I think, is extraordinary".
"If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original. (We) have become frightened of being wrong. And we run our companies like this. And the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities".
"Picasso once said this, he said that all children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up. I believe this passionately, that we don't grow into creativity, we grow out of it".
"Creativity -- which I define as the process of having original ideas that have value -- more often than not comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things".

"Reform is no use anymore, because that's simply improving a broken model. What we need is not evolution, but a revolution in education (in everything I must say). This has to be transformed into something else".
"Innovation is hard, because it means doing something that people don't find very easy, for the most part. It means challenging what we take for granted, things that we think are obvious. The great problem for reform or transformation is the tyranny of common sense. Things that people think, "It can't be done differently, that's how it's done".
"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion." I love that. Not rise to it, rise with it. "As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country", Abraham Lincoln, 1862.
"Disenthrall." You know what it means? That there are ideas that all of us are enthralled to, which we simply take for granted as the natural order of things, the way things are. And many of our ideas have been formed, not to meet the circumstances of this century, but to cope with the circumstances of previous centuries. (...) Now, doing this is easier said than done".
"The other big issue is conformity. We have built our education systems on the model of fast food. This is something Jamie Oliver talked about the other day. There are two models of quality assurance in catering. One is fast food, where everything is standardized. The other is like Zagat and Michelin restaurants, where everything is not standardized, they're customized to local circumstances".
"So I think we have to change metaphors. We have to go from what is essentially an industrial model of education, a manufacturing model, which is based on linearity and conformity and batching people. We have to move to a model that is based more on principles of agriculture. We have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process; it's an organic process. And you cannot predict the outcome of human development. All you can do, like a farmer, is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish".
Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we're educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.
"We are educating people out of their creativity", Robinson says.
A visionary cultural leader, Sir Ken led the British government's 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements. His 2009 book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, is a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into 21 languages. A 10th anniversary edition of his classic work on creativity and innovation, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative, was published in 2011. His 2013 book, Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life, is a practical guide that answers questions about finding your personal Element. In his latest book, Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education, he argues for an end to our outmoded industrial educational system and proposes a highly personalized, organic approach that draws on today’s unprecedented technological and professional resources to engage all students.

We must fuel creativity in our business with divergent thinking. The word divergent is partly defined as "tending to be different or develop in different directions". Divergent thinking refers to the way the mind generates ideas beyond proscribed expectations and strict rote thinking -what is usually referred to "thinking outside the box," and is often associated with creativity (Rote thinking is rule-bound and linear; actions take place in a very systematic manner).
Divergent thinking it's not the same thing as creativity but it's an essential capacity for creativity. It's the ability to see lots of possible answers to a question, multiple answers not one.

This RSA Animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA's Benjamin Franklin award.

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