Death of Creativity

07.26.2010

Death of Creativity

Here's an article about an article :) but worth sharing!

The Death of Creativity = The Death of Innovation

BY FC Expert Blogger Kaihan KrippendorffWed Jul 21, 2010

This blog is written by a member of our expert blogging community and expresses that expert's views alone.


Last week, I was working from the 24th floor of a hotel in Lima, Peru, overlooking an ocean dotted with surfers under skies filled with skydivers, working on a new training program on innovative and strategic thinking for a client, when an email message popped up. A good friend of mine interrupted my flow with an article. At first I thought I'd check out the article later. But since I was in the middle of writing a workbook section on the value of exploring, of taking unplanned "excursions," as the innovation firm Synectics calls them, I thought I should take a peek.

Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman recently authored a cover story for Newsweek magazine titled "The Creativity Crisis." It is worth a read, but if you do not have time, here is my "CliffsNotes" version:

1. You CAN measure creative potential: a long-term study of children, initiated by Dr. E. Paul Torrance, has shown that by seeing how young children perform certain tasks, you can predict their future creative output (the number of patents they file, books they write, businesses they start, research papers they write, etc.). While the "Torrance test" is not perfect, it seems to be surprisingly accurate.

2. U.S. creativity is dropping: the average Torrance score of U.S. children had been rising steadily until 1990. But for the past 20 years it has been in decline.

3. Creativity outside the U.S. is rising: through Europe and Asia, schools that once encouraged rote learning are embracing creativity, while in the U.S. we have been regressing, squeezing out time for creative thinking because we have been increasingly training our students to pass standardized tests. Could this mean the U.S. is losing its "innovation" advantage?


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