The Article can creativity be taught? by August Turak has been flying around the stratosphere at high pace and getting plenty of comment on line. Its a fantastic article and a great question – can creativity be taught? Many people think you either have it or you don’t. As my mother in law says, “you either like cabbage or you don’t”. She thinks if you are good at something or like something, great. If you don’t, then so be it and that will never change. It’s an interesting line of thought!
My answer to the question is that YES, creativity can be taught but not in the traditional, class room type program that you may imagine. Because creativity is dynamic, unpredictable, flexible and always changing, so should be the methods in which we can help ourselves and others to unleash their natural creativity.
Two of my favourite points from the article are:
- Becoming creative is an unlearning rather than a learning process. You need to upend existing assumptions. For an organisation to embrace creativity, its a change of culture, not just a sheep dip process and a rubber stamp for employees and corporate teams.
- We don’t learn to be creative. We must become creative people. A Marine recruit doesn’t learn to be a Marine by reading a manual. He becomes a Marine by undergoing the rigors of boot camp. Like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, he is transformed into a Marine.
Remember, man was singing, dancing and drawing a long time before he was talking. It’s natural to be creative but we must break existing assumption in your head (that we are not) and undertake the rigours of creative boot camp! Just like fitness, you have to move to get fit, you can be an expert on the theory of it but you have to get off your backside and transform yourself through action. The great news is that a creative boot camp, no matter how small is loads of fun.
So can creativity be taught? Absolutely. The teaching is easy when you are just getting people to be good at what they were invented to. Most importantly, you can teach yourself any day.