So, when Newsweek reported (this month) the data demonstrating that creative thinking is declining in America and explained that "those who diligently practice creative activities learn to recruit their brains’ creative networks quicker and better," I wondered again why we've abandoned the rigor that shored up innovation. Some of the highlights:
And the last quote reminded me that I've written before about Proust and neural networks and the possibilities for change--change at a fundamental, personal, neurological level. We can alter our own realities (we can debate the limits another time), far later in life than previously thought and far more rigorously in the service of creativity, education, and innovation. The education of our grandparents and great-grandparents was largely rote memorization, which has been widely vilified in favor of more open-ended instruction. Rigor and creativity are inextricably confounded; why do we persist in attempts to separate them academically?
- A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 “leadership competency” of the future.
- When scholars gave creativity tasks to both engineering majors and music majors, their scores laid down on an identical spectrum, with the same high averages and standard deviations.
- A lifetime of consistent habits gradually changes the neurological pattern.