As adults, we have to go deeper into what made us tick as a child in order to come out the other side as creative and courageous as we once were. What made it possible to play or imagine? Each of the children described previously shows that creativity takes place when there is ambiguity, or as someone recently said to me, “when there is a lot of gray.” “Creativity is often one person thinking differently that turns conventional wisdom on its head.” (Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Corporation). It can be birthed in teams, but usually it is one person thinking independently that gets things going. Children are very inner-directed and to be creative you need to ‘hear your own drummer.’ They also appreciate uniqueness in others—little children don’t discriminate in terms of who has the higher I.Q. or judge people by the color of their skin until later in their lives. They are accepting of differences and the differences make their play more interesting.
What makes young children take more risks in their play is that they are authentic, they are true to themselves; they don’t evaluate the ‘political’ landscape. They are resilient –if something doesn’t work out, they are on to the next thing, and they don’t beat themselves up if something doesn’t go their way. Children are much more self-accepting. But we, as adults, teach them that there are mistakes and a right way and wrong way of doing something.
The Seven Drivers of Creativity & Risk Taking
|Creativity Drivers DEFINITION||The So What…?|
|Ambiguity:||Able to operate with uncertainty and vagueness—don’t require high structure, goals or objectives to accomplish or create||One of our biggest blocks to accepting greater ambiguity is the search for clear answers, isn’t it? Creativity requires more comfort with ambiguous situations.|
|Independence:||Not subject to the control or influence or determination of another or others—will not subordinate themselves—don’t like to be managed by others||Creative people are independent in their judgment –they resist conforming to group opinion, if it is different from their own.|
|Inner-Directedness:||Determine their own expectations and norms—‘march to the beat of their own drummer’||Creative people are attracted to change and new ideas and ways of doing things—not the tried and true.|
|Uniqueness:||Appreciate and value differences—value uniqueness in both self and others||We all struggle to be accepted and to be valued for our uniqueness. At times these are at odds with one another. Valuing uniqueness says that we value diversity of thought.
|Risk-Taking Drivers DEFINITION||THE SO WHAT…….|
|Authenticity:||Being what you purport to be: genuine—“walk your talk”—“tell it like it is”|| Often we try on different personalities until we realize it is a joy to be authentic and true to ourselves. Only by being true to ourselves do we say and do what we believe.
|Resiliency:||The capacity to spring back, rebound and to successfully adapt and learn even in the face of adversity and stress||The connection between resiliency and risk taking is central –individuals who take risks that others wouldn’t believe that they’ll land on their feet.
|Self-Acceptance:||Approving and/or satisfied with your behaviors or actions||Understanding what your response will be if you ‘fail’ or make a ‘mistake’ and disappoint either yourself or others is critical to moving on and taking that next risk.|
Using this framework, we can start to think of these as the keys to tap into our own inner child. Each of the seven Drivers contributes to your future, no matter whether you are trying to create new ideas, face your own fears, contribute more to the success of the company you work for, start a business, or just feel more comfortable with the ideas you offer and the risks that you take every day in your life. So, in the next blog, we will discover how to re-ignite your ability to be more creative and take more risks in your life.