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Do Schools Kill Creativity?

| On 01, Apr 2008

Lynda Curtin

I have come across the compelling work of creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson, which I want to share with you via his very funny and dramatic presentation – Do Schools Kill Creativity? He delivered this presentation at a TED conference and you can watch it here: (Allow yourself 20 minutes – you won’t be disappointed.)


http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/66


What does this presentation have to do with Real Innovation? Quite a bit in my view. For me, he hits home the importance of cultivating creativity in kids all the way through our education system in order to prepare them for jobs that haven’t even been invented yet. After-all, innovation is impossible without creativity, and creativity is impossible without people.


He also made me wonder about the impact our education system is having on our ability to be innovative in the workplace when most of our workers come from our school system, which he describes this way:


“Our education system has mined our minds the way we have strip mined the earth for a particular commodity.”  


Three ideas for you:


1. Share this presentation with your work group and lead a discussion on how it might help you with your innovation work.
2. Host a discussion dinner party with your family and friends. Show the presentation and then get the discussion going.
3. Watch it once a week for 5 weeks and note different points that strike you each time you watch it and why they do. How can you use these insights back on the job?


I believe innovation relies on people. Tools and techniques help, but, they are not enough. I am hoping to inspire some of you to investigate this work of Sir Ken Robinson. Remember to share with us your innovation insights.


Until next time …