TED, Sir Ken, Creativity & God

When was the last time you checked out TED talks? I love them – they trigger thought, they entertain, they inform, and they can make you laugh. Go to www.ted.com if you’ve never seen them, and watch and listen. By the way, TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design.

One of my favorite TED-talks is one from Sir Ken Robinson. It is focused on education, and how it can sometimes limit creativity. It is also very entertaining, as Robinson is a fantastic speaker – he’s also very funny. Check it out at http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html.

Robinson makes a great point when he suggests that education, where it limits creativity, is doing society a great dis-service. He believes we need to adjust our thinking about what traditional education focuses on. As Robinson points out, most education is focused on the “serious” subjects like math, language, sciences and history. Instead, he believes more emphasis should be put on creative subjects such as art and music.

Sir Ken does a much better job of presenting his reasons for his recommendations than I do, so I strongly suggest you watch his TED-talk. But because I love one story he tells so much I can’t resist re-telling it here.

There was a young girl in an art class, drawing away, as did everyone in the class. The teacher moved around the room, and then stopped next to the young girl and asked, “What are you drawing?”

The young girl responded, “God.”

“Well, no one knows what God looks like,” the teacher said.

And the girl replied, “They will in a few minutes.”

I love that story!

Robinson suggests that some education sucks the creativity out of us. I think Pablo Picasso would agree with him when he said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

How does this apply to your world? Do you encourage imagination, both in yourself and others? Performance often comes as a result of imagination, creativity. Giving yourself and others an opportunity to stretch the mind is the only way to make big gains. Read The Art of Innovation, by David Kelley for creative approaches to enhancing imagination and creativity in the workplace. More and more companies, like Google, are giving employees time to work on their own projects, encouraging them to think outside the box.

Come to think of it, thinking outside the box is a common saying… but is it something that you practice? Could you draw a picture of God?

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One Response to “TED, Sir Ken, Creativity & God”

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