How can you help your teams remain creative?

98% of 6-year olds have Creativity scores at genius levels &only 12% of 15 year olds

In 1968, George Land (with Beth Jarman) conducted a research study to test the creativity of 1,600 children ranging in ages from three-to-five years old. This was the same creativity test he devised for NASA to help select innovative engineers and scientists.

The proportion of people who scored at the “Genius Level”

1. amongst 5 year olds: 98%

2. amongst 10 year olds: 30%

3. amongst 15 year olds: 12%

4. Same test given to 280,000 adults (average age of 31): 2%

According to Land, the primary reason for this is, there are 2 types of thinking processes when it comes to creativity:

Convergent thinking: where you judge ideas, criticise them and improve them, all of which happens in your conscious thought

Divergent thinking: where you imagine new ideas, original ones which are different from what has come, which often happens subconsciously

We teach children to try and use both kinds of thinking at the same time, which is impossible.
Competing neurons in the brain will be fighting each other, and it is as if your mind is having a shouting match with itself.

Land suggests we need to allow people to split their thinking processes into the various different states, to make each of them more effective.

If you want people to retain their ability and desire to be creative, encourage them to let their mind run free while they come up with ideas, and only afterwards to sit down, evaluate them and start working on the ones they think are the best.

How do you encourage creativity within your teams?