Do you reward creativity?

Creativity by definition is unconventional. We need to accept that and we need to ask ourselves…often the creative solution that is presented to us does not come out the way we envisaged but do we have the courage to reward “creativity” in any case. Read on….

high-gt-create2This is a true story. Once a student took “Psychology of Personality” at Boston University. She had read all but two chapters among the required books. The final exam consisted of just one essay question: Apply the principles of analysis to a specified character in a chapter I had not read!

Realizing she might flunk this class, the student tried to salvage what she could. She wrote a note to Professor Smith (his real name) at the top of her answer sheet, admitting the truth and asking for some credit for whatever knowledge she could demonstrate. And expressed hope that he might enjoy her writings— regardless of my grade.

Since she knew the principles of analysis she applied them to someone familiar to all of us: Benjamin Franklin. With little to lose and an hour to kill, she wrote a humorous essay using Ben Franklin’s proverbs to prove her points. While her classmates struggled and sweated, she giggled her way through the final. “A penny saved is a penny earned” shows an anal retentive personality and “Fish and visitors stink after three days” describes an OCD personality with a possible fish phobia. She explained how it all works.

A few days later she was astounded to see an A+ on my exam, along with a note from the professor: “The highest goal of psychology studies is to help people cope with life. You deserve an A+.”