Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Abiding Creativity Inside Childhood

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I really enjoy Grant Snider's Incidental Comics.  His `strips are at once whimsical and funny as well as curious and philosophical.  He draws ideas from research and from life, for example, as a parent with a one-year old daughter:
While researching the history of modern art, I noticed some parallels between the early-20th-century Dada art movement and the reckless enthusiasm of childhood. My daughter is not yet old enough to recreate the art of Marcel Duchamp, but in the next few years this comic may become a reality.

In this TED Talk, Catherine Courage cited an IBM study of CEOs, and their most critical factor for future success is creativity.  Like Snider, she draws on childhood to emphasize open environments, to explore and experiment, and to use stories.

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In particular, Courage relates a story of a GE Healthcare executive who saw how frightened a young boy was, prior to an MRI procedure.  Some children are so upset by it that they have to be medicated.  So moved by this discovery, then, he and his staff created the Adventure Series of Scanners, such as the "Cozy Camp Experience."

Catherine Courage
Forbes profiled Courage in Next Gen Movers: 10 Rising Stars At The World's Most Innovative Companies:
“Creativity,” says Catherine Courage, “is a birthright available to all, but used by few.” Courage, 38, is senior vice president of customer experience at Citrix, the company responsible for GoToMeeting and other digital connectivity products. In a TEDxKyoto presentation last year, Courage advocated looking to childhood as a way to make workplaces more inspired. Imagine if offices were more like preschool classrooms: open, specialized and colorful. In Citrix’s Santa Clara, California headquarters she brings this ideal to life with a 2,000 square foot design lab. Wheeled furniture and whiteboards allow for task specific spaces and simple tools like pipe cleaners encourage hands-on-innovation.
Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

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