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the paradox of creativity…

The magic and messiness of creativity.

My goodness, I cannot tell you how much this resonated with me, as a person, and as a teacher. I felt like I was on the edge of a marvellous precipice of understanding, looking in, hearing the things I’d been thinking, living, doing, and trying to generate in my classroom, put into definitive words. And that is refreshing!

What the speaker, Linda Hill, so beautifully confirmed was the extreme paradox of creativity, the creative process, and how to plant the seed of creativity in a group of potential creators – in my case, my students.

Here are the paradoxes I heard that need to co-exist in equal force for creativity to be truly at work:

  • The freedom to be messy and spontaneous in the creative process, but the discipline to be able to pull the threads together to create an end product that is viable.
  • The chance to be totally honed-in on the tiny details, yet to not say “done” until the final lens is zoomed right out on the big picture.
  • The receptiveness to entertain new and radical ideas, but the commitment to your own ideas to verify their merit in a shifting + developing environment.
  • A deep personal connection with new ideas and concepts, but the egoless-ness to allow them to develop and change to fit a bigger entity.
  • The ability to be completely uncomfortable and in total flow at the same time.
  • That lively debate and discourse is encouraged in order to develop understanding.
  • That the creative process is a skill that requires tenacity, hope, imagination, commitment, vulnerability, sensitivity, courage…and practise. 
  • The freedom to play and be playful in a place of work in order to create focus and discipline.
  • The development of emotional intelligence in order to develop parallel objective strength, and vice versa.
  • To encourage learning through play and embracing failure rather than looking for the quickest, most cost-effective, and most “correct” solution.
  • Innovative leadership looks totally different to conventional leadership; it asks the leader or leaders to deeply know and nurture their people and create the space whereby their people can do the persistent and determined work of innovation. This can only done when their people DO NOT have a pre-determined vision dictated to them…because they’re about to somehow arrive there through the creative process.
  • That the job of a leader is to create a world where your people want to belong…a strong sense of community.
  • The leader is the lynchpin, not always the ideas-man.
  • Everyone is seen, valued and heard for their skills set and what they have to offer, personally and professionally, no matter what their experience or rank. 
  • The ideas are taken on merit, not on the status of the person who put the idea forward.
  • The leader sets the stage, they don’t own it…that’s for the people on the team…and ultimately, the final, fully developed idea.

And now my mind is buzzing as to how this actually looks in my classroom when my students are tackling a composition assignment, when they are collaborating to create choreography for a choral number, or when they are trying to stylise a piece for a small-group ensemble.

So much which resonates!

the paradox of creativity

May 2, 2015 , , , , , , ,

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