How Do I Teach Creativity When I’m Not Creative?

First you have to have a good understanding of just exactly what creativity is. OK, maybe you haven’t been to art school but does that mean you aren’t creative? Absolutely not. Watch this YouTube video from Ken Robinson, I’ll wait.

Although not specifically mentioned in the video, there are two types of creativity: divergent and convergent. Divergent creativity is what most people think of when they think of creativity – big new ideas. Ideally, this is what your team does here in the beginning of the season when they begin to solve their chosen challenge. Upcoming tips will help you with this process. The second type is convergent creativity which is more about actually making something. This is the nitty-gritty process of making something, the trial and error and the craftsmanship. Generally speaking, divergent creativity is more about original idea creation and convergent creativity is more about value creation. DI asks teams to use both kinds of creativity when solving their challenges.

Example: Some many years ago my two middle-school daughters were on the same team and chose to solve a challenge that asked them to present a performance where something goes wrong yet the performers deal with the disruption in the spirit of, “the show must go on”. The team decided to all be penguins (except for the polar bear). This was one of their divergent ideas since penguins aren’t generally found wandering around as theater performers. They decided to make penguin costumes and several of them (they divided and conquered their large tasks) tried four or five different costume ideas before they settled on black trash bags filled with plastic grocery bags and a white fabric bib overlay to finish it off along with a cardboard beak. This was the convergent creativity with the trial and error and the craftsmanship to add value and make their original idea work.