OUT OF OUR MINDS: LEARNING TO BE CREATIVE (2001) By Ken Robinson Creativity is often seen as a purely individual performance.

It comes from people who just happen to be creative, or from departments whose role is to be creative. This book argues for a completely different approach, that: • everyone has creative capacities, but they often do not know what they are; • these capacities are the greatest resource available to an organisation; and that • developing and exploiting creative capacities calls for a systemic strategy to generate a culture of innovation across the whole organisation including - but not only - the creative departments Organisations face three challenges in making the most of their creative potential and human resources. The first is to understand the real nature of creativity. This means countering the many misconceptions that are now blocking progress. The second is to implement a systemic strategy for developing individual creativecapacities. There are techniques for doing this, which build on a number of common principles. Creativity can be developed, but it must be done sensitively and well. Most people do not know what their creative capacities are and are worried about the processes involved in finding out. Third, there must be a systemic strategy to facilitate and reward creative output. Occasional courses in creative thinking have limited value. Like rain-dancing, they underestimate the nature of the problems they are trying to solve There was a time when good academic qualifications guaranteed a job, but not any more. One reason is academic inflation. In the next 30 years, more people worldwide will be gaining academic qualifications than since the beginning of history. But as more people get them, their currency value is falling sharply. A university degree used to be an open sesame to a professional position. The minimum requirement for some jobs is now a Master’s degree, even a PhD. What next? But there is a second problem. Many companies are facing a crisis in graduate recruitment. It’s not that there aren’t enough graduates to go around; there are more and more. But too many don’t have what business urgently needs: they can’t communicate well, they can’t work in teams and they can’t think creatively. But why should they? University degrees aren’t designed to make people creative. They are designed to do other things and often do them well. But complaining that graduates aren’t creative is like saying, ‘I bought a bus and it sank’. This book suggests what all organisations, including educational ones, can do immediately to recover people’s creative abilities. It argues for radical changes in corporate cultures to make the most of these resources. Throughout this book, I develop three main arguments that apply with equal force to all companies and organisations with a serious interest in the sustained development of creativity, innovation and human capability. • We are caught up in a social and economic revolution. This revolution is comparable to the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century and it has still hardly begun. • To survive it we need a new conception of human resources. Current approaches to education and training are hampered by ideas of intelligence and creativity that have wasted untold talent and ability.

This is no longer true. it’s essential that education and training enable people to be flexible and adaptable so that businesses can respond to changing markets. Third.Someone leaving school in 1950 with good academic qualifications could expect a life of relatively stable employment.• To develop these resources we need radically new strategies. One of the most significant changes is the shift from manufacturing to the socalled knowledge-based industries. it seems unlikely that the company itself will still be there. perhaps staying with the same company for a whole working life. for most people. But the changes we all face are not only in work. Indeed. and they emphasise the vital need to develop powers of creativity and innovation. First. Many people now expect to change not only jobs but occupations several times during their lives. The idea that schools can provide a direct route to secure employment in such a world merits a moment’s thought. We won’t survive the future simply by doing better what we have done in the past. secure lifelong employment in single job is a thing of the past. Raising standards is no good if they’re the wrong standards. Few people seriously expect that young people leaving school in 2001 will be with the same company in 2041. The price of failure is high. Governments and businesses throughout the world recognise that education and training are the key to the future. everyone will need to adjust to a world where. . and to maintain a competitive edge. it’s essential to generate ideas for new products and services. Throughout the developed world there is a growing problem of social exclusion particular among young people who are either unprepared or disinclined to join the search for employment. Second. These economic and technological revolutions involve equally profound changes in our ways of life.

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