Creativity at Work Newsletter April 2010

Arts in the news:

I was featured in this story and pleased my website served as a resource for the author:

Portrait of the artist as a business science student

art palette

PENNY HAW  Business Day Published: 2010/04/26 07:32:21 AM

IT TOOK longer than it should have to write this article. I wanted to be especially creative, and having just read that the average adult comes up with three to six alternatives for any given situation, while the average child thinks of 60, I waited for my son to return from school to get some help in that regard.

The depressing theory — that we are naturally creative when we are born but, as we grow up, we learn to be uncreative — is supported by research conducted in the US by scientist and author, George Land, among 1600 five-year-olds.

Beginning in 1968, Land tested the children using a creativity test used by Nasa to select innovative engineers and scientists. He re-tested the same children when they were 10 and again when they were 15 .

The five-year-olds scored 98%. When they reached 10 , they managed 30% and, as 15-year-olds, they scored just 12%. The same test was given to 280000 adults who achieved a miserable 2%. “What we have concluded,” wrote Land in his final report on the study, “is that noncreative behaviour is learned”.

Creativity is considered a core competency for leaders and managers. Generating innovative solutions for problems and the capacity to create new products, systems or services are among the sorts of intellectual capital that set companies apart from their competition.

Albert Einstein  believed that the will to learn and creative thought are lost through strict rote learning. He also said , “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” But, given that five-year-olds, as creative as they are, are not equipped in other ways to run organisations, we have a problem. So, what is to be done to counter dwindling creativity in adulthood?

The good news is that it is widely accepted that creativity is a skill that can be developed and a process that can be managed.

According to Linda Naiman, who is the founder of training and coaching consultancy, Creativity At Work, learning to be creative is similar to learning a sport.

“It requires practice to develop the right muscles, and a supportive environment in which to flourish,” she says. “Business leaders are increasingly adopting the principles and practices of art and design to help build creative muscle in their organisations.”

Naiman provides her clients with workshops, coaching programmes and corporate retreats designed around building creativity. Others, however, are turning to mentors to help get their fountains of ingenuity flowing freely once more.

Read the full story here: Portrait of the artist as a business science student

Are Millions for the Arts Appropriate in These Tough Economic Times?

A fresh argument for the arts: Retired U.S. Army Brigadier Gen. Nolen Bivens, a supporter of the arts who argued that this funding can help the United States face its national security challenges. “Support of the arts and artists can help to bridge many common values that lead to peaceful resolution of disagreements as well as the sustainment of cordial international relations,” Bivens told members of Congress.

The U.S. arts community has “tremendous potential” to help the country deal with “national security challenges,” Bivens said. The retired general described, for example, how National Endowment for the Arts programs and other government efforts provide music therapy to wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which “helps them heal both emotionally and physically,” and how the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago fosters art inspired by Vietnam combat. (Source: ABC news, April 13, 2010)

Arts in health care study reveals benefits for both patients, and healthcare workers

Arts in Healthcare is a diverse, multidisciplinary field dedicated to transforming the healthcare experience by connecting people with the power of the arts at key moments in their lives. This rapidly growing field integrates the arts, including literary, performing, and visual arts and design, into a wide variety of healthcare and community settings for therapeutic, educational, and expressive purposes.

“While we who have had the privilege to serve in healthcare leadership roles have done our best to provide a safe and healthful environment for the patients in our hospitals, we continue to fall short of the goal. I believe that our decision to invest in the arts, which included music, reoriented our acute care environment toward wellness, the ultimate objective. Improvement in patient satisfaction was anticipated but not guaranteed. However, improvement in employee satisfaction was an unanticipated bonus of our arts program. The lesson learned for me was that everyone benefits from a wellness oriented environment. There is indeed a cost to benefit ratio that is worthy of exploration by today’s healthcare leaders.”

—Larry Warren, CEO of Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC, and former Director and CEO of University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers

For case studies and examples of the economic benefits of incorporating the arts in healthcare, download the 2009 State of the Field Report, published by the Society for the Arts in Healthcare.


A little boost, a lot of goodwill

Quebec’s budget rightly recognizes that small expenditures on the arts can have great cultural impact

The Winners Brain

How to grow your brain: It takes more than just math puzzles

The brains of highly successful people function differently from those of the average Joe, according to the authors of the new book, The Winner’s Brain. (Amazon Assistant neuroscience professor Mark Fenske of the University of Guelph and cognitive behavioural psychologist Jeff Brown of Harvard Medical School say you can rewire your brain. Eight tips for developing winning brains.

About The Creativity at Work Newsletter

The Creativity at Work Newsletter provides overviews of new research in creativity and innovation, ‘best practices’ of leading organizations, links to new or relevant websites and an array ideas and techniques from innovation experts

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