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Building Creative Confidence

We're all creative

Everyone is naturally wired to be creative. Watching young kids, we can see their desire to figure things out and to master the skills they need to tackle challenges, achieve their goals, and create. They figure out how to climb out of their crib, to build imaginary worlds, and to negotiate for dessert.

But like so many things, if creativity isn’t prioritized and practiced in an encouraging environment, most kids come to believe they’re not creative and stop pursuing creative endeavors. Sadly, this limiting belief persists.

And yet, as challenges seem to be rising exponentially, creativity is needed more than ever.

Fortunately, there's a solution.

David Kelley, founder of the design firm IDEO, believes that everyone can be creative. Rather than subscribing to the belief that few are born creative, he developed a 5-step process that anyone can use to be creative. He calls it Design Thinking. He’s proven that it works. And it’s in use now around the world and is being taught in design schools, business schools, and innovative K-12 schools.

A 5 Step Innovation Process

This Design Thinking approach is something you can model, teach, and reinforce with your kids/students in everyday life to develop their life and leadership skill set. Here's an example of the process we use with kids/students (as well as adults) to foster a creative approach to maximizing opportunities and solving problems.

In response to the challenges/opportunities you and your kids/students encounter, you can use this process to identify, explore, and then solve them creatively.

Note: It’s useful to complete the WIN Map to identify your kids/students’ areas of interests (read more about that here) and once they decide on a project they find interesting, invite them to use the CREATE Innovation Process and the START Leadership Process to guide their activities.

Get Started

Here are a few ideas to get you and them started.

Parents can use the approach when

  • creating and planning family meals

  • conducting research to buy a new appliance or car

  • embedding creative problem solving into everyday activities for kids

Teachers can use this approach when

  • designing an approach to engage younger learners online

  • collaborating with colleagues to address a pandemic related challenge

  • embedding creative problem solving into everyday activities for students

Kids can use the approach when creating

  • a new type of face mask or a way to greet each other without physical contact

  • a way to catch-up with friends from school online to play a favorite game

  • a way to work with friends on a collaborative project to help an elderly neighbor in the community, to protect the environment, or to help younger kids feel more connected to one another

Living & Leading Creatively

Every day, we and our kids/students are presented with situations that can be framed as opportunities to apply our innate creativity. Creative problem solving, especially in the midst of rapid change, is a highly valuable and valued life and leadership skill. It’s a skill that can be learned through practice, when given the opportunity. And that makes now an ideal time for us and for our kids/students to practice, master, and then enjoy the benefits of figuring things out in productive, constructive, and positive ways. When used consistently, developing their creative problem solving skills affords kids the opportunity to contribute in meaningful and important ways at home, at school, in the community, and one day, at work.

We'd love to hear how this this showing up for you right now.


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