Does creativity come with a price?

I am interested in creativity and creative learning, and so it would be interesting to understand how these would be associated with creative people and how we could provide education to nurture one’s creativity.

In this post on Creativity – Does Creativity come with a price, it was found that writers were more likely to suffer from mental disorders:

Writers were a whopping 121% more likely to suffer from bipolar disorder than the general population. Moreover, Simon Kyaga, the study’s lead researcher, says that authors had a “statistically significant increase” in anxiety disorders–38% to be exact. Rates of alcoholism, drug addiction, and suicide also increased among writers.

Researches relating creativity and mental illnesses found that “genius may occur in appreciably introverted persons – Newton, for instance – and Einstein, Bertrand Russell, and James Joyce are all said to have had near relatives with schizophrenia.  One controlled study found an excess of schizothymic traits in the group of able people represented by research scientists. Psychological tests have shown a similarity between the mode of thinking in schizophrenia and in creative people.”

If the research findings are true, then it seems that we need to take creativity both as a gift and a sign of caution, to see if there are any symptoms associated with those mental disorders.

In a world where we all cherish creativity as the number one priority in developing learners to face the unknown future, what does it mean if we are to develop the creativity capacity of learners?

What are the characteristics of Creative people?

Cognitive Rational Creative Individuals

  • Self-disciplined, independent, often anti-authoritarian
  • Zany sense of humor
  • Able to resist group pressure, a strategy developed early
  • More adaptable
  • More adventurous
  • Greater tolerance for ambiguity and discomfort
  • Little tolerance for boredom
  • Preference for complexity, asymmetry, open endedness
  • High in divergent thinking ability
  • High in memory, good attention to detail
  • Broad knowledge background
  • Need think periods
  • Need supportive climate, sensitive to environment
  • Need recognition, opportunity to share
  • High aesthetic values, good aesthetic judgment
  • Freer in developing sex role integration’ lack of stereotypical male, female identification

To what extent are these characteristics common to our learners who are considered creative, or genius?

What are your thoughts about creative people?

Enjoy this video where Brene Brown talks about our vulnerability and the “connection – disconnection” dilemma.  Story tellers are usually people who are quite creative, isn’t it?


Knowledge Management

Well said Steve. Here is my response to his previous post on the kind of management for the 21st century that I would like to resonate with his views again.  I could sense a lot of traditional management philosophy well in place in many companies on this side of the globe.  I applaud Steve in having such a deep insight into knowledge management and its impact on organisation. Relating to knowledge management, it was once thought to be the panacea to many large (US) organisations in the 1990s. Management gurus like Peter Drucker and Peter Senge  who were the pioneers in those areas emphasised the importance of KM  in the modern era.  However, as Steve has pointed out, it has always been a tension between the traditional command and control style of management and the modern networking organisation where a lot of “networking” management practices (with COPs) could be  viewed as too risky, “un-controllable”, not following a “static vision and mission” and thus not sustainable.  Also, restructuring an organization is no longer a one-time deal, leading to discontinuity in knowledge management programs. The dramatic reorganisation of AT&T in the fall of 1995 is an example of such restructuring.  So, given such ongoing process of re-structuring in lots of business, dictated by the changing needs in the business environment, what might be the value of knowledge management (based on the previous organisation) on those re-structured organisation?  Besides, most organisations are looking for profits and growth in response to stakeholders’ needs and expectations, not “knowledge management” per se. So how could one convince the long term benefits of knowledge management to an organisation?  Finally, is the word “management” appropriate in the knowledge management? Would it be a leadership quest for innovative “knowledge management” that is more important? Should  that be based on nurturing of the knowledge workers to network, rather than the pure management of knowledge itself that could bring about the transformation and real change to management practices?

A response to Social Networking and Talent Management

I read this post on Social Networking and Talent Management by Dave Wilkins with great interests. Are leaders tall, thin and attractive? How would one define leaders? Whilst there are formal leaders in organisations, there are informal leaders leading in a social direction. How these social leaders are interacting with others are yet to be known.
In most organisations, employees often praise their leaders to achieve “collaboration, and cooperation”. Why? They are employed by these leaders of the company. I don’t see any reasons why employees are going to criticise the employers upfront, unless they are under serious grievance, or they don’t like their boss. But one common understanding is: Most employees leave their companies not because of the “system”, but because of their boss – the leader.

So when it comes to Social Network Analysis, we could see a lot of interactions – and may conclude that there are lots of collaboration. But there are certain assumptions that require further exploration. Are those other “non – top performers” consulted based on social reasons, or for technical support etc?  Why are the formal leaders not being consulted or interacted?  What happens if an employee openly criticises his/her organisation or the leaders?

My observation is: Never comment or criticise your organisation in public. It is both unprofessional and unhelpful. So, does it partially explain the phenomena?

I have once been with a company with the motto of everyone is a leader. If leadership is about empowerment of their employees, then social networking is the complement of leadership where employees could shine. Both leaders and their followers would resonate and shine in the organisation.