Educator Says Industry Needs To Unleash Creativity

You can always identify the "creative" with their free-spirited and whimsical manners. While others wear suits, creatives don wacky shoes and wild hairstyles.

This is part of the problem with how we define creativity and innovation, says educator and author Sir Ken Robinson. His book Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative was described by Director magazine as "a truly mind-opening analysis of why we don't get the best out of people at a time of punishing change."

Creatives tend to be segregated into specific silos or departments, and what is left unspoken is the assumption that other divisions and industries are devoid of creativity. "We are becoming over-specialized. The connection between disciplines is being lost," Robinson told a crowd at the Genius 100: Innovation Summit held Sunday in Montreal.  

According to Robinson the industry unfairly narrows the definition of creativity. "Innovation comes from everywhere. Mathematics, physics, science are some one of the most creative industries," he says. Someone working in an agency’s analytics unit can be just as creative as the art department head.

Scientist Albert Einstein may be best known for his theory of relatively, but he was also a "creative" through his music, writing, and far-reaching visualization. "His ideas about thought changed the universe," Robinson says.

Agencies may be addressing these concerns. This week, for instance, Lippe Taylor
named Tina Cervera as the agency's first-ever chief digital & creative officer in order to integrate its creative and digital departments.

Robinson also expanded on how the educational system is undergoing a "paradigm shift" to hopefully embrace creativity. "Policy makers talk a lot about imagination created in schools, but many times they are hostile to creatives. There is too much interest in standardization and multiple choice testing. These are not conditions where innovation can flourish," says Robinson whose TED Talk on the educational system ranks as one of the most-viewed (47 million times) TED Talks.

However, he is hopeful that the system is changing. "We are moving towards more collaboration than competition." But, he adds, "cultural change is never straight-forward."

For an industry dependent on a new generation of innovative thinkers, Robinson believes the ad industry will still thrive. Ideas come from everywhere. With technology, it makes it easier than ever to connect with outside-of-the-box thinkers. They just may not come solely from our expected creative talent persona.
Robinson also believes creativity - not data - is what makes advertising special. He is still annoyed that ads for Panama Hats still pop up on when he is online after merely browsing for one several years ago. "You can't go online without being deluged by advertising."

 

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