Are children more creative?
Since Josep Comas, MBA from the University of Girona and an excellent discloser of such topics, has greatly spread innovation topics, I have had access to a magnificent video about possible creative uses of a cardboard box, starred by children as you will see later.
When the majority of adults only see a box, a child may come to imagine dozens and dozens of possibilities, building a fantasy world that goes beyond the always limited rational brain. Without imagination there is no possibility for creativity, and without creativity it is hard to innovate.
Is it true that, in general, children are more creative than adults? They simply do not have so many mental barriers and blocks that may prevent ideas from flowing without restrictions, as it happens with most adults. A television, a car, a ship, an airport, a pet shop, a sled… an empty cardboard box may turn into any thing: our mind is the only limit.
It is known that many companies that generate ideas ask for children’s help (undoubtedly under due control of parents and schools) to develop new ideas, challenge conventionalisms and explore alternative uses of pre-existent ideas. Such companies rely more on innocent and naïve children than on omniscient and experienced adults precisely because being creative often means seeing reality from a different angle, deprived of conventions, budgets and prejudices. In general, education does nothing but turn us into unbelieving adults, too critical, impatient and incapable of seeing a simple object from alternative and complementary perspectives. And so we go about our lives… In my EADA classes, more than 50% of participants often consider themselves little or no creative at all… How are we going to improve the general level of innovation in Catalonia and Spain if most business management students do not consider themselves creative?
Children’s creativity is not a myth but a reality. Children play freely with concepts (do you remember Guille’s “Gatolupa”, the cat of Mafalda’s brother?) and when they think, they carry out parallel and collateral operations with their thought that adults have replaced by a boring and useless vertical thought.
The other day, two friends’ children were playing at a store. Upon seeing a small pile of straw (those long shavings used for fruit boxes, etc.), one tells the other: “What is that?” and the other answers: “For hamsters, can’t you see it?” A great lateral reaction of the mind, an extraordinary ability to think “out of the box”. Unfortunately, due to “education” and “the serious world”, most adults end up relentlessly turning into unidirectional, one-dimensional people, unable to see things from a fresh and enjoyable perspective. “A la recherche du tempsperdu” is always waiting to be read.