As a project for one course last month I got the opportunity to design an innovation workshop for business students. The aim of the workshop was to make students break outside the box which their education is so carefully building for them. ”Thinking outside the box” simply isn’t enough anymore!
We must forget about the whole damn box!
The school environment doesn’t exactly encourage to think differently and do extra work for one’s own benefit, but I believe and know that change can come from students themselves: if they want to do something else, something more, they have to speak up. I want to encourage all fellow students in any study program, that it is an illusion that we can’t at some point combine our personal interests with schooling and education.
I planned the workshop with the preconception that everyone has since day 1 had an idea of what they are going to set out to become and do with the degree they get from Lapland UAS.
I want to wake people up to the fact that if that first idea hasn’t changed over the past two years, then something needs re-thinking and fixing.
Reaching forward demands motivation. Where to find motivation? I look for it through innovation exercises. There is one definition for invention vs. innovation which goes like this: ”Invention is mere novelty, when by contrast, innovation is a novelty that can be applied (Buckingham and Coffman 1999, 45). I think it is one of the most clever interpretations of the word.
Motivation comes and goes, and sometimes it calls for a kick in the ass from someone. Painful but useful. Athletes don’t start at the top either, but they get there through setting higher and higher goals for themselves along the way and working hard.
Before planning and designing the workshop I sat down (or actually I walked tens of kilometers) and thought about what innovative behavior looks like and where it comes from. As many others before me, I came to the conclusion that creativity cannot be forced, but a conscious individual can and should be able to put themselves in a creative place or mood, also on demand. Especially as deadlines are everywhere nowadays people must be able to perform even when they don’t feel like it.
That’s why I put an emphasis on the importance of good self knowledge and how beneficial it is to have an awareness of how to find one’s own vein of creation, whenever, wherever.
Most people probably do not see themselves as creative and that further enforced my idea that people who perceive themselves or, in fact, are not very creative need a ”creativity tool box” to go to on demand.
It is so much more easy to imagine what is, rather than what is not.