Tina Seelig: Leveraging What You Know to Innovate
It is important to remember that we’ve been born to be creative. Literally.
The brain is a creativity machine and there’s increasing empirical data that demonstrates this. Tina Seelig, author of inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity, looks at the combinatorial process involved that makes true innovation happen. Related to Steven Johnson’s ideas on where good ideas come from, as well as how play fosters creativity, and how we need more of it in our schools, she also discusses the importance culture plays.
Most people see themselves as puzzle builders…but what happens. If you’re missing one or two pieces, you can’t solve your puzzle. True innovators are more like quilt-makers. They can leverage what they have around them and put together truly amazing things.”
A Stanford Professor for over 14 years now, Seelig has seen the theory behind her ideas in full-fledged practical application. She’s tried them out on her students, and in a variety of corporate settings. A cut above your typical creativity book, Seelig’s ideas are infectious and widely applicable. She has a way of making you feel like anything is possible.
Part of her ideas have to do with reframing the way we think about creativity. Ideas aren’t cheap. Also they don’t–as commonly believed–just because we lacked the capacity to “execute” the vision. Our biggest failures usually have to do with lack of imagination.
It really is an exciting time to be alive when so much collaboration of cross-disciplinary ideas are bearing fruit. You can be in the arts and humanities, the tech industry, religion, science, or any field and discover new ways of knowing.
There are so many creative people who aren’t living up to their creative potential because they’re not in an environment which fosters and stimulates and encourages innovation.”
Much more than just a hype-book, Seelig gives specific, practical techniques to expand everyone’s creativity. She begins with the reframing because that’s part of the roadblock for most people. Everyone can be more creative, sometimes much more. Sometimes you have to start from right where you are.