Whatever the industry, project or specific task, most employers encourage their employees to “think outside the box”. Creative thinking is the goal we’re all striving for, and yet many people actually struggle to get their thinking outside that infamous box. Somehow, between the time when we were imaginative little kids who didn’t question anything and…well, now; a good number of us have lost the ability to tap into that ultra-creative instinct we had to begin with.
Of course, there are still plenty of creative thinkers out there, and even the most straight-laced of us have moments of creative genius from time to time. On the whole, however, it can be assumed that a good portion of adults have lost their creative sensibility over time. So, who’s to blame?
Some think we have literally had the creativity educated out of us. At school, we were taught to conform to rules, follow guidelines (and sometimes also wear uniforms). It’s been suggested that these restrictive conditions may have actually sapped the creative energy right out of us year after year. Kids enter school with a keen sense of their creative instincts, and then slowly but surely learn to doubt those instincts and replace their natural free thinking with a more calculated, reasoned approach. A pretty grim outlook on the education system, to be sure – especially considering most teachers would be quick to argue they do their best to foster creativity in the young people who fill their classrooms.
Nevertheless, it’s a point worth considering; and is also the subject of an article by Tham Khai Meng in The Guardian, “Everyone is born creative, but it is educated out of us at school”. Worth noting, of course, is the fact that all kids develop a natural self-awareness at some point as they grow. This notion of being judged by others, paired with a need to fit in with peers, can also be linked to a decline in creative thinking and a hesitancy that may or may not have been present beforehand.
At Connect&GO, we’re doing what we can to keep creative thinking at the forefront of everything we do. From developing new technologies that support consumer behaviour in new ways, to finding innovative solutions for clients’ problems, we try to work “outside the box” as often as possible. Because we are a relatively young company, open to discovering new ways of doing things, creative thinking is very much supported (if not expected) at Connect&GO. Although we may sometimes feel like we’ve hit on the best possible solution to a given issue, our team is always willing to explore new ways of looking at the products and services we provide.
Ultimately, that’s what it means to be in the tech industry, or perhaps any industry, right now. No one can assume they’ve found the final answer to anything anymore because our world is constantly changing and something new is always right around the corner. These days, we need to tap into our ability to think creatively just to be in the game.
While previous generations may have experienced more rigid schooling, one would hope education systems are now adapting to our fast-paced world and encouraging kids to stay creative and trust the weird and wonderful thoughts that come into their heads. The future is filled with possibilities, and we need those fresh and creative perspectives to help us turn them into exciting realities.