My guiding theme this month is activating and expanding our creativity. Certainly there are many ways to do this, and what’s ideal for one creative mind won’t be timed well or presented effectively for another and their stage of growth. With creativity, it’s far more a matter of guidelines than rules.

But however you slice it, play it, or try to sneak up on it, creativity generally involves divergent thinking. in a divergent thinking process, you don’t follow a single logic chain, you come up with a bunch of different possible answers to the question you started with. 

If this sounds like brainstorming to you, there’s a good reason. The whole point of brainstorming is to bypass the convention-bound internal editor or censor we all carry around with us in our minds, and free up divergent ideas. That’s why “there are no wrong answers” and “there are no stupid ideas” when you’re brainstorming.

The process has kinship to quick, unplanned sketches for artistsimprov for actors, or writing first drafts for writers (especially those who identify as “pantsers“).

Why unleash divergent thinking on the world? Because you never know what you’ll think of next. Or what some other divergent thinker, in any blend of disciplines under the sun, might think of next. Or how it might be applied. As John Spencer points out in this video on inspiring students to be innovators, the possibilities are endless.

Let’s just please try to use our creative powers of divergent thinking for good, okay?

IMAGES: Many thanks to Benjamin Riollet’s “Wit & Delight” Tumblr for the “answer with this abstract shape” image, and John Spencer’s YouTube Channel for the “I want to see students become innovators” video. I appreciate you both!