Take Your Foot off the Brake
Recently, I had the "opportunity" to drive my daughter's sporty, manual-shift Subaru Impreza on the hilly San Diego freeway. I had not driven a manual for at least a decade, and it was my first time driving HER car and my first time driving in San Diego – talk about being a little nervous. My first fear-based reaction was that I needed to be cautious and keep my foot on the brake. Ha, Ha. Well, long story short, it only took a few minutes to remember how to drive a manual and to remember how much I loved the feel of shifting the gears. As I merged onto the highway I was ready to take my foot off the brake!
As you begin working on your maker project this week, I wanted to introduce you to the concept of creative confidence. Creative confidence is at the heart of innovation (Kelley & Kelley, 2013) and essential to "making." Yet, the term “creative thinking” often makes individuals nervous out of fear of what others will think. I’ve been a creative thinker my entire life, yet I still get self-conscious if I let self-judgment sneak in. In “Reclaim Your Creative Confidence” (Harvard Business Review), Kelley and Kelley explain that resisting self-judgement is half the battle. When we are young, we are willing to try new things and as we get older, we tend to get more cautious because we learn to care more and more what others think. I've had to unlearn and relearn to play again in my approach to creative thinking.
This week we are asking you to make with a beginner’s mind. There is no such thing as a mistake in maker-thinking. There is a freedom to make and break. Kelley and Kelley (2013) explain it this way:
“...Opening up the flow of creativity is like discovering that you’ve been driving a car with the emergency brake on - and suddenly experiencing what it feels like when you release the brake and can drive freely” (p. 5.)
One way to let your foot off the brake is to try this Mindmap exercise (p. 214) when deciding on a project topic.
In the shared mindmap example below, the result of this activity was that David threw a big dinner party in which guests changed tables after each course, enabling them to talk to everyone in the room.
(Activity Source: Kelley, T. & Kelley, D. (2013). Creative challenge #1: Push yourself to think divergently and creatively from Chapter 7; Move: Creative confidence to go; pp. 212-216. Creative confidence: Unleashing the creative potential within us all. New York, NY: Crown Business).
Check out these additional resources:
Cooper, B. B. (2014, April 2). Work smart: 10 surprising ways to transform your creative thinking. Fast Company. https://www.fastcompany.com/3028465/10-surprising-ways-to-transform-your-creative-thinking
Creative Mornings: https://creativemornings.com/about
Ho, L. (2020, March 30). What is creative thinking and why is it important? Lifehack https://www.lifehack.org/788835/creative-thinking
IDEO (n.d). Design thinking for educators. https://designthinkingforeducators.com/
Kelley, T. & Kelley, D. (2013). Creative confidence: Unleashing the creative potential within us all. New York, NY: Crown Business; supporting website at: https://www.creativeconfidence.com/
Kelley, T. & Kelley, D. (2012). Reclaim your creative confidence. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2012/12/reclaim-your-creative-confidence
Roffey, T. (n.d.) Makerspace for education. http://www.makerspaceforeducation.com/design-thinking.html
Potter, E. (2019, March 12). How teachers can use the makerspace to foster creativity. https://matterandformedu.net/2019/03/12/teaching-creativity-in-the-makerspace/
Schwartz, M. (2016, May 4). Makerspace: Bringing creative thinking back to the classroom. https://teacher-blog.education.com/makerspace-bringing-creative-thinking-back-to-the-classroom-7d29a062cbea
Waterford Organization (2020, March 5). Classroom makerspaces: Boost creative thinking skills by giving students their own corner. https://www.waterford.org/education/classroom-makerspaces/