One of the longest standing questions in the field of innovation lies in the debate surrounding whether or not “creativity” is an innate trait or whether it’s something that can be learned. The answer has big implications.
If you think creativity can be learned, you can then train people to be move innovative. If you don’t then you can forget about helping people or working with people who aren’t predisposed to creative thoughts.
My view is that creativity and innovation can be learned. I’ve seen it in my own family.
My great grandfather was one of the first art deco designers in the world, and his works are still produced today by the luxury brand Hermes. My great grandmother was one of the world’s first female photographers, and her subjects included Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. My grandfather was a fashion designer. From a young age, I was exposed to the value and importance of thinking differently and experimenting with ideas.
My wife tells me that my own entrepreneurial spirit and behavior has impacted her over the years. Her latest venture called Force of Nurture demonstrates this with her unique positioning and approach to parent coaching as a new type of consulting business (and one that’s desperately needed into today’s world of teen anxiety).
My wife and I see creativity in our kids as well, like my oldest daughter who just released her first self-title album called Rae du Soleil. For artists like her, every song – even every lyric – is a vulnerable risk that’s demonstrates the core essence of innovation. My youngest daughter has found her passion in the outdoors, learning how to whittle spoons out of wood with a knife and make fire using sticks and a bow (definitely someone you want to have around for the next zombie apocalypse!).
I don’t always share my personal stories here, and one could argue that my own’s family history in innovation suggests that traits are inherited. But from my own experience, I can definitely attest that creativity and innovation can be learned, shared, and passed along to others through role modeling, training, and life experience. My immediate family is a testament to this – we encouraged critical thinking and creativity from a young age, and we saw more and more of it over time.
Now, what are you going to innovate?