One of the hallmarks of many gifted individuals is creativity, a talent that has always been in demand, and will continue to be in great demand in the future.
A blog post in Forbes Magazine in January of 2017 entitled Here's Why Emotions Are the Secret Sauce of Invention, and authored by Ed Hess, Professor of Business Administration and Batten Executive-in-Residence at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, offered some interesting insight into what enhances creativity, and what inhibits it. As I read this article, I began to think about how we, who live with and work with creatively gifted kids and adults, can help them develop mindsets that will enhance their creativity, productivity, and ability to work in creative groups throughout their lifespan. And, because I thought about this while gardening, the connections between creativity and gardening became evident...
In examining the need for creativity in our high-tech, fast paced world, Dr. Hess postulates that, “artificial intelligence systems, deep learning, smart robots, the Internet of Things, nanotechnology, and virtual and augmented reality will transform every business function. Operational excellence will be technology-based and, in many industries, commoditized. That would leave innovation as the key strategic value creation differentiator.”
Creatively gifted people are innovators; they are driven to push boundaries, to seek novelty, and to create products and processes that have never been imagined or attempted. They resist closure and boundaries, and delight in the whimsical, the offbeat, and the unusual. Successful innovation requires managing lots of emotion-driven (“secret sauce”) skills -- seeing things that others cannot yet see, garnering the courage to move in uncharted waters, quelling the nagging fear of failure, remaining open-minded to new evidence as it becomes available, becoming less defensive about ideas and beliefs, listening nonjudgmentally to others, and using intellect to help manage difficult emotions.
Without this “secret sauce of innovation,” managing emotions, creatively gifted individuals can also be thwarted, swamped, or derailed by negative emotions.
So what are some things that we can do to help gifted kids (and adults) concoct their “secret sauce?” (And how does the garden metaphor help us think about this?)
Past President, WATG
Gifted in Perspective
A column designed to link the gifted perspective to other perspectives, and to make you think.