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“See creativity as a way to enable people to see the world in a different way.” “Always question authority, especially the authority of your own longstanding beliefs.” (From this list.)

Very true. Love it.

The challenge is, we are trying to change people here.

Most people are comfortable with the way they currently see the world, and the impetus to hold on to and protect that world view is innate. Most people are not keen to have their world views challenged. It anything, they are more likely to try and convert others to their views.

The status quo in the form of cultural, familial, religious and social norms puts amazing pressure on us all to conform to a singular world view. This is reinforced by our innate need to belong. It can be threatening for many people to merely imagine not belonging. How hard is it for a theist to seriously consider a reality without their deity?

The desire for agreement and consensus is another strong pressure to pursue a uniform world view. As is the fear of disagreeing with one’s seniors, or god forbid to second-guess their preferences wrongly! The rocker of boats is unpopular in countries (and organisations) with strongly conformist cultures. Seeing and espousing too radically different a viewpoint can get you put in jail without charge even in seemingly modern countries like Singapore!

The practice of generating ideas is still very new to most business people. Not only do business schools not teach creativity, the primary focus is still primarily on rational analysis, critical decision making, and logical problem solving. It is not surprising that brainstorming sessions are often derailed by over-analysis and premature decision making. There is no formal idea generation or generative play.

Learning to release our inner creativity is about learning to be comfortable with who we truly are (our values, our defining principles), so that in turn we can be ok with “what ifs”, to see and empathise with alternate world-views, , to suspend our egos momentarily in the face of differences, and to be accepting of paradoxes and greyness. It is the willingness to be irreverent, to boldly question the previously unquestionable.

Creativity is necessarily subversive. The fear that interferes with creative exploration and learning to see different viewpoints is that we may have to face the inadequacies or inaccuracies of our precious world-views.