Reclaimed DesignWorks

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Reclaimed Magic by Shanty2Chic! | Reclaimed DesignWorks | Blog | Reclaimed DesignWorks

Most people are born creative. As children, we enjoy imaginary play, ask outlandish questions, draw blobs and call them dinosaurs. But over time, as a result of socialization and formal education, most of us start to stifle those impulses. We learn to be warier of judgment, more cautious, more analytical. The world seems to divide into “creatives” and “noncreatives,” and so many people consciously or unconsciously resign themselves on the latter category. And yet we know that creativity is important to success in any discipline or industry. According to a current IBM survey of chief executives all over the world, it’s one of the most sought-after trait in leaders today. No one can deny that creativity has allowed an upswing and continued success of various companies, from start-ups like Facebook and Google to stalwarts like Procter & Gamble and General Electric. Students often arrived at Stanford University’s “d.school” (which has been founded by among us—David Kelley—which is formally called the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design) to build up their creativity. Clients help IDEO, our design and innovation consultancy, for the similar reason. But on the way, we’ve found that our obligation isn’t to instruct them creativity. It’s to enable them to rediscover their creative confidence—the natural ability to come up with new ideas along with the courage to test them out. We do this giving them ways of work through four fears that hold many people back: fear of the messy unknown, anxiety about being judged, nervous about the first task, and concern with losing control. Easier said than done, you might argue. But we understand it’s possible for individuals to overcome even their most deep-seated fears. Consider the work of Albert Bandura, a world-renowned psychologist and Stanford professor. In one series of early experiments, he helped people conquer lifelong snake phobias by guiding them by way of a number of increasingly demanding interactions. They would start by watching a snake by way of a two-way mirror. Once more comfortable with that, they’d progress to observing it using an open door, then to watching another individual touch the snake, then to touching it themselves by having a heavy leather glove, and, finally, quickly, to touching it with their own bare hands. Bandura calls this process of experiencing one small success after another “guided mastery.” The people that went through it weren’t just cured of an crippling fear that they had assumed was untreatable. They also had less anxiety and more success in the rest with their lives, taking on new and potentially frightening activities like riding and speaking in public. They tried harder, persevered longer, coupled with more resilience when confronted with failure. They had gained a brand new confidence inside their power to attain whatever they set out to do.

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