Friday, December 10, 2010


As the end of 2010 rolls around taking the time to reflect on the year, your beliefs and values, can perhaps, help the move forward in 2011. It is important that the behaviors we manifest represent the beliefs and values that we have. C4K values creativity. Many times we think of creativity as artistic ability. Actually, creativity has to do with the ability to generate new ideas or concepts or to find new connections or associations between existing ideas or concepts. Creativity is the ability to think outside the box. One of the traits that is important in an after-school professional is the ability to think divergently. Divergent thinkers are not limited to thinking about ideas and concepts in the same way as they are currently defined. They are inventive and can be flexible in what they do. In his book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell discusses several ways to determine if a person is capable of divergent thinking. When hiring after-school staff we would obviously like to know if the person is curious, imaginative, can see the complex in simple terms, and can take a risk without being reckless. Gladwell suggests that one way to about a person’s creativity is to ask the person what he/she would do with a blanket (or you might want to ask about bricks.) Give the person a few moments to think about the challenge and then share with you the thoughts that they had. If they have only thought of one or two typical things, then chances are that the person is not a divergent thinker in the way that we need them to be in after-school.

If you are on an interview team, here are some questions you might want to ask, substituting your topic for the word “something.”
  1. How would you describe something?
  2. What are the causes of something?
  3. What are the effects of something?
  4. What is important about something?
  5. What are the smaller parts that comprise something?
  6. How has something changed? Why are those changes important?
  7. What is known and unknown about something?
  8. What category of ideas or objects does something belong to?
  9. Is something good or bad? Why?
  10. What suggestions or recommendations would you make about something?
  11. What are the different aspects of something you can think of?
Joseph Badaracco tells us that "Sometimes creativity just means the daily work of helping others to see a problem in a different way."

Other quotes to consider about creativity include:
  • "Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected." William Plomer
  • "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." Scott Adams
  • “Creativity takes courage." Henri Matisse
  • "You must not for one instant give up the effort to build new lives for yourselves. Creativity means to push open the heavy, groaning doorway to life." Daisaku Ikeda

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