Sitting in a local cinema watching the live streaming of the opening session of the TED Conference 2016 in Vancouver I listened to the first speaker discuss how she believes itâ€™s time for parents to stop asking kids what they want to do when they grow up and let them get on with what they want to do right now.
What makes Ishita Katyal qualified to suggest this? She is a published author and the youngest TedxYouth organizer of the Asia-Pacific Region.
She is ten years old.
I recently spent a very happy day providing my own food for thought for stimulating insight at an Innovation Festival for high school students. It was a whole heap of fun and I especially enjoyed learning about fire tornadoes from Tsai Her Mann who works at the Science Centre in Singapore.
So let me ask you a couple of questions.
Do you consider yourself innovative? Are you good at coming up with new ideas on how things could be done differently to be done better? Or do you hope someone else might do that and then show you how to do it?
Innovation isnâ€™t anything remarkable or unique to certain individuals. We all have the capacity to be innovative â€“ if we give our brain the opportunity to practice.
What stops us from being more innovative is ourselves.
Innovation takes time, some thinking space and a willingness to try something out knowing it may not work. Rather than worrying about failure, the fun comes from trying something out because the reward is it might work!
â€œDiscovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought.â€ - Albert Szent-Gyorgi
At some point between childhood and adulthood our spark of creativity, imagination and brilliant new ideas can (unless we take deliberate action to retain them) get progressively snuffed out. We end up in jobs constrained by rules, policies and expectations. We fulfill our obligations but are not necessarily provided the time or freedom to explore how we can improve how we think and operate.
Yet innovation is what drives growth and opportunity. Our rapid technological advances, the way we grow and produce our food, construct buildings, produce medicines and vaccines would not be possible without it.
What matters is taking the time out from our over reliance on analysis, reasoning and logic to come up with the solutions to our problems and letting go. Itâ€™s no surprise that the solution to some of our most challenging problems come to us at that magical moment of insight when our brain chooses the alternative, more scenic route to an answer.
Can you be more innovative? Can you find a way to solve problems more quickly and make better decisions?
The answer is absolutely yes. You have a magnificent plastic brain that is adaptive and continually evolving. Your choice of focus changes how you think and how you behave.
The way forward lies in developing our fluid intelligence â€“ our ability to use our cognition (conscious thought) and insight coupled with our innate sense of child like curiosity and willingness to explore.
Are you ready to cast off the bow-lines and sail into an unknown sea of innovation?
Iâ€™d love to hear your thoughts.
Have you got your copy of Future Brain yet? If not, then click below to buy now.
Brain Health & Brain Fitness
Sunday May 1, 2016
4pm - 6.30pm
Peter and Violet Dhu from Corporate Communication Experts, and Dr Jenny Brockis fromThe Science Of High Performance Thinking, present a workshop on Brain Health and Boosting your Brain Power. Whether thinking, remembering, deciding or behaving thereâ€™s a lot for our brain to be doing at any one time.But getting the most out of our brains requires more than just doing crossword puzzles or walking the dog.
Get your tickets here
All proceeds going to the Samarky Foundation in Cambodia
This weeks media
In January 2016, Dr Jenny was featured in one of the last editions of the long running Cleo Magazine. You can read her article here.