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Can imagination be taught?

I’ve been writing about the Stanford and their design thinking process. In a new article in the Stanford alumni magazine, President John Hennessy is quoted,

It’s much harder to teach creativity. [It involves] multiple routes, multiple approaches and, obviously, it’s virtually impossible to test whether or not you’ve succeeded. The measure of success is likely to come long after, not unlike many of the other things we try to teach: To prepare students to be educated citizens, to prepare them for dealing with people from diverse and different walks of life. Those are things that play out over a long time, whether or not we’ve done a good job.

But the core curriculum supports just that: learning to be imaginative and creative. Students learn techniques for “interviewing, observing, suggesting, tinkering, reviewing and then perhaps completely restarting two, three or four times.”

What are you taking time to observe? Who are you interviewing to understand their perspective on working or doing business with your organization? What will you try, test, and re-design until you get it right – a new product, an improved process, a customer experience? Who you do you meet with regularly who is outside of your industry or discipline that can stretch your ideas and imagination?

Sparks Fly: Can imagination be taught? – Bootcamp Bootleg – Research by Design


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