The creativity crisis

Aug 31, 2010

Creativity has been defined as the production of something original and useful, and our ability to employ this kind of divergent thinking is called the creativity quotient, or “CQ.” In 1958, four hundred Minneapolis children completed a series of tasks designed by psychologists to assess their innate creativity. Over the next 50 years, the psychologists tracked the “Torrance kids,” noting patents earned, buildings designed, art exhibitions, scientific innovations and other examples of creative achievement. What’s surprising is that the correlation between childhood CQ and lifetime creative accomplishment is triple that of childhood IQ. What’s alarming? Unlike IQ scores, which have increased by about ten points with each succeeding generation, CQ scores among Americans have fallen significantly since 1990. In a recent poll, 1,500 CEO’s identified creativity as the Number 1 “leadership competency” of the future. What’s behind America’s drop in creativity, and what does that bode for the future of innovation?

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