When thinking about creativity and innovation, Steve Jobs automatically comes to mind. What can we learn from him about this topic?
Although he is famous for revolutionizing the personal computer and mobile communication… he claims that he wasn’t a creative, but just someone who knew how to take something that already existed, and transform it into something much cooler… Which then connects back to my original definition of innovation, where you use your knowledge of the past to solve the problems of the future.
But how did Steve become innovative? He claims that it started in 1974 when he went to India, and there noticed that people were less focused on intelligence, and more on instinct. As he went into the future, he knew that his creativity was most vibrant when it sprang from self-belief, intuition and spontaneity, rather than studied analysis. Again, as the quote below shares, he did not think himself to be overly creative or innovative:
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That is because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.”
Another key idea that we can learn from Steve Jobs is that creativity is fueled by passion. There has to be a REASON behind the innovation.
So, some key lessons I personally can take from Steve Jobs:
- Figure out your purpose and drive in your life. If you are a teacher, WHY do you teach? What do you hope for? Let that move you forward in the direction you wish to go.
- Expose myself to as many different experiences as possible: whether this be travelling, meeting new people, reading diverse books, listening to podcasts about topics I know nothing about… because these experiences can fuel creative thinking.
- Don’t try think of totally new ideas… but take something I already have, and think of new and better ways to use it, teach it, talk about it.