Thursday, April 18, 2013

LEGO IDEA Conference Denmark 2013

As always, the LEGO IDEA Conference in Billund Denmark is the place to be! If you are seeking new ideas and inspiration, this is where to find it! 
Right to play

Johann Olav Koss - LEGO Prize Winner

Some of my key learnings - some of them incidental...

1. Once again, the key themes were around:
The importance of play and creativity in learning - there is an essential role that play can have to unlock the potential we don't even know we have.

2. Creative thinking scores decline over time.  Between the ages of 3 to 5, our brain develops and uses creativity to solve problems for over 90 percent of children.
Reality shows that less than 2 percent of people over 25 will retain this level of creativity.  How shocking is that statistic!

3.  There is often a feeling that there is no time to sharpen our saw.  We have to make time to find solutions to old problems.  Our educational system forces us to think in grooves and ruts.  Only by understanding how we get in and out of these grooves, can we get out.

4. Creativity is not something you have or don't have.  There is no such thing as being a creative person.  Creativity can be enhanced and fostered. It is at the heart of problem solving.
Systems at school test us to find the one right answer instead of how we get to the answer.

5. We stay in the groove because it is considered that creativity belongs in the arts and crafts category.  We think innovation is important to succeed in the world.  But we don't think creativity is important - although innovation is the result of creativity.
Creativity is around us and we have to seize the opportunities that are presented to us.  Be open to new ideas.  Be tolerant of new ideas.  Be hungry to find new ideas.

6. Exercise this principle in every day life in companies.  Constantly seek new challenges.  Put people in a new environment and it encourages them to think differently. 
You can create something unexpected around you to get your brain trained to be more flexible.

Tips to take away

  • Don't answer a child who asks questions by say that you don't say you don't know.  Ask how will we find out.  Give them the chance for exploration.  Creative play does this.  Allow the time for creativity.  Allow time for guided and free play.
Entrance to the LEGOLAND Hotel and Conference Centre

  • Don't shoot down ideas in meetings.  Give people the pause that respects creativity. 
  • The Challenge is to be able to flip -  be rigorous when you execute and creative to ideate. Have the ability to switch between ideation and robust implementation.
  • The characteristics that enable creativity are playful.  It is not just recreation and goofing off.  It is a thing we do while we are working.  Opposite of work is not play.  Playful work is good.

  • Take the time to go against the flow.  Zig where others zag. 

The LEGO Foundation believes that quality, playful learning can create change and can sharpen saws.  Every child should have the opportunity to unlock their full potential.  The link between play and creativity and life and work preparedness is very clear.

The call to action.  Consider how we can reverse the trend of decline of creativity.  When we see a three year old with their creative genius, remember we can reverse this trend!!

Children building City of the future

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