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  • Writer's pictureDavid Gaudet

Unexpect the Expected

I'm entering into the prototype stage of my Innovation and Design class at SAIT. My students, I think, by this time have gotten over their "what the hell kind of a class is this" phase, and how realize that design thinking and creativity are unlike any discipline they've been taught in business school, or any phase of their education. One of the key aspects of bringing out creativity is realizing it's inside of you in the first place. Like all of our pillar competencies, creativity is an innate capability we possess that enables us to improve as humans. It is also in constant interaction with each of the other 7 pillars (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, citizenship, character, complex problem solving and curiosity).

These competencies are interdependent, reliant upon one another, even though they sometimes present themselves as being at cross-purposes. Creativity, for instance, spurs new and different ideas, while critical thinking applies logic, objectivity and evaluation, sometimes resulting in self doubt which can kill potentially great ideas before they even have a chance. So creativity would appear to be in constant collision with critical thinking, however, these competencies are better viewed as counter-balances than opposing forces. Creativity and critical thinking both produce many “what if” questions. In fact, you can practice both at the same time, by producing a list of unexpected outcomes of an idea or decision in addition to the predictable expected results. To “un-expect” rather than merely “expect”. Try seeing what likely wouldn’t happen from a choice you make today as a potential outcome to spur a new way of creative thinking. Then ask yourself if that outcome change the way you do something.

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