Why is creativity so difficult?
Today I was sharing some ideas with a few colleagues about how to increase attendance. No sooner had I shared a portion of my idea then it was attacked. “It can’t be tracked.” “Who will monitor it?” “Why would we do it this way, it won’t work.”
Tim calls this Gator Brain. Gator Brain is a strategy used to avoid having to think about an idea. You see, alligators don’t have much choice about how to react to new stimuli or sensory input.
“If a new creature comes into it’s territory, a gator can flee, it can try to feed on intruder, it may try to mate with the intruder, or it can freeze.” So depending on the size or nature of the intruder the gator is limited to those reactions.
My idea was the intruder!
“When encountering a new idea, your gator brain will see it either as a threat and therefore fight it or flee from it or as prey and therefore destroy it by devouring it. If your gator brain recognizes the invading idea as an old idea (like an alligator of the opposite sex), it may try to mate it, simply reproducing and reinforcing the old idea. Finally, if the invading idea just doesn’t fit at all, your gator brain’s response is to freeze.”
My idea caused some to attack and some to freeze. Most of us can relate. Gators are all around us. The shame is, education is in dire need of fresh ideas, but there is no telling how many great ideas ended up a victim of gator brain.
I can’t recommend Tim’s book enough.