Four Steps to Foster Innovative Thinking and Creativity


How can we foster more creative thinking within the NPS? Organizational psychologist Adam Grant, the youngest tenured professor at the Wharton School of Business, studies “Originals”: people who dream up new ideas and then take action to put them into practice.

In this Ted Talk, learn some of the unexpected habits of original thinkers including: Procrastination – as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was preparing his famous speech in Washington DC in 1963, his final edits came just minutes before the speech was to be delivered. His most memorable line, “I have a dream,” wasn’t in the original script. By continually revising the final product and not locking himself in to an early draft, he was open to deviating from his script and the line history remembers most vividly was fortuitously included.

Another lesson; embrace failure. “The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most, because they’re the ones who try the most,” says Grant, pointing to Thomas Edison, “you need a lot of bad ideas in order to get a few good ones.” There are many takeaways from this short talk that can be applied within the National Park Service. By learning and being aware of these four simple examples, we can consciously foster our own creativity and innovation.

What You’ll Find

  • Why procrastinators may be more innovative that “pre-crastinators”.
  • The first mover advantage is over-hyped, particularly where creativity is concerned.
  • How to harness the power of self-doubt.
  • Why (as Theodore Roosevelt mused) you should be more afraid of failing to try, than failure itself.
  • Video duration – 15:25

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