CREATIVITY – THE STARTING POINT
Highly effective school leaders encourage the creativity of staff to find better solutions to school problems. The creative process starts with incubation, which allows alternatives to be considered subconsciously. The creative moment may follow when there is a sudden insight, a mental leap to a new solution. This can occur for both individuals and teams. The arbitrary or accidental is often significant in this process. Serendipity, associated with creativity, is the facility for encountering unexpected good luck as a result of accident, wisdom or exploratory behaviour.
The development of professionalism has traditionally concentrated on left-brain skills, with an excessive respect for logic, reason and rationality. Creative staff have a curiosity to consider issues from different perspectives and a capacity to connect concepts from different contexts. Schools are increasingly developing a positive belief in the importance of creative talent and the capacity to identify and develop it. Though some staff may be less creative because of earlier life and professional experience, all can develop and grow. This inner creative resource is however often obscured by fear of the judgements of others.
SCHOOL CULTURE AND CREATIVITY
Some characteristics of a school culture enhance and others inhibit the development of creativity. When the school is creative, the rules and conventions will inevitably be challenged. A creative individual or team leader changes the school’s cultural norms, which otherwise can only provide acceptable or traditional solutions. Creativity always involves a novel response which is adaptive to the current unique reality in the school.
Creative ideas are ready for implementation. Innovation is a complementary process, involving planning and implementing, making the creative idea lead to school improvement (Fryer, 1996). Imagination is more important to creativity than knowledge. To find new problems, to search for new possibilities and to reassess old problems from a new perspective requires creative imagination and can mark a real advance in problem-solving capacity