International Educator - September/October 2019 - 44

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INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION LEADERSHIP
By Melissa Morriss-Olson

Seven Ways
Leaders Can
Cultivate Creativity

44

The forces for preserving the status quo are especially
powerful within academic organizations and are
often institutionalized in ways that make change
very difficult. Moreover, many times those who are
well positioned and authorized to lead change are
weighed down with workloads and responsibilities
that can kill the creative impulse.
And yet, the evidence is clear: Higher
education, including international education, is
experiencing great change and disruption. One
way or another, our institutions are going to shift,
either from inside or outside.
How, then, do we break through the structural
fixedness that keeps us tethered to our comfort zones
and blocks us from seeing things in new ways? Here
are seven suggestions for cultivating creative habits
of mind that have worked for me as provost at Bay
Path University and for colleagues who are similarly
challenged by the demands of leadership:

cultivated by anyone in nearly any industry. As
illustrated by his notebooks, which span 6 decades,
the keys to becoming a habitual creative thinker
include generating as many ideas as possible, asking
"Why?" and "Why not?," keeping an idea journal,
and adopting an exploratory frame of mind.
As with other common habits that form
because of repetition and intention, creativity can
become one's default mode. It is essential to make
a commitment to work at it, to challenge ourselves,
and to implement daily practices that will be habitforming over time.
I now keep a small notepad in my purse so
that I can record ideas immediately whenever
and wherever they come. A friend keeps an idea
notebook on her desk and has become methodical
about taking 5 minutes at the end of each day to
jot down all ideas-good and bad-that emerged
throughout that day.

1. Make creative thinking a habit.

2. Nurture curiosity.

Many of us believe that creativity is something
a person has or doesn't have. And yet, research
suggests that creative thinking is no different than
any other behavior that we might want to change or
develop. Thomas Edison's creative thinking habits
provide a great example of how creativity can be

In his recent book, A Curious Mind: The Secret to
a Bigger Life, award-winning movie producer Brian
Grazer shares his belief that every conversation is
an opportunity for generating game-changing ideas.
He has disciplined himself to ask leading questions
and be alert to possibilities that might otherwise fly

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR S E P T + O C T.2019

HAPPYAPRILBOY

Creative Thinking Can Help Educators
Connect the Dots and Elevate Solutions



International Educator - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - September/October 2019

From the Desk of
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Chile
Quick Questions
Feature: Countering the Forces of Change
Feature: Raising the Bar
Feature: Branching Out
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment Management
International Education Leadership
Forum
Take 5
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover1
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover2
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 1
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 2
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 3
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 4
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 5
International Educator - September/October 2019 - From the Desk of
International Educator - September/October 2019 - In Brief
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 8
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 9
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 10
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Global Spotlight: Chile
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Quick Questions
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 13
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 14
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 15
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Feature: Countering the Forces of Change
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 17
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 18
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 19
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 20
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 21
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 22
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 23
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Feature: Raising the Bar
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 25
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 26
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 27
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 28
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 29
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Feature: Branching Out
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 31
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 32
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 33
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 34
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 35
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 36
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 37
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Education Abroad
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 39
International Educator - September/October 2019 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 41
International Educator - September/October 2019 - International Enrollment Management
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 43
International Educator - September/October 2019 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 45
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Forum
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 47
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Take 5
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover3
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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