Dr. Derek Cheung offers insights on creativity and innovation
The Institute of Creativity recently invited Dr. Derek Cheung, former Vice President of Research at Rockwell International Corporation, to deliver a lecture to staff and students on “Creativity and Innovation in Research and Education”, during which he elaborated on the meanings of “creativity” and “innovation” and suggested ways to nurture these qualities in students.
According to Dr. Cheung, creating the right environment is crucial to fostering creativity. He said there is a need to create an open, stimulating and tolerant environment where people can speak their minds, adding that creating this environment would have to be a top-down effort with the organisation’s leadership getting involved.
Dr. Cheung shared his views on the barriers for innovation which included complacency, lack of skill and pressure for conformity. He also stressed the importance of bringing out the best in individuals. He said that university students are at the crucial age at which creativity can be unlocked. This is because, having gained admission to a tertiary institution, they no longer need be focused on competitive exams. Moreover, by this time, students already have the basic skills and knowledge.
Dr. Cheung suggested “what if” discussions to encourage brainstorming and innovative thinking. He also recommended the “zoom out” approach for research groups once a month or so where they could look at fields outside their own specialisation.