Creativity Talk to My New Chinese Friends – Zhisland Business Club

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About the Author
Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג
I'm a writer, scientist, musician, inventor and lecturer. I love writing children's books, satire, and how-to-manuals (Mel's ten tips). Together with Ran Shternin, I'm co-founder of Ourboox, the world's simplest…
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Creativity Talk to My New Chinese Friends – Zhisland Business Club

by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג








Copyright © 2017

My name is Mel Rosenberg.

I was, for several decades, a Professor of Microbiology at Tel Aviv University until my early retirement in 2009.

I am currently a Professor at Shenkar College, where I am Advisor to the President of the College, Prof. Yuli Tamir, on student affairs.

As a professor of microbiology, my research dealt mainly with the microbiology of bad smells, bad breath in particular.

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Artwork from the book - Creativity Talk to My New Chinese Friends – Zhisland Business Club by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

I had one success, inventing a mouthwash that became popular in the UK, Israel and elsewhere. Millions of bottles are sold every year.

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Artwork from the book - Creativity Talk to My New Chinese Friends – Zhisland Business Club by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

But mostly, I failed. I had many inventions that blew up, didn’t work, or that no one wanted to buy. I think that I learned much more from failing than succeeding. But don’t entrepreneurs look at mistakes as a basis for coming up with something new and improved? Just like nature and evolution.

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Artwork from the book - Creativity Talk to My New Chinese Friends – Zhisland Business Club by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

At the same time that I was a scientist, I also had parallel careers as a musician, singer and writer of children’s books. This made me different. But in Israel there are many people who are ‘different’. Including David Ben Gurion, our first prime minister. Perhaps it is more acceptable here to be different.

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Artwork from the book - Creativity Talk to My New Chinese Friends – Zhisland Business Club by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

When I was a scientist I was very serious. Scientists are serious people.

But it’s much more fun to be silly and smile.

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Artwork from the book - Creativity Talk to My New Chinese Friends – Zhisland Business Club by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

I think that entrepreneurs need to be both serious and silly. Even at the same time. After all, new ideas and innovations always appear silly at the beginning.

 

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I think that creativity is a two step process. The second part of the process is the one we commonly refer to as problem solving. For this you need an education and experience. This is the ‘adult’ part of the creative process.

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© Nevit Dilmen

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But the first step in creative thinking, which is often ignored, may be even more important. It is how do you come up with new ideas, hypothesis, questions and paradigms in the first place? For this you need to adopt the childish way of looking at the world.

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Children like to ask questions, even silly ones. They are observant, curious and doubtful. They have flexible boundaries. They are less dogmatic.

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Children are also really good at making weird connecting things that adults wouldn’t think of ever connecting. For example, a child might point to the cap of a bottle and call it a ‘door’.

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I think that most inventions involve thinking “between the boxes”. After all, everything is connected with everything. Let’s try to find something that has no connection whatsoever with honey. Can you?

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Silly connections made by the childish mind may be the first step in the creative process. Then the adult ‘problem solving’ approach comes into play.

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So if I’m right then we each need a little more ‘child’ in our behavior as innovators. In this frame of mind, we are allowed to be silly, to get things wrong, to connect things in weird ways. We are praised for our observation and curiosity, and not criticized for our originality.

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I think that Israel is a country of heterogeneity. We are a less rigid society than some other countries. In Israel we each have an opinion, and we express it. Perhaps we understand how peculiar we are. What a childish idea of reviving a language and country after 2000 years.

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