Creativity, Innovation, Change: The Synthesis

This is the last exercise for the class “Creativity, Innovation, Change” offered by The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)  on the Coursera platform. Check it out here. I was drawn to this course because of the logo. I stayed  because of the thinking.

The assignment is to “[t]ake the three course pillars – Intelligent Fast Failure, CENTER, and Creative Diversity – and create something that represents their synthesis in your mind. In other words, find a way to demonstrate or describe the “blending” of these concepts as you’ve learned about them in this course.”  This is that something.


Dr. Kathryn Jablokow shared her philosophy of Creative Diversity. I need to understand and own my creative style and creative level. I am not “not creative”. My brain works a certain way,  and I need to use that intelligence and insight to do my best work.

Dr. Darrell Velegol shared his philosophy of CENTER: Character, Entrepreneurship, owNership, Tenacity, Excellence, and Relationship.  What is my passion and purpose? Listen to what’s in my heart. What things are most important in my life? What am I doing to cultivate that passion?

Dr. Jack Matson shared his philosophy of IFF: Intelligent Fast Failure. Try-try-try. Fail-fail-fail. Learn-learn-learn. Not necessarily in that order. I realize that I’ve been doing that my whole life. I have the courage to try new things and accept failure and adjust and try again. Now that I see that I can do it, that I do do it, I will be less fearful to take on other, more daunting, challenges.

This course took me outside my comfort zone in three significant ways. First, it was far less structured than others I have taken. Once I realized it was not organized in my preferred “style”, I adapted to the course structure, and applied the strategies of my natural style to make it work for me. Second, I had to admit that I need to get more centered and be more honest about what my passions and goals in life are. Then apply meaningful effort to the things I need to do to stay true to myself. The status quo will keep you where you are, not take you where you want to be. Finally, failure is an option, but if you don’t try, how will you ever know?

Thank you Drs. Jablokow, Velegol and Matson for escorting me on this journey.  I’ve had the power to create, innovate and change all along! And the journey is just beginning.  (Author’s note: L. Frank Baum himself is a study in Creativity, Innovation and Change. Look him up.)