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Here is the task: join the 9 dots with 4 straight lines, without lifting the pen!

Besides of Mathematics, Physics, and IT, I also studied Psychology. This exercise was part of an experiment we conducted in a school-class of 7-year-old kids. They instantly started drawing playfully and many of them found the right solution quickly.

We repeated it with 14-year-old kids: they were more careful, followed the dots with the pen in the air, trying not to make a mistake. They mostly failed.

The only difference between the two groups was 7 years of school. Their brain became conditioned of using patters and schemes. This usually helps solving typical problems quicker yet makes us fail when creativity is needed.

A sparkling sentence from a friend @Erik-Jan Kaak reminded me how relevant it is. Because – among others – fear from failure and hoping for easier ways are reasons why organizations tend to copy best practices.

Practices, which were revolutionary new ideas once. Repeating them may can help to survive but they only make the one, who invented them a star.

Oh, by the way: once you are done with the exercise above, try it with only 3 lines. And please stop copying best practices. Invent your own ideas instead.

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