There is No Learning or Creativity without Play

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The following is a short book preview about why there is no learning or creativity without play contributed by the Ohio State University Leadership Center.

Mindful Leadership Coaching: Journeys into the Interior
Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, INSEAD Business Press, Basingstoke, GBR: Palgrave Macmillan (2014)

“The Greek playwright Aeschylus once said, ‘It is a profitable thing, if one is wise, to seem foolish.’ Play is not merely a child’s game; it is also a vital part of adulthood. There is no learning or creativity without play. Play is our brain’s favorite learning mode. We need to play so that we can discover and rediscover the magic around us.

Our playfulness underwrites our willingness to learn new skills and readiness to take up unexpected opportunities. It is also a powerful defense against boredom, worry, and depression. If we can free our minds to play, we can often solve apparently insoluble problems. And we can only laugh at life’s absurdities if we retain a playful mindset. As the Monty Python team said, encouraging us to always look on the bright side of life, ‘If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten, and that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.’ Perhaps we should try to see the world as a great sandbox, like the ones we played in as children. We should give ourselves permission to play in this sandbox, to create new adventures of self-exploration and to reinvent ourselves (p.176-77).”

Mindful Leadership Coaching is available from the OSU Leadership Center.

Learn how the Ohio State University Leadership Center is inspiring others to take a leadership role that empowers the world at the OSU Leadership Center website.

Jim Canterucci

I don’t know everything. But I want to. The focus of our firm, Transition Management Advisors, is to develop leadership capabilities to create a championship culture, generate innovation, and successfully lead the resulting changes.

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On March 27, 2017
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