Jennifer B. Davis
Dr. Bertie Kingore is an educator, author, and recognized expert on giftedness. She published an interesting article that contrasted the High Achiever, the Gifted Learner, and the Creative Thinker (complete with an illustrative cartoon, not that I am jealous).

As a child of teachers, an alum of honors programs and a self-described type A, I could see myself in all three columns (and then again, not fitting the pattern exactly).

The insight for me came when they discussed motivation for learning. The gifted learner is drawn by curiousity and asks "What would I like to do?", while the high achiever asks "What do you want me to do to perform well in this class/assignment/project?" On the other end of the spectrum is the creative thinker who isn't motivated at all by what the teacher/professor/authority thinks.

Then you look at the signs for innovative thinking, invention, and creation and you see the following (unscientific) correlation.

So, this is could be the core of our "managing innovation" problem. The folks most likely to innovate in really new ways can't be motivated in traditional carrot-stick methods. Perhaps this is why we so much innovation in start-ups?

As an aside, I wonder how many "Creative Thinkers" are now diagnosed with Attention Deficit because they can't seem to concentrate, when in fact, they are concentrating so intently on creating something new that they can't stay in the present and keep pace.

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