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It’s well known that we are at our creative best when we are young. The older we get, the less creative we become. It was nice to see that a creative idea of a 15 year old girl from India, Sarojini Mahajan, has been picked up by Stanford University.

Sarojini’s idea is about using the human pulse to charge a cell phone. Hers was one amongst  over 1,300 ideas received as part of IGNITE- a competition organised for kids by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF).  I am sure young Sarojini will treasure the recognition she gets from Stanford even more than the $ 1000 that she received. This was a token amount to develop the prototype.

One thing is for sure- creativity needs to be practiced if we are to maintain the creative edge. If not used, it withers over time and dies within us. Encourage your team members to come out with ideas- however bizarre they may appear to be at first. If we don’t even try to be creative, we simply never will be. The best of innovations have their roots in ideas which may have sounded far fetched to many. You and I know of so many such cases.

Equally important to develop creativity is to look at ideas without being judgmental or critical. This is easier said than done- most of us tend to be highly skeptical, particularly when the idea comes from someone else!

Congratulations to Sarojini. May India produce many more bright minds like hers.