Genius Hour at Work and at School

Last night, I had the privilege of witnessing a Genius Hour presentation by a group of fourth, fifth, and sixth graders.

Inspired by Google’s practice of allowing its employees to spend up to 20% of their work time on passion-driven projects, their teacher started a Genius Hour program for interested students.

Once a week, the students stay back for an hour after school to explore a topic they are interested in. At the end of term, they present their findings to parents and teachers.

What impressed me deeply was that every single student cited the same reason for choosing their specific topic – CURIOSITY / FASCINATION.

It got me wondering: when was the last time we as adults allowed our curiosity / fascination to lead us down a path of exploration?

Children are by nature curious, but as we grow into adults, we seem to lose some of that natural curiosity and become jaded, cynical, and resigned.

We start to settle for what the majority are doing.

We say “That’s how life is.” “You can’t have everything.” “Be practical.”

We stop making time to play, discover, explore, and learn something new.

Perhaps we need our own version of Genius Hour in our workplaces and businesses, to reactivate our inner creative energy.

How do you stay creative and energised in your work?