Innovation Blog

See, Think, Wonder: What Innovators Can Learn from Kindergarten

By Shlomo Maital

My grand-daughter Agam is six years old, and is finishing kindergarten; she will begin Grade One in the Fall.

Agam’s kindergarten is first-rate.  One of the things she learned there (in addition to reading!) is an exercise known as See Think Wonder.  A variation of it is Feel Think Wonder.

Here is how it works:

1. See.  REALLY LOOK at something.  Mostly, we look at things, but we do not see them.  REALLY see them.  In every detail.  Practice SEEING!  See things we miss normally, out of haste.  Have you really seen your eyebrows lately?  What did you miss?

2.  Think.  Think about what you see. Reflect on it. Ponder, analyze, compare, contrast, examine.

3.  And most important:  WONDER!   That is, imagine and dream. What if it were different?  What if it were impossibly amazing?   What if I looked at myself in the mirror, and became 6 feet 6 inches tall?  WONDER — leading to action!

Here is Agam’s process, for a bit of a shrub, not worth even looking at (?)

* I see a little bit of gray and brownish.   * I see that this one is like a palm tree.  * I think it is not doing so good.   * I WONDER if when it grows, it’s a plant that you can eat.    And that WONDER leads to a small vegetable garden Agam has in her backyard.     Six-year-olds are terrific at see-think-wonder.  They also are great at feel-think-wonder, which involves our emotions:  Feel an emotion, think about it (why it happens, what caused it), and then, wonder…    As adults,  feel an motion (deep passion about something), think about its origins, and then wonder, what if we spent our lives pursuing that passion, instead of shuffling papers for high salaries in a bureaucratic stifling job within an elephantine organization?

Innovator:  Do you truly see!?   Do you think about what you see, but deeply, analytically?  And, most important, do you WONDER?!   Do you imagine, dream, and then, try to implement what you wondered?

If only we could all become six-year-old’s !  The world would be swamped with super-creativity.