ADHD comes with a unique set of cognitive traits that can unleash a flood of creativity and innovative thinking.
Paul Orfalea, the founder of Kinko’s could easily have been a victim of ADHD, but managed to leverage it into successful career as an entrepreneur. He didn’t know initially that he had ADHD. But he learned to use the particular characteristics of his ADHD brain to develop a successful enterprise that has become an icon of American business life.
ADHD is most often talked about in the context of problems it can cause – related to distractibility, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. But new research is showing that the ADHD brain can be particularly effective at three types of cognition that form the basis of creative thinking: divergent thinking, conceptual expansion and overcoming knowledge constraints. In a world where innovation and creativity are more highly prized, the ADHD mind can be a valuable asset.
Katherine Ellison has achieved many things in her life. She has been a foreign correspondent in Latin America, the author of 5 books on practical neuroscience, and a Pulitzer Prize winner at age 27. She also has ADHD. One of her most popular works, Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention, was a memoir and journalistic overview of a year spent coping with ADHD after both she and her 12-year-old son were diagnosed with the disorder. In fact, it was her son’s diagnosis that ultimately led to her own.
Individuals with ADHD have an innate creative potential that could put them among an organization’s most valued emplyees. According to recent research, reported in Science Daily, adults with ADHD approach creative tasks differently and feel empowered when doing them. These are important attributes to have in an economy where innovation is highly prized, and means finding the right career to allow that creativity to flourish is essential..