7 things to learn from Grace Hopper about creativity

As a pioneering computer scientist and US Navy rear admiral, Grace Hopper left an indelible mark on the field of computer programming and innovation.

Her groundbreaking work and innovative approach to problem solving continues to inspire and provide valuable lessons about creativity and innovation.

Let’s explore seven key lessons we can learn from Grace Hopper about fostering creativity and driving innovation.

Embrace a curious mindset

Grace Hopper’s insatiable curiosity was a hallmark of her approach to problem solving. She constantly asked questions, challenged assumptions and sought new knowledge.

To foster creativity, it is crucial to approach challenges with a curious mindset, open to new possibilities and eager to learn. Embrace the spirit of inquiry and constantly look for new ideas and insights.

Emphasize collaboration

Grace Hopper was convinced that collaboration was essential to solving complex problems. She actively sought input from others and collaborated with teams of engineers and scientists to develop innovative solutions.

Embracing different perspectives and working together can lead to new ideas and insights, sparking creativity in the process. Foster a collaborative culture that encourages open communication, idea sharing and teamwork.

Embrace failure as an opportunity

Grace Hopper is said to have often said: “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to get permission.” She encouraged risk taking and saw failure as an opportunity to learn and repeat.

Adopting a growth mindset and being willing to take calculated risks can fuel creativity by pushing boundaries and encouraging experimentation. Don’t be afraid to fail, but instead see failures as opportunities for growth and improvement.

Think outside the box

Grace Hopper was known for her unconventional approach to problem solving. She often challenged traditional methods and looked for creative solutions that others might not have thought of.

To foster creativity, it is important to think critically, challenge assumptions and explore unconventional approaches to problem solving. Break free from conventional thinking and embrace innovative and unconventional ideas.

Persistence is the key to execution

Grace Hopper faced many challenges and setbacks throughout her career, but she persevered with tenacity and determination.

Creativity often requires persistence and resilience in the face of obstacles. Emulating Grace Hopper’s resilience and perseverance can help foster creativity by maintaining motivation and pushing through challenges. Don’t give up easily, but persevere and keep moving forward despite setbacks.

Promote a culture of innovation

Grace Hopper was an advocate for fostering a culture of innovation in organizations. She encouraged open communication, idea sharing and experimentation. Creating an environment that encourages and rewards creativity can inspire individuals to think creatively and come up with new ideas.

Foster a culture of innovation in your workplace by fostering a safe space to share ideas, provide resources and support for experimentation, and recognize and reward creative efforts.

Embrace simplicity

Grace Hopper emphasized simplicity in programming. She advocated writing code that was easy to understand and maintain, allowing for faster development and innovation.

Embracing simplicity in problem solving and finding elegant solutions can foster creativity by simplifying complex challenges and revealing elegant solutions. Look for ways to simplify and streamline your approach to problem solving and strive for elegant and efficient solutions.


In conclusion, Grace Hopper’s approach to creativity and innovation can provide valuable lessons for us all. By adopting a curious mindset, fostering a culture of innovation and embracing simplicity, we can foster creativity and drive innovation in our own work and life.

Let us be inspired by Grace Hopper’s legacy and apply these lessons to our own efforts to create a more innovative and creative future.