I usually hear creativity defined something like this: the creation of something new, especially an artistic work. I’ve realized that’s a narrow definition. One, are we really capable of creating something new? Two, creativity is not relegated to the arts.
My working definition is something like this: openness to making connections between seemingly unrelated things. Simple. Creativity to me is very foundational. It’s the reality that more than what we see is possible and once we open ourselves to the possibility we start making some cool connections.
A lot of ink has been spilled over this concept but my thoughts on the subject are starting to crystallize. I became fascinated when I realized I was capable of creativity without engaging in typically creative things like art, music or even science.
I can “play” the guitar but no one would ever refer to my awkward strumming as creative. I certainly can’t paint and in school I took the lowest level sciences I could get away with. I’m no creative genius.
I think this is typically how most people think about creativity, though. It’s beyond us somehow. Only for the likes of Van Gogh, Einstein and Mozart. Those giants that somehow tower above the rest because they possess what we do not. I’ve read about the “lone genius myth” which is becoming increasingly challenged but still occupies the minds of many.
I’m convinced that with technology’s rapid development the demand for adaptation and innovation will only continue to increase. My view of creativity is that it’s more of a value than an innate thing.
My view of creativity is that it’s more of a value than an innate thing. Everyone is capable of it and it’s vital for our future.
I started realizing I was creative sitting in a cubicle in a corporate environment. The nubbly, grayish-blue fabric of my carpet cube was anything but inspiring. And yet, I found creativity. Perhaps it's because I had space and access and the desire to let things be complex when they were. Ingredients for creativity?
I’ve experienced the lackluster corporate environment. I’ve seen the movies. A lot of what folks refer to as business is based on stringent process. I tend to lump this all together as status quo. What’s underneath that? A reliance on certainty? Reductionism? I think both of these can hinder creativity.
A lot of people are talking about things like this right now. My question is how much of our energy should be spent reconceptualizing how we approach business and reorganizing how we work in order to let creativity spark?
Post authored by: Christopher Shivers — Director of Research at Cook System
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