Believing you are not creative is like surrendering your humanity.
“I don’t have a creative bone in my body.”
“I’ll save that for the creative folks.”
These phrases make me cringe.
Where did people learn to adopt the thinking that creativity is something to be implemented by a privileged few who are in the business of creativity, the makers of superbowl ads or the creatively inclined in design, art, music or theatre.
You were creative.
As a little kid you didn’t have risk assessment. You didn’t have a self-conscious bone in your body. You were a supernova of a spirit, singing, dancing, being loud, being yourself, extraordinary. You were not drawing inside the lines, weighing the pros and cons. You were just going for it, unmitigated. There was no order. You were mesmerized by your manipulation of a crayon in your fist, and all was great with your perception and interaction with the world.
You may have been born creative, but school didn’t curate your creative intelligence.
Did you learn not to be creative?
Art class in grade school was structured. Everyone followed the same template or used the same materials to create a similar model the teacher produced. You were comparing the mediocrity of you effort to the other students. They didn’t measure up to the teacher’s model.
In middle school you learned how to be on time, sit attentively, learn from a curriculum be submissive to authority. It was not encouraged that you were not the bearer of original ideas. If your teacher asked you a question an you recalled an answer, it was either right or wrong.
When did you learn to solve a problem with critical thinking and original thought? Eight years after being trained how to be a factory worker when you started to write papers on subjects that interested you. I’m concerned by that point you already learned not to color outside the lines.
As an adult, working at a matured corporation. You are in the mode of preserving success for shareholders. Creativity takes a backseat to maintaining the status quo. Experimentation becomes a unnecessary risk. Launching a new product with new thinking and a new approach with a new marketing strategy is perceived as foolish.
Contest the status quo with creative thinking.
Creativity is not just about being able to paint, draw, sing. It’s about arriving at unformulaic solutions to problems. If you are in business, communications, law, entrepreneurial endeavours, chefs or in any consumer facing business you should be striving to use your creativity and foster the creativity of those you surround yourself with. In fact employees that stand out, tend to break the mold and work creatively.
I define creativity as combining critical thinking, research of the end user with the willingness to bring new ideas to the problem solving table. It’s just as much about the process as it is the final result. Gaining the approval of your colleagues with some wild, out-of-the-box ideas you may have can sometimes be a challenge. Often you see organizations hiring outside consultants, third-parties that audit processes and suggest solutions to a company.
Creative thinking equals innovation
As a consultant in the communication design business, I consider what will get the attention of my clients target audience. What engage them, get their attention in ways that value their intellect and possibly even entertain them. Each of my clients are handled in different ways, they all have their different audiences and challenges. It’s often about inventing something new, nothing novel gets created by
In social media creative minded creators look for new approaches to creating valuable content that users want to share, that is sure to gain the approval of your peers.
Nothing great was ever created by following the rules.
Creativity (and science) is what put the Hubble Space telescope out into orbit. It’s what put running water into our roof covered kingdoms. It is the intersection of discovery, understanding and problem solving.
You may be working at a company that prides itself on predicable results and maintaining the status quo. “This is how we done it before, it worked then and since and we need consistent results, we are not changing the process now”. If this is true for you, you may just be a publicly traded company thats been around for a while.
It’s the company risk takers, the folks who operate “outside the box” that are the heroes. These are the right-brain meets left brain champions that are willing to try something new, to innovate.
Creativity in business: What you can do at work.
- Tell your boss about a new process you believe in an would like to spend time on developing for the benefit of the company. If you have a good boss that likes to retain good employees, they’ll enable you.
- Invite outside influencers to your company or invite key co-workers to outside events and conferences to spread knowledge about a new software platform or approach to improving your company’s way of thinking..
Machines manufacture products in repetition.
You are human, you create, make mistakes along the way, try a different approach and eventually succeed.
Everyone is creative. You just might not be in an organization that values it highly, or endorses it.
Be the leader of your own ideas.
What creative ideas do have that can solve particular problems?
Alexander Morse is a digital designer and brand consultant at Morse Communication Design. He helps businesses communicate with design. His creative techniques and communication design skills were fostered through his agency-side experience working with a variety of clients from entertainment to retail. He is now focused on end-user, persona-driven interactive and conceptual design for consumer brands, non-profits, and clients whose message needs to be driven through impactful design.