Bears Den – Agape
A few weeks ago I went in for a fifteen minute oil change, and left two and a half hours later having met the most interesting gentleman. He had been an orchestra conductor for many years, and I found myself leaning in to catch his advice. Slowly, I began to share my own giants looming over my career, among which is a lack of creativity. It’s true: I’ve never considered myself creative in the traditional sense, and counted it a weakness in a culture that tends to reward the highly innovative. I can put your ideas into action, but I’m not the idea generator.
In response, the kind gentleman began to share examples of creativity in his line of work, each one an incidence he had “McGyvered” his way out of. He didn’t mention a routine that led to creative genius, nothing about surrounding yourself with other creatives or getting rid of things that stunt inspiration.
Ed Catmull spoke at the Summit, and confirmed this thinking. Creativity is little more than problem solving. It is taking the present conundrum and creating something useful and good – something I do all the time. Another speaker noted that creativity is not necessarily inherent. It’s a cultural myth that youths bring fresh ideas to the workplace, because creativity most often comes from experience. What makes rookies valuable is their ability to overcome obstacles under new and intense situations.
What I’m getting at is that creativity involves starting with a problem. This, finally, is something I can work with, a place to start considering a culture that encourages creativity within the boundaries of my work. Okay then.
(Image via here)