Monday, June 10, 2013

Creativity in Business

Creativity.  It is a powerful and mysterious word in today's business world.  We all want to be around people who possess that creative spark, and while it is hard to describe, we always know the unique when we see it.  Creating new solutions to old problems changes the world, and we have seen a lot of that in recent decades.  Those people who can visualize what has not been done before (think Steve Jobs, and others) are legends.

But the school system I remember worked hard to get most of us to "stay inside the lines".  I was a creative kid, and I loved to draw, make up games, pretend, create, act, and play.  But somewhere along the lines I got in line with the "norm".  The creativity did not die (it is alive and well, just had been packed away), as my teachers and peers did not seem to cherish and celebrate those who pushed the envelope.  My parents also, as great as they were, guided me toward a traditional path.

Today, as I raise two daughters, things seem a bit different.  I work for myself which means I must seek creative ways to keep the lights on ever day.  My kids are encouraged in their education to explore and discover the things that interest them.  They see their parents working to forge a new path, instead of working in regular jobs, and I hope we set good examples. Their options appear more expansive and complex, and their teachers seem to cherish the quirky things that make them each unique (although, I am not sure that the peer thing has changed those that are different still seem to get pushed out or pulled back - see The Lobster Story - a 2005 post on this blog).

This month's (June 2013) FastCompany Magazine is the annual issue that highlights the 100 Most Creative People in Business.  I read the article and was interested in how many areas of our world these creative superstars come from and the different things they do for a living.  Creativity is not just one thing.  It is not only in art, but is present science, government, manufacturing, construction, etc.....

A friend posted a Tweet Link to a story about a TIME poll that shows Americans value creativity above all else, but it went on to show that while it is important, most people do not understand what it is to be creative.

My work within the Meetings Industry has shown me first hand there are people out there who are willing to try new things. Those who plan events are some of the most creative (and under-appreciated) people I have ever met.  However, while many value creative ideas, the thought of trying new things scares some people.  There are those that love the idea of shaking up their conference agenda (and do it), but others fall back to the known and tried when they have to make the final decisions.  This is not just true for conferences, but in all business sectors.  We want to be creative, but too few of us will go out and take the risks.

I enjoy creativity, and am working hard to unpack my own experimental qualities so that my potential is not stifled by false walls.  How about you.  What have you done that is creative this week?

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

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