“Keep your ears open. A good idea can come from anyone. Walt Disney used to solicit the custodians for their opinions because he knew that everyone has the capacity to be creative…” -Steve Spiegel ‘The Imagineering Way: Ideas To Ignite Your Creativity’
The more we study, discuss and gain a deeper understanding of creativity and what it is, the better chance we have to see its revival in our organizations. And while it remains necessary to gain a clearer understanding of what it is, it is just as important to uncover what it’s not.
Especially, if we are trying to engage and scale it on a mass level.
Which requires awareness, since there are many ingrained and pervasive ‘myths’ that continue to swirl about and orbit the creative cosmos. Myths that mislead and misinform our mindsets and thinking around creativity.
Too often, we believe and buy-in to these myths that circulate and revolve around creativity.
Such as, for something to be creative, it has to be completely new and original. What we fail to realize, is that, while seeming new and novel, nothing is ever truly new or original. Everything, at some level, is a remix. Ideas build upon ideas, percolating and mixing to create what we deem new, novel and original. Or, how we still sustain and hold up the idea of the ‘lone genius’ myth. That picture that we’ve burned into our mind of the sole scientist, holed away in a laboratory, inventing the next new thing that will change our lives. Whereas, in reality, what we’ve come to realize, is that creativity is less a ‘lone’ act, as much as it is a social and collaborative one.
It is the intersecting of ideas and thinking, where much of our creativity and innovation is born.
Which is just the tip of the iceberg, the myths do little to stop there, just as we continue to believe that creativity comes from a type. So we sell ourselves on the idea that there are only a select few that are creative types. Ones we can go to for ideas and thinking that will keep our organization creative and innovative. The ones who keep us on the cutting edge. Which is unfortunate, for it is in these environments, that creativity becomes a ‘is or is not’ proposition.
The problem with this thinking, is, at some level, everyone of us is creative.
When we believe that creativity is a ‘is or is not’ proposition, we limit the ideas and overall capacity of the organization to not only engage, but to infuse and become more creative at scale. The ‘is or is not’ proposition allows only certain ‘types’ to share their ideas, their thinking, and their creativity.
Boxing in organizational creativity to just a select few.
We will never effectively bring creativity and innovation to scale in our organizations if we continue to hold tight to myths that not only limit, but have the tendency to diminish and disengage it. We have to be willing to engage the thinking and ideas of everyone, at all levels of the organization, not just those we deem as the creative types. Especially, if we are ever to bring creativity and innovation to the scale necessary and needed in our organizations.
“The ‘idea’ is held in such high regard here, and therefore, so are the people who come up with those ideas. We cherish the dreamers, misfits, and oddballs who populate our hallways.” -Christian Hope ‘The Imagineering Way: Ideas To Ignite Your Creativity’