During my 20-year marketing career, I was often frustrated with my own lack of creativity. In my last role as a Marketing Director at Lenovo, a company that manufactures and sells business and personal computing devices, one of my biggest responsibilities was to find new and exciting ways to launch the company’s new products. However, I found myself often recycling old campaign ideas or relying on others to offer solutions. How had I fallen into this rut, when as a child I had been a passionate artist, bursting with ideas? I started to look for ways to improve my creativity and found that I wasn’t alone in feeling this way.
When you ask adults whether they think they are creative, most people will respond that they aren’t. But what is creativity really? Most people associate creativity with the arts, but that is not true. As the late education and creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson defined it, creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value, which can be applied across any discipline. There are 3 components to this statement that are worth noting:
- Process — creativity is not an event but is an evolutionary process that involves many false starts and unfulfilled ideas
- Original Thinking — that doesn’t need to be original to the world but should be original to you or the community in which you work
- Value — the idea has some purpose which is worthwhile
Simply put, creativity is applied imagination. When we are young, we are filled with a sense of wonder about the world. What if we were ladies in shining armor fighting fire-breathing dino-frogs? What if we could hoverboard on the rings of Saturn and how would we get there in the first place?!? As kids, we often let our imaginations run wild, but as we become adults, we tend to favor practicality and shy away from risk-taking (much of this behavior shaped by our education, career, and society in general).
With the challenges that we face today, creativity is needed more than ever. Why? Because we are now facing problems that we have never encountered before, and solving them requires our collective creative wisdom. But how do we recapture our childlike wonder? We need to recognize and accept that we all possess diverse interests and talents. We need to give ourselves permission to satisfy our curiosities and make mistakes. We need to share our ideas with others so we can arrive at better solutions together. And most importantly, we need to allow our future generation to do the same.
So, go on. Unleash your creative potential. You never know who you might inspire along the way.
Reference: What is Creativity? By Sir Ken Robinson
Amy is the Founder of Dreamwriters, a self-publishing platform for young creative writers and artists. The platform is currently under development. Join the community for updates and receive a free picture book, “The Knight’s Friend”, written & illustrated by a pair of talented students from Hong Kong.
> For Writers: http://join.dreamwriters.press/parents
> For Artists: http://join.dreamwriters.press/illustrators
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.