"This is the perfect moment in history to live with imperfection, to embrace variety and leave conformity on the assembly lines."
-- Anna Quindlen, Being Perfect
"Ideas come from people. Therefore, people are more important than ideas."
-- Ed Catmull, Creativity Inc.
There is a persistent myth in some entrepreneurship circles that creativity is innate, and that the resulting success is a linear, methodical outcome of applied principals of creativity. In truth, creativity can be learned, and it's time to rethink the relationship between intelligence and creativity. Between productivity and creativity. Between culture and creativity. Business in today's Digital Age is actually all about creativity! It's now time for more entrepreneurs to hone a soft skill that has been previously downplayed or even discounted; imagination.
"Feeding the beast" is not just about content curation, posting/sharing witty social media visuals and sound bytes, or seeking out mentors who themselves are creative thinkers. Entrepreneurs need to hone and feed creativity in themselves and others. How?
1. Deliberately collaborate and form ecosystems to enhance our "shared economy"
2. Produce a service/product which truly impacts the future of work
3. Decrease perfectionist tendencies so that we play nicely with others
4. Balance humanity and technology so that we thrive, and help others thrive, in a robotic world
5. Develop better networking skills, especially with people who are in different industries and have different personalities and life experiences we can learn from
6. Take time to leave the proverbial comfort zone; professionally and personally, to gain new memories/experiences and perspectives
The debate whether or not creativity can be taught rages on. So does the one about entrepreneurship- nature or nurture? In the meantime, both creativity and entrepreneurship are becoming increasingly linked; technologically and culturally.
• Men are starting to rethink work/life balance issues, not just women!
• Educators are starting to rethink the power of play and child-driven problem solving in natural contexts.
• Entrepreneurs are starting to contribute more frequently and meaningfully in overall leadership roles.
Both Ed Catmull and Robin Williams can teach us much about the human quest for creativity. So can watching children in action, especially when left to their own devices in the summer. The question one needs to ask oneself regularly is this:
"How do I connect the dots between what I know and see, to combine the old and new, and form something different, something better?"
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