What is Creativity

Recently, someone dismissed my recent creativity/innovation workshop as invalid, that I clearly did not understand what creativity was, and the workshop was a bad method of sparking creativity.

I was speechless. I offered that perhaps this type of creativity was just different than whatever was needed in her world, for example, in the world of art. Nope. She did not allow for any variation, any simple difference of opinion. And clearly she did not consider the impact of her negativity on my own creativity, nor on that of any of the other readers. She did not agree with my mention of ‘increasing flow’. For her, any method which involved a fast-paced game, generating creative energy with cards, timers, simple objects, and teamwork just wasn’t valid. Ahh well. Her loss.

Obviously, her comment got me thinking (otherwise this new post would not exist). Yes, her comment did create a bit of self-doubt. I reconsidered the energy and creativity around the table at my recent workshop. I reviewed the feedback from the participants. And I’ve rechecked some of the smarter sources I can find online. I realize that everyone finds their creativity in different ways. And we all unleash even our own creativity at different points in time in different ways. I’ve decided to proceed with my methods and my broader concepts around creativity and innovation.

I prefer a constant mix of input to stay creative. Sometimes, I need the amazing beauty of a wild landscape. Sometimes I prefer to wander an art museum, amazed by inspiration and talents in years past. Sometimes I want my own hands in the paint, in the kitchen, or in the colored pencils, creating my own art. Sometimes I like to study the architectural and engineering designs of the past to find something useful for something new. Sometimes I enjoy reading the wisdom, research, and creations of others. And sometimes, I like to play the learning ‘serious play’ games that allow us to work together, to talk, to laugh, to reconsider, to ask new questions, to consider a different future, to challenge assumptions, to mix ideas across our cultural differences. Closing the door to any of those methods of creativity limits the funny and unexpected findings that actually allow for the creativity of the ‘new’.

If you’d like to read more, I have enjoyed this article by Linda Naiman. It appears that she and I are aligned in our thinking and approaches.

I’ll also be reading another wise source about creativity and flow, “Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

“Creativity is the process of bringing something new into being. Creativity requires passion and commitment. It brings to our awareness what was previously hidden and points to new life. The experience is one of heightened consciousness: ecstasy.” 

– Rollo May, The Courage to Create

How do you find creativity?

Published by Thene Sheehy

Living & Working in the Silver Coast of Portugal

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