Run a quick Google search, and Creativity is defined as “the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.”
I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of creativity, and how its meaning and purpose have evolved over time. Two decades ago, you probably viewed the idea of being ‘creative’ from the more artistic perspective. A creative soul was someone who danced, and sang and wrote and painted. In quintessence, a ‘creator’ of something that didn’t pre-exist.
The 21st century definition of creativity, however, has evolved. Particularly in the business context, And in my opinion, a great real-life instance to illustrate this is the multitude of innovative start-ups that we’ve witnessed. The entrepreneurial acumen in my opinion today, demands a great amount of creativity. For the purpose of ideation. For business model iteration. For hacks and fixes. And for differentiation. Creativity today is as much about being the creator, as it is about being the innovator, and the problem solver. And this can be as much inside out, as it can be outside in.
A personal favorite book that in my opinion illustrates this concept is Eric Schmidt’s How Google Works, which discusses the concept of smart creatives. And I couldn’t help appreciate how relevant that is to today’s business context. Creative thinking, combined with strategic prowess is a portent force that allows organizations to constantly remain on their feet, and remain relevant.
Of course, the rise of technology, and big data serve as great tools to allow us to execute creative methodologies and processes like never before. Technology makes innovation easier, and data allows pattern recognition and insight generation like never before. And this is where creativity emerges as the problem solver, and the solution to multiple paint points . While there may be critics of the overarching presence of technology and data, I would call them enablers rather than substitutes. For in the ultimate analysis , it takes the curious, insightful brain that needs to think, conceptualize and drive solutions. Creativity today exists as much to create as it does to drive solutions, as to take multiple routes to the same destination.
As a ‘creative person’ myself, it is heartwarming to see the world finally nod in acceptance to the potential that creative, innovative thinking has finally accorded an approval manifested in so many different schools of creative thought and process. Design Thinking. Creative Entrepreneurship. Social innovation. The world standing up for the dreamers, the thinkers, the passionate, the brave hearted and the off-beaters. And as someone belonging to most of these categories, I’d like to believe the creative revolution is here to stay.