Apple is known for creativity, HP is not.
Is that random, or a series of choices that accumulates to one direction or the other?
Asking what makes an organization or leader ‘creative’ is bound to get some soft answers. The field I’m in, marketing, is often viewed as an art more than a science and certainly relies on some natural talent and intuition of the marketer. One thing that stands out in all sorts of creative field is the way in which we approach things, or “think differently”.
Is this something that can be taught, or hired, or transferred in the training of people? In other words, is this a make vs. buy, you either have it or you don’t choice, or can creativity be built…?
Creative thinking is to my mind a series of incremental moves. While we all have natural tendencies, the ability to infuse creativity into the way we process stuff might make a difference.
Let’s take this apart:
We gather data,
absorb and perceive it,
filter and sort it,
bucket and group it,
and interpret and analyze it.
At each step, a series of choices are being made. The question is what is the filter on those choices.
The degree to which we absorb information that doesn’t fit into our current perspective and then perceive the difference is key. The degree to which you can keep seeing new things into the data field that doesn’t jive with all the data already in your head allows for incremental improvements. The degree to which you are willing to let new ideas in, and keep testing paradigms is key to enabling creativity. Zeroing in, then in on what’s working rather than what’s not and then crave new ideas, inspiration, aspiration for what could be. I would say then that Creativity could be tied to visioning.
Creativity in an organization, it seems to me, is limited by the degree to which conformity in the organization is valued.
Every day, the opportunity to engage in creative thinking stands before us in all kinds of situations, good and bad, large and small. It leads directly to the thrill of great ideas over blase ones, and the opportunities associated with bringing those to market.