Apologies Monsieur Descartes. Forgive me, but I changed up your famous philosophical quote on thinking ‘cos I want to shatter the conspiracy theory on creativity. Désolé, je ne parle pas français, so here it goes in English:
All humans are creative
Creativity starts with an idea
Therefore – as a human – you are creative,
with an idea as your starting point
We are all creative. Humans can’t exist without ideating or dreaming up ideas which form the basis of creativity.
Sadly there’s a conspiracy about creativity and it wants to shoot us down. It says that creativity only belongs to a gifted few like ad man Don Draper and others working in so-called creative industries.
Even this conspiracy theory is only an idea and a rogue one.
Creativity doesn’t live here
I remain gobsmacked at the number of people who genuinely believe they aren’t creative. I’ve met and continue to meet them on my professional travels. They include women assembling things in factories, bajaj and tuk tuk drivers, barristers, research scientists, chief technology officers, general practitioners and captains of industry.
They come from all walks of life and based on our conversations, sometimes in broken English, many share a common belief: ‘creativity is not my gig’.
More surprising is that even people with a remit to generate sparkling ideas sometimes don’t see themselves as creative; I’ve encountered many throughout my ‘creative career’.
I’m not talking about their moments of self-doubt or creative roadblocks. Instead, I mean they flatly don’t believe they are creative. This is despite successfully dreaming up and executing ways to give organisations and their executives a better share of voice or face than competitors.
I can only imagine that the conspiracy theory has got to them. They did not and do not realise that ideating is to humans what a southerly buster is to nature when cold air collides with mountain ranges and wind; it just happens and you can’t stop it.
I’ve even worked with and for people in big corporations, like Fortune 500, who were fearful to work in a “creative job” because it would mean having to come up with ideas, even great ones, on demand.
What they don’t know is that ideas, and especially great ones, go all out to meet deadlines and expectations.
When great ideas arrive
We all know when a great idea has arrived. You simply want to kiss or lick it. You know what I’m talking about. Even better is when you hear a great idea and have to tell others. That’s what 1,880 people did when they clicked “Like” on Branka Delic’s Facebook page.
Delic dreamed that Jon Bon Jovi, her music hero, would walk her down the aisle on her Vegas wedding day. She shared her dream with the world via Facebook and attracted a groundswell of support. Her big idea soon caught the rock God’s attention and he happily obliged, only three days ago. Of course he would, he’s such an awesome guy.
There are loads of ‘how to’ resources on creativity and you can pay lots of money to attend courses and workshops to learn more, but what you need to know most of all is that you are creative, just by generating ideas. Believe it. Look what self belief in her creativity did for Branka Delic.
Be sure to check out the next post which includes my top three tips for dreaming up ideas full of possibility.