Preparing a book is on what creative people think about creativity. 

By | 22nd March 2018

Extract from book:

Collaboration

We could remember when dealing with others that we ourselves delete and distort the past and only use what suits us. An idea would be to constantly redefine ourselves and our role in the group and asking ourselves how we are functioning in this role. From my own experience, this seldom happens, as it is too difficult to do in the heat of the moment. Ideally we should take care not to fall too easily into  the drama triangle of persecutor, rescuer, and victim. And as Gandhi famously said, “Be the change you want to see”.

Dr Jeff DeGraff, a professional speaker, author and business advisor says that what is lacking in a situation when creatives work with non creatives is “meaningful appreciation of the different levels of creativity”. Dr Jeff deGraff says that we are all creative, only if we bear in mind that there are 5 different types of creativity.

The first is “Mimetic” creativity” which is a Greek word and means to mimic, and is the most basic form of creativity. This would entail copying ideas or images, with slight variations and calling them ones own. Then there is “Biosociative” creativity from the book “Art of creation “ by Arthur Koestler  where he describes how our conscious mind, can connect two opposing thoughts to produce that great flash of an idea. This form of creativity gives one the confidence to assume that one is creative and enables one to contribute to brain storming meetings. 

“Analogical” is another more advanced form of creativity in which a person can disrupt habit-bound thinking to make way for new ideas. Dr Jeff deGraff says you can develop your analogical creativity whereby you imagine what someone else might say or do if faced with a particular challenge.

“Narratological”creativity, is what all writers, and visual creatives naturally do, and that is the storytelling, created around products, ideas, lifestyle, art and marketing etc. These invented stories are often of a mythic significance and importance.  And finally there is “Intuitive” creativity, which Dr Jeff Graff says is the realm of spiritual and the wisdom traditions. “This is where creativity becomes bigger and possibly beyond us and  it transcends our individuality” he says. The basic idea is to relax the mind to create a “flow state of consciousness” where innovative ideas come easily.

Leading a group

A rule of thumb to navigate through office politics and at the same time, come up with some ground breaking innovation is to keep in mind that if you want people to behave in a certain way, behave that way yourself. Leading a group aught to be regarded as a privilege, not a burden. However many group leaders do not share this way of thinking which naturally allows for more openness. They are generally anchored in their own authority, being either informed by their past or consumed by it.

Until you have your own moral anchor it is difficult to lead, because to improve as a leader one has to be right at the edge of uncertainty, and most leaders will fall short of doing this, preferring instead, their comfort zone. We all hate uncertainty, but it is from this uncertainty that true creativity springs. 

Brain storming 

A favourite past time in some offices is Brain storming. A diverse group of creative and non-creative people sit around a large table to “play at being creative”. It doesn’t always work. Post-it notes fly up onto the walls, and the those who naturally like talking will shout their suggestions and those who don’t like talking will say nothing.  People think that creativity is chaotic, messy and theatrical and that it suits the brain storming table. But it in fact creativity is only seen as the process from the outside, and no one sees the process of doubt, uncertainty, and fear of failure, that the creative has gone through to come up with that one potentially innovative idea. 

Brain storming around a table is staying in ones comfort zone, and it is very seldom that anyone would step out of the comfort zone and bring seeming bizarre ideas to the table without the high probability of looking foolish. What we do is normally grounded in what we did before. The neuroscientist, Dr Beau Lotto says, that creativity begins by asking a question, which leads to uncertainty and we all hate uncertainly, however the irony is that this risk taking, shifts things in the way we think, and only then can we start putting unrelated things together, and bring something interesting and innovative to the table.

Another reason why they don’t work is that in order to get the maximum of innovative ideas, each participant needs to have done some research on the brain storming topic. This is seldom done and consequently only brings superficial or already know ideas to the table. Smaller teams generally are able to research more deeply and can be viewed as “disruptive” and therefore are able to succeed further into the future. Larger teams are better at development work.

An example of deep research is the knowledge that people don’t naturally like to run (except for less that 10% who are part of the sporting and athletic population). However by helping people to find ways to like running, sports brands have built $multi-million businesses. The success of these businesses came from an enormous amount of research, gained form asking questions and gathering data about how we get dressed in the mornings, what we eat and drink, and how we act and think during the day. Within this information lay the keys as to why people don’t like to run, but for reasons that were marketed to them, they would be prepared to take it up as something enjoyable, sociable, healthy and enabled them to feel good. With research turned into a marketing language, they would be happy to run and fuel a multi million global business. 

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