Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Creativity: You can't fake it

Justin Brady, owner of the Test of Time graphic design company, writes about how some companies have it all wrong on the creativity subject (WSJ, May 23, 2013).

Along the lines of my post below on serendipity, Brady says some companies open up work spaces, create tiny conference rooms, set  out catering, and offer free child care--and then wait for the ideas to flow.

....Anything yet?


Creativity and its cousin innovation, as Brady terms it, are not the product of gimmicks.

The gimmicks come out of the creative environment--not the other way around.

"The process of real creativity," Brady writes, "is messy, chaotic, sometimes even disgusting, and it reeks of failure, experimentation, and disorganization."

Most leaders don't want real creativity, they just want the results of it, Brady says.

Truly creative companies have leaders that listen, strain to find meaning in what the person is saying.

They empathize, put themselves in the speaker's shoes.  They WORK to find the truth in what the person is suggesting or saying.

And third, you need trust. Sometimes an idea makes no sense to anyone but the innovator--you need to trust that person in order to poke, prod, and form the idea.

If you hate failure, you aren't ready for creativity. It's scary and sloppy. And letting people bring their pets to work or offering free wine on Friday afternoon won't make it appear out of nowhere.