Monday, June 11, 2012

Where Does Creativity Come From?


Merriam Webster defines creative as having the ability to create rather than to imitate. Creativity is about originality, imagination and in this case, the production of some kind of idea. This process is not complex. 

If creativity was complex, it would probably be easier. If it was broken down into a detailed formula or mathematical structure, creativity could be predictable and manageable. Creativity is not complex until it tries to be persuasive. The variables that come into play when trying to present a creative idea as a means of trying to get someone to do something becomes extremely complex and reliant on countless, unseen variables.

Being creative, however, is simple. Original ideas come down to a person's affinity for thinking differently and being aware of their idiosyncrasies. Everyone has a level of creativity, but the misnomer is that the most creative person can produce an original idea at will. While this is a fantastic skill to have, it is not really the most useful, especially because it is easy to believe you are creative when you're not. You can know when you are being creative by simply knowing where creativity comes from.  

Creativity comes from objectivity. Without delving too much into philosophy, it is imperative to remember that originality is a product of being separated from bias and consistent thinking. This is why anyone can be creative. It is because anyone can and will be objective at some point in regards to the creation of some kind of idea or concept. In business, proposals and campaigns are pitched to management in an effort to accomplish objective approval. The managers have an incentive to be unbiased. For that reason, a good idea must be interpreted objectively first and foremost. 

If I am creating an advertising campaign to generate sales for shoelaces, I will have a hard time if I create a concept built upon my own love of shoelaces. Creative ideas come from the practitioner who says, "What if I wore sandals everyday? What would get me to buy shoelaces? What is persuasive about shoelaces?" 

The point is that the process of creativity can be achieved through more than just meditation or thinking really hard. It takes preparation and an awareness of your own ability to produce something original and genuine. If you find that you can't produce something that your boss doesn't like even though you apparently love it, it's probably because you aren't creating something. You are imitating your own wants and desires that, in this case, have no real effect on anyone else. 

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.

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