05 Jan Is Creativity a Joke? – The Power of the SIX ROCK
I think it’s time to ask ourselves the adult question is creativity a joke?
For years, people have been trying to learn how to be more creative. They assume if they can learn how to master creativity, they can become a great innovator. But the reality is the creativity in all of us is limitless. The real success to inventing stuff is using our natural creative power and applying it to the needs, problems, and opportunities of others.
Creativity: Look Dad, a Six Rock!
Contrary to popular belief, we do not have radiance of creative power. We are truly created equal when it comes to our creative powers. The difference between successful inventors and the average Joe is that inventors have learned how to be active observers. Active observation requires an ignition point. For example, the other day I was sitting by the pool with my young daughter and she handed me a rock and said, look dad, a six rock. I looked at the rock and I was puzzled because it looked just like a rock. But after detailed study I found an extremely subtle but perfectly formed number 6 in the rock. I could have walked by the rock a million times and would have never seen it.
My daughter, who just finished kindergarten, was ignited to innovate around letters and numbers. They talked about, sang about and read about letters and numbers. She was literally programmed to connect her creative resources to an innovation target. So it turns out that successful inventing is really about connecting your innate creative powers to a market or a product.
For successful innovation, creativity should focus on quality, not quantity. How else does creativity factor into the invention process? What else is there to creativity and innovation? It is true that everyone is born perfectly creative the caveat is that our creativity comes in different innate forms. I have found that the most successful innovators in my research or individuals that connect their unique and beautiful creativity to a customer and a market. If you’re creativity superpower is coding chances are you can transmute that natural linguistic power into an innovation that delivers customer and market value. Conversely, if your creativity superpower is your ability to create beautiful artistic things then you should leverage that natural power to invent products and services that deliver beautiful aesthetic value. Okay, before you slam me, I know what you’re thinking – but wait I am special and I have a unique genius and suggesting that some people are not more creative than others is simply wrong. I would love to believe that as well, after all I have 42 patents that span multiple industries I would love to believe that I’m more creative and for that matter more intelligent than others. It may be true that I am more knowledgeable in some areas than others because I made the decision to learn more about something. But to suggest that I’m going to win at innovation by going through some lame creativity process is simply a joke. Do I sound angry? Maybe I just went to an event where they brought in creativity consultants where they had otherwise intelligent executives involved in some bizarre exercises to try to extract their creativity. This is cruel and unusual punishment the truth of the matter is… innovation starts with a desire to gain insights about customer market needs, problems and opportunities and then it leverages our innate creative skills to deliver layered and dynamic value to a marketplace and a customer.
reativity does have its place in that we need to help individuals especially kids connect with their unique and special gifts so that they can deliver them to a universe that is waiting anxiously.