Sunday, November 5

Maybe Creativity Will Save Us



(This article also appears on HuffPost -
click here to read it there)


I recently read an enlightening article that dissected the importance of the creative arts in our culture. Not only was it an entertaining read, but it really got me thinking about our particular industry and the social/political/economic environment we currently face every day. It’s never been easy running a business and marketing it, but I feel like our collective culture these days is making it even harder.

Which is why creativity is so important...now more than ever. For our industry as much as any other.

Sure, when most people think about creativity, they immediately go to the creative arts. But it’s so much bigger than that, which is why the article struck me as being so relevant to the marketing industry.

When we think of creativity, we automatically think of painters, sculptors, musicians, dancers, etc. In our field of business and marketing, when we think of creativity we often immediately go to the writers and graphic artists that create advertising and digital/social content.

Yes, indeed, those people are all creative. They exude creativity. Their very hearts and souls are all about creativity. I’ve loved working with many of them through the years.

I myself consider myself to be creative.

In my experience, these “creatives” are also the embodiment of self-expression and individuality. Their creativity gives them a platform to showcase what they are all about. They constantly prove that they are unique in their skills and their passions, and they continually bring diversity of thinking to any situation. I love having these “creative” folks on teams because they challenge the status quo and they offer divergent perspectives.

I try to do the same.

But these “creatives” are not alone in these creative traits. All of us have the ability to be “creative” in our own right, within our own roles at work (and at home for that matter).

In a marketplace that has become increasingly competitive and fast-paced, creative thinking and alternative problem solving has become a competitive advantage to stay afloat. Scenario planning is tablestakes these days, as teams need a range of skills in order to accomplish complex tasks and manage team matrices.

We all have had to learn to be “creative” to keep our jobs and our businesses in the game.

Which is why creativity is so important...now more than ever.

So yes, this is all so true, but there’s also a new phenomenon happening that is requiring creativity for a different set of reasons.

We have become increasingly less tolerant of each other and increasingly isolated in our thinking. I know this may sound like a contradiction, but while we need to be constantly changing in order to keep up, we are, at the same time, reverting back to that which makes us comfortable.

These two things are not good for diverse thinking and they are not good for business. Or for life. And dare I say for community growth.

We need creativity to break away from these recent trends that I believe are setting us backwards. We need creativity to reject mediocrity and to move into new territories. We need creativity to break the mold of what’s been done before, and we need creativity to open up our worlds to accept beyond the expected and beyond any borders that have been built.

We need creativity now more than ever to save ourselves from what’s been happening in our culture. We need creativity to problem solve and get us out of this mess. Creativity will allow us to think in a diverse way, to include the many of us in our thinking, and to solve business issues that will keep us on the leading edge.

The good news is that entrepreneurs are inherently creative and our entire economy is built on the ingenuity of the entrepreneurial spirit. As entrepreneurs, we have learned to take the unchartered path that can lead to greatness and as entrepreneurs we naturally look to what’s not been done before.

Entrepreneurs disrupt what’s not working and we include others who have talents that go beyond our own.

And perhaps that is what will turn this all around. Entrepreneurial creativity. It’s the backbone of business, with diversity and problem solving at its root.

We need it now more than ever.

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