Creativity...create. Being creative...creating. In this post, we pause and delve into the fundamental aspects of certain key concepts that reside deep within us, arising from our innate creative potential. We eventually throw in some big questions - like where do ideas come from? - and set the stage for our concept of interest: nurturing creative potential. This will be a useful read in preparation for our following blog, in which we will dive deeper into the connection between creativity in (un)-controlled environments and contexts; an artists dilemma?
We are all Artists in Life
We like to look at every human as a (potential) artist in life. We all have creative potential within us. Some process it literally through the arts, others through their hobbies, work, families or a combination of all. Finding the right outlet to express it is part of life's beautiful challenges. It invites us to explore and to experience it's colourful facets.
Some of us are born into - or are navigating in - environments in which freedom of individuality and expression is celebrated and nourished, allowing for limitless and natural exploration of expression. Others find themselves in stricter settings, confined by a projection of other people's ideas, shaped by high expectations and regulated by guidance and monitoring.
Which contexts trigger our creative potential the most?
Which contexts trigger our creative potential the most? Even though one might find more arguments for the first, we believe both can be wonderful sources for creativeness. Before we shed light on our belief (ref: Artist's Dilemma ~ Being creative in (un)controlled contexts), we think a little refresher on how creativity is commonly defined (*) and a small sense making of the underlying characteristics will be useful.
About Creativity & Innovation
Creativity is rising in popularity these days. It often seems to be referred to (subconsciously) as a container for yet unknown solutions ideally tackled in a unique way. But Let's look into the official definition first before jumping to assumptions.
What is creativity?
''Creativity is the ability to generate, combine, and transform ideas, concepts, or materials in original and valuable ways. It involves the capacity to think divergently, make unique connections, and approach problems or challenges from fresh perspectives. Creativity encompasses the generation of novel solutions, the development of innovative products or processes, and the creation of artistic works that reflect individual expression and imagination. It is a multidimensional and dynamic cognitive process that involves elements such as curiosity, imagination, flexibility, and problem-solving skills. Creativity is not limited to any specific domain and can be applied in various areas of human endeavour, including art, science, technology, business, and everyday life. It plays a crucial role in driving innovation, fostering personal growth, and enriching our understanding and experience of the world.''*
Is a novel and valuable solution really a criteria for being creative?
Is a novel and valuable solution really a criteria for being creative? So far, we understand that creativity refers to the ability to come up with ideas. Being considered as 'original', 'new', 'valuable' or 'innovative' lies in the eye of the beholder, hence context, scope and perspective are relevant parameters for evaluation. Nonetheless, if novel and valuable is a characteristic of creativity, what differentiates innovation from creativity then? Let's explore a little further...
What is Innovation?
''Innovation refers to the process of creating or introducing new ideas, methods, products, or services that bring about significant improvements, advancements, or changes to existing systems or practices. It involves the application of creativity, knowledge, and expertise to generate novel solutions or approaches to address challenges or seize opportunities.
Innovation often involves a combination of invention, development, and implementation, leading to the creation of something valuable and useful. Innovations can range from incremental improvements to radical breakthroughs that revolutionise industries or transform society."*
Creativity is about the ability to generate ideas, innovation is about actively engaging into the idea generating process and bringing those ideas to life, with the distinct emphasis on impact, progress or improvement a result.
If creativity is about the ability to generate ideas, innovation is about actively engaging into the idea generating process and bringing those ideas to life, with the distinct emphasis on impact, progress or improvement a result.
What does being innovative mean?
''Being innovative means actively engaging in the process of creating and implementing new ideas, approaches, or solutions to address challenges, improve existing systems, or capitalise on opportunities. It involves a mindset of curiosity, creativity, and a willingness to explore and embrace change.
Being innovative entails several key aspects:
Creativity: Being innovative involves thinking creatively and generating original ideas. It requires the ability to think beyond conventional boundaries, connect disparate concepts, and come up with novel solutions.
Problem-solving: Innovators are adept at identifying problems or areas for improvement and finding effective ways to address them. They approach challenges with a solutions-oriented mindset, seeking to develop unique and efficient approaches.
Adaptability: Being innovative requires adaptability and openness to change. Innovators are willing to experiment, learn from failures, and iterate on their ideas. They embrace new technologies, methodologies, and perspectives that can enhance their work.
Risk-taking: Innovation often involves taking calculated risks and stepping outside of one's comfort zone. Innovators understand that not all attempts will succeed, but they are willing to take risks and learn from both successes and failures.
Collaboration: Innovation is often a collaborative effort that benefits from diverse perspectives and expertise. Innovators are skilled at collaborating with others, sharing ideas, and leveraging collective intelligence to create breakthrough solutions.
Continuous learning: Innovators have a mindset of continuous learning and improvement. They actively seek knowledge, stay updated on trends and advancements in their field, and are open to acquiring new skills and insights.''*
So we understand that It inherently refers to the ability of being creative and thus the ability to generate ideas. Our little exploration ultimately leads us to the conclusion that it all boils down to ideas and the most relevant question: where do ideas actually come from?
It all boils down to ideas and the most relevant question: where do ideas actually come from?
Exploring the Origins of Ideas
We do not claim to have an answer to this big question. However, we do make a link to creative potential, as it is the concept referring to - or area of - untapped ideas.
''Creative potential refers to the innate or untapped capacity within an individual to generate and express new and original ideas, solutions, or forms of artistic expression. It is the inherent ability to think divergently, make unique connections, and approach problems or challenges in innovative ways. Creative potential encompasses imagination, curiosity, flexibility, and the willingness to take risks and explore unconventional paths. It involves breaking away from conventional thinking and exploring uncharted territories to discover novel possibilities. Creative potential is not limited to artistic endeavours but can be applied across various domains, including science, technology, business, and everyday problem-solving. It represents the reservoir of creative abilities and talents that individuals possess, which can be nurtured, developed, and unleashed through practice, exposure to diverse experiences, and a supportive environment.''*
Creative potential is luring behind the ideas. Courage is part of the recipe to unravel the layers between you and your potential.
Creative potential is within you, within us. It is luring behind the ideas. Courage is part of the recipe to unravel the layers between you and your potential.
Values & Visioning Sessions with Sparks
One Spark. Infinite Opportunities. As part of our Values Driven Journey and in context of the bigger picture, which we wrapped up in our Contextscanner©, we offer Values & Visioning sessions for anyone who would like to get inspired by their own hidden potentials.
The conscious mind is the creative mind. Tap into the secrets you might still be carrying with you about yourself.
Whether you are seeking for new sources of inspiration, are in the midst of a transition looking for anchors to stabilise, or are curious about the deeper layers that have guided your decision making subconsciously so far: our groundwork on cues from past to imagined future will provide a rich ground of information and trigger for creative thought, aka ideas.
* Sections indicated by '' are taken from my conversation with Chatgpt // openai.com