Category Archives: Conversation starter

Creativity presents a moral dilemma. True?

Is creativity the right thing for everyone? It depends on how you look at it.

Creativity is Amoral

Mark Runco, a respected creativity researcher and executive director of the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development at the University of Georgia also says that creativity is amoral. He writes

“…moral action is sometimes defined as “doing the right thing,” but “right” assumes a value system, and that means that the action is consistent with existing values. Doing the
right thing might therefore preclude creativity, given that creativity requires originality. It may be novelty, uniqueness, unusualness, or rarity, but in some way all creativity requires originality. One complication, then, is that too often moral action is tied to the status quo, while creative action is contrarian or at least highly unusual” ( The Continuous Nature of Moral Creativity, in Morality, Ethics and Gifted Minds, Springer, 2009. p.107)

Hm…

Is it possible that when we encourage people to use their creativity, say, during World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21, to make the world a better place and make their place in the world better too that it rubs some people the wrong way because they perceive using their creativeness as immoral?

Values are different from group to group: what’s important and treasured in one culture or society may be perceived as taboo or forbidden in another. Perhaps there are taboos associated with creativity in different culture groups that have yet to be fully explored.

Creativity in different cultures: a small sample

At the Creative Problem Solving Institute in Buffalo, many years ago, I spoke to as many people as I could from nations around the world asking about creatiivty in their culture.

A Greek let me know that people aren’t creative, it’s God who is, and that all creativity comes from him. An Egyptian said the same thing. I began to consider what practices and beliefs we might be challenging when encouraging people to access their creativeness. Cultural relativism is an important lens to use.

Innovation okay in business, creativeness not?

In business, energy for innovation is okay; energy for creativity, not-so much. Taboo? Forbidden?

  • Innovation maintains the status quo using systems, structures, measures and thinking directed to support a positive economic outcome.
  • Creativity, on the other hand, speaks to the human spirit, and giving free reign to the unlimited imaginative potential, without necessarily bringing it back to the bottom line.

We’ll certainly need the power of creative imagination to dream up ways business will be more relevant in months and years to come.“

“To develop great, innovative products or services that are sustainable and life giving, you have to use your creativeness.”

Bottom line: How to include people in the process of creating the new future who may believe using creativity is immoral?

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Creativity is energy – what if…

What if creativity had nothing to do with thinking at all?
What if creativity is an energy that everyone has and uses to generate new ideas, make new decisions and take new actions.

clinks_what-if_graphic_blue_1
source: http://www.chiangraitimes.com/jens-English-tips-using-the-word-if.html

What if the energy is blocked, that people do some things that stop it from flowing.
Learning skills associated with releasing creativity means learning ways to enable its energy to flow.
What if during World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21 every year people all over the world felt welcome to let the energy of their natural creativity flow… blocks removed, doors opened, awareness gained, partnerships strengthened; we are, after all, sharing this planet together.
What if we collectively used our creativity to make the world a better place and to make our place in the world better too – by seeing with new pairs of eyes, imagining new ideas, exploring  new decisions, risking new actions
Creativity includes an ability to make associations that aren’t immediately obvious. Let’s give it a chance.
Sign on to World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21.
Commit to participate, spread the spark, use imagination to make this world a better place and to make your place in the world better too.
Show your commitment in comments and tweets…
Wouldn’t it be great to see this grow?  #wciw2017 #wcid
 
 
 

The Creative Power of Meeting Eyeball to Eyeball


The subtleties of in-person interaction are critical … to creativity. A team of researchers from two U.S. universities and three European universities studied interactions within several teams at the University of Cologne that were trying to find new methods of prediction and analysis in psychology, economics, computer science and other fields; independent raters judged the creativity and quality of the teams’ ideas.
Understanding group creativity is increasingly important as more organizational problem solving gets done by teams rather than individuals; when Oxford Economics asked major employers to name the skills they want most in employees, “co-creativity and brainstorming” ranked near the top.
Additionally….The main reason Google serves its employees gourmet food for free is to make sure they’ll go to the cafeterias, where they’ll meet randomly in person. Google even measures the time spent waiting in line; three to four minutes is optimal.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.newsweek.com. Read this article.  Worth it!
 

Look for Invisible Potential

Individual and collective creativity are the motors of innovation.
To prepare for World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21, 2016

  • Look at how creative your people can be and what the conditions are to make them creative.
  • See your situation and resources with new eyes, transcend away confrontational style of communication to an inclusive one. (For example, replace the phrase ‘yes, but’, with ‘yes, and’)
  • Focus on the creative potential of the people involved.
  • Keep in mind: Seeing creative potential doesn’t necessarily mean being able to work with it.  That’s another skill set. To be covered later on.

(adapted from Citizen-Driven Innovation Guidebook issued by the World Bank)
 

This Melbourne company’s secret to success? Cardboard boxes | SmartPlanet

See on Scoop.itCreativity and Learning Insights

MELBOURNE — Inspired by the humble cardboard box, a Melbourne toy company has found a way to encourage creativity in young children.

Marci Segal, MS‘s insight:

Mr. PotatoHead for boxes.  This toy inspires children to create together in collaboration.  Notice how the toy maker uses toy packaging to enable exploration rather than have the package go to waste (as in many toys).

See on www.smartplanet.com

Conversation about Creativity is Changing

Former US President Bill Clinton, Richard Florida, author of the Creative Class and Director of the Martin Prosperity Center,  & Walter Isaacson, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute discuss why creativity matters….and the importance of creative collaboration. At the Creativity Conference in Washington, DC, April 26, 2013.

http://bit.ly/10nLSBw

It’s great to see these kinds of conversations are happening, replacing the one’s people used to have – about who is creative and who isn’t.  Agree?  Imagine if that was the tone in 2001 at the Canadian Millennium Conference – there’s a chance World Creativity and Innovation Week (WCIW) April 15 – 21 might not have come to be.

Thanks to Michelle James for the link to this video.

Chaos and Potential

chaosWhat if we could redefine chaos and uncertainty?
The modern idea of chaos—something totally without order and seemingly disruptive by nature—was formed during Roman times, when writer/philosopher Ovid chose to put his stamp on the whole idea in Metamorphosis, calling it “a rude and undeveloped mass, that nothing made except a ponderous weight; and all discordant elements confused, were there congested in a shapeless heap.”

Before that, the Greek Chaos (Khaos) was less of a “void” or a mess. It was understood as a gap filled with fertile potential from which everything and anything could come.

Chaos holds a certain fascination. Within its vast, undefined gap exists every potential which could ever be. This is how this creativity professional feels. When a change occurs, sudden or planned, my first reaction is, “What’s that about?” with an eye to recognizing what is ending. The second is, “I wonder what’s next.” Third, “What potentials are presenting themselves as trumpet calls for moving forward?”

My wish is that all people feel confident drawing from C/chaos’ endless, unbounded potential in creating something new, something unknown, something possibly highly useful, delightful, intriguing or otherwise.

This is why World Creativity and Innovation Week, April 15 – 21 exists. To encourage and engage people all over the world to use their creativity (new ideas and new decisions) to make the world a better place and to make their place in the world better too, without causing harm.

And this is why my professional work is in creativity – to help people in organizations unleash the unlimited potential to realize successful and exciting new futures.