Category Archives: Creative behaviour

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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What prevents people from celebrating World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21?

Even though the WCID April 21 celebration is relatively new, it’s growing, and people are learning about it now that it is a United Nations Day of Observance.

Do you think that feeling self-conscious may prevent people from celebrating their capacity to generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes to make the world a better place and make their place in the world better too?
Think about it.

When it comes to creativity, many say they want to make sure they get it ‘right’ as if there is an external measure to meet, as if there is a perfection standard they must attain. There isn’t. Not where creativity is involved.*

Creativity is a natural process that results from a restlessness to change or improve the status quo. (Segal, 2001). We all feel that restlessness from time to time. We engage in new and different activities, use new patterns of thinking, perceive with new eyes, and/or seek new experiences. We might structure things differently, relate to others in new ways as a result.  Examples:  rearrange furniture; modify a recipe; take a new route to school; eat breakfast for dinner; hold meetings in a different location; invite unusual suspects to participate in the planning process.

Margaret Mead

Each these could be considered creative.  American Anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “In as much as someone has done something new for himself, he can be considered to have committed a creative act.” To which I like to add – whether other people consider it creative or not.

Backward Clock

Moving forward There’s no turning back the clock. We moved forward. We are creating the future with today’s resources and ideas. The World Economic Forum predicts creativity to be one of the top three skills employees will need by 2020. Yes, we moved on.

Creativity is one of our resources. By celebrating it every year April 21 and during the week leading up to it beginning on Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday, April 15 we prepare for the future.

Thought catalysts For your WCID this year, and for every year moving forward consider these thought catalysts

  • What is in your environment that can do with some improving?
    Improve it.
  • What ordinary activity might you make more fun?
    Make it more fun.
  • What efficiencies might you bring to a process? Bring them.

New ideas need a soft place to land. Remember there is balance in the universe.  Every idea influences a reaction. Giving new ideas a soft place to land will be the focus of a future blog post.

Confusion about creativity The term creative can be confusing. Insert the term before each of the following as an example:  economies, industries, advertising, agencies, media, digital, technology, sports plays, arts, commons, market, writing, images, resumes, ideas, photography, dance, quotes. In each instance, there’s a slightly different meaning.

A practical approach  For our purposes, to enable everyone to celebrate WCID and WCIW here’s the understanding used:  Generating new ideas, making new decisions, taking new actions and achieving new outcomes that make the world a better place and make your place in the world better too.

Remember to upload your WCID2018 and WCIW2018 actions to share with the world.


Segal, Marci (2001) Creativity and Personality Type: Tools for understanding and inspiring the many voices of creativity. Huntington Beach: Telos Publications.

Longevity fuels creativity, and vice versa

See on Scoop.itCreativity and Learning Insights

Neurological research may explain why many ‘creative types,’ from attorneys to painters, do their best work late in life.

Marci Segal, MS‘s insight:

For creativity, "it helps to be happy. Multiple studies show happiness contributes to a longer life, and those who are exercising their creative potential are more likely to be content."

See on blogs.marketwatch.com

The Five Characteristics of Successful Innovators

See on Scoop.itInnovation Articles fresh, inspiring and rehashed

They’re not lone geniuses, big-risk takers, or college drop-outs.

Marci Segal, MS‘s insight:

Qualities of successful innovators:
1) opportunistic mindset

2) formal education/training

3) high degree of persistence

4) prudence

5) social capital 

 

as well as a mission, long term vision, the ability to propel others toward innovation. 

 

Doable? You bet.

See on blogs.hbr.org

Creativity Is Really Just Persistence, And Science Can Prove It

See on Scoop.itCreativity and Learning Insights

We already knew that as Woody Allen has pointed out success is overwhelmingly about showing up. Now fresh studies help us understand why that is.

Marci Segal, MS‘s insight:

Continue in your work….  Live beyond the Santa Claus world that leads us to believe in a sudden insight, flash of genius. What if creativity is just about perseverance?  Hm?

See on www.fastcompany.com

10 Ways to Overcome Creativity’s No.1 Crusher – World of Psychology

See on Scoop.itCreativity and Learning Insights

“The worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt,” wrote Sylvia Plath in her journal. And she couldn’t have been more accurate. Self-doubt can persuade us to s

Marci Segal, MS‘s insight:

You can use World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21 to bolster your (and others’) creative confidence

See on psychcentral.com

How Daydreaming Can Actually Make You Smarter

See on Scoop.itCreativity and Learning Insights

Daydreaming gets a pretty bad rap. It’s often equated with laziness, and we tend to write off people with wandering minds as being absent-minded “space cadets” who can’t get their heads out of the clouds.

Marci Segal, MS‘s insight:

Read this article to open your mind for passive approaches to creativity. Thanks to John Cabra for this link. Brilliant!

See on m.huffpost.com