I have spent a lot of time defining the creative process. I thought, if there was something in common with the ways we create and there was indeed some kind of process, then it would make sense to know where we are in the flow when performing an act of creation whether it is a photograph, a painting, a poem, a novel, a piece of music, new technology, a piece of fine art or even an advertisement. Perhaps, if we knew where we were in the process, we could become ‘more’ creative. To a large extent this has been proven to be true in the process of problem solving – certainly in the corporate world. Much has been written about how important it is to introduce creativity to seemingly non-creative people where creative problems come from the outside/in.
It is Not About You
On May 30th, 2011, NY Times columnist David Brooks wrote a piece that is completely contrary to everything I believe in and teach. Here are some highlights, I suggest that you read the column in its entirety and then read Anna Quindlin’s advice to graduates from 1999. Brooks delivers an Op Ed piece that supports problem solving at the expense of creativity, experimentation, learning, and passion. I believe that there are enough of us on the planet to allow many different points of view. However, to profess that following passion and seeking to do what you love is hogwash may be damaging to the souls of young people. It will discourage them from creating: causing what they love or what matters to come into being. This point of view not only discourages young people from becoming artists or entrepreneurs and defines doing what one loves as selfish.