Create to thrive
It is incredible that at this point there are still profiles supposedly experts in creativity and innovation that insist on wrapping both concepts in an air of mysticism and mystery, as if they were unattainable skills or only suitable for a select few who master certain methodologies. Nothing could be further from the truth: creativity is a talent inherent to human beings, it is in our DNA. However, although we are all born creative, most of us are heirs to a 20th century educational system where, in most cases, no priority has been given to making us understand what creativity is, how to make it flow and how to make it tangible. To the question “what grade do you give yourself in creativity?”, a large number of people define themselves as little or not creative at all, but this only corresponds to a wrong parameterization caused by a certain narrative of the last century (and, unfortunately, of part of the current century). The positive side of all this is that we are always in time to identify, cultivate and enjoy our creative profile and for this, I assure you, we do not need complicated theories or certificates. Let me explain.
Every crisis implies the birth of a new model and the consequent rise of the concepts of “creativity” and “innovation” and now there is no difference. At a time like the one we are living in, where we need more than ever to find new answers and new ways of doing almost everything (from working to relating not only with others, but also with ourselves), bringing out creativity from where we have it hidden (but latent) is imperative to move forward to the next screen in the most frugal, effective and sustainable way. For this to happen, it is essential to bring the concept of “creativity” closer to the people instead of trying to make it seem aspirational. We need to demonstrate its everyday, operational, accessible aspect. We have to put in a drawer grandiloquent or overly academic words which will only put the average person off. When he or she hears concepts such as “incremental”, “accelerator”, “moonshots” and similar, it is more than logical that he or she thinks: “this innovation and creativity thing is not for me”.
That human beings are, in essence, creative is indisputable. We only have to see what we did from the second day of lockdown (after buying toilet paper): We started to bake bread, to cook, to invent how to play indoor sports, we started to paint, to make crafts, to figure out how to play bingo with the neighbors, to think of an excuse to go out in the street, to make memes, to write … Each one manifested his or her creativity in his or her own way. In the end, the more aligned we are with our intelligences (plural), the easier it will be for us to flow with our creative selves. Howard Gardner explained it very clearly in 1983, in his famous work “Frames of Mind“. Human intelligence is not a unique concept that we measure with a number and whoever has the highest number wins over the others. Human intelligence is much more diverse than a single number. In fact, there are eight distinct intelligences: naturalistic, interpersonal, logical-mathematical, spatial, intrapersonal, musical, kinesthetic and linguistic. In some versions there is even a ninth intelligence: the existential. Every human being possesses one or more of these intelligences, which directly determine what types of natural talents we each have (because we are all talented, we are all human). The more aligned we are with our intelligences, which determine our true talents, the easier it will be for us to flow, to be creative and to innovate in aspects linked to our original intelligences.
Thus, knowing ourselves is the basis for recognizing our talents and, from that moment on, is when we unleash our creative self, the one with brilliant ideas, the one that sees new possibilities, new paths, new horizons. Whoever you are, whatever you do. This is the only way human beings can advance, thrive and create new environments, adapted to the situation in which we live.
In these intense times, creativity must be something extraordinarily quotidian, rather than dramatically aspirational. Si please, let’s break the myths and legends that exist around something that belongs to everyone.