What is creativity?

Life-enabling and life-sustaining force

Creativity is a miraculous force that has evolved for all the living organisms on our planet – a life-enabling and life-sustaining force.

This force, evolved also in us humans, has made it possible to survive over the ages. Anciently, surviving daily life has required – and still requires – a lot, eg. identification and analysis of situations, issues, problems and opportunities that lie ahead. Problem solving, as well as adapting and transforming to ever-changing conditions and changes in the environment, are the basis for survival.

Since it has not been possible to react to all situations repeatedly with the same manners, it has been necessary to evolve means to react and adapt to different situations differently – creatively.

And in fact: in fauna and flora a lot of species are far beyond us humans in adapting to changing conditions – and way more skilled and guided by considerably longer evolution.

Human creativity is sensibility

Human creativity cannot be thought of as a certain matter, characteristic, competence, or model of action related to any particular area of life. Human creativity is the ability to apply new and familiar things; transform and combine them in new ways, thus again create new things and circumstances for further application – to combine and modify them in new or alternative ways.

One form of human creativity is the sensibilty to think and create things that do not yet exist.

Innovative thinking

There is a lot of desire for “ideas” and glorification of “quick brainstorming skills”. In general they are kept as measures of so-called creativity.

But individuals tend to think in various ways.

Creativity flows in us in numerous different ways. From someone, ideas easily fall off the sleeve by shaking and new generating stream of thoughts come like from an assembly line. In an other individual thoughts are structured and emerged through longer reflection. For someone it is best to think throroughly first on own and then expose the thoughts to others. Some other one just needs others around to interact. For someone it is important to use technical aids; for some other, thoughts are perfectly clear without any notes. No procedure is right or wrong and does not make another way better or worse.

Ability to make it happen

Producing “ideas” demonstrates exsistance of lively imagination. Creativity occurs when the flow of thoughts can also be channeled into practical, verifiable and feasible, intangible or tangible outcomes (e.g. concept, scientific theory, technology, musical composition, joke, songwriting, logistical system, machine, book, painting, construction, etc.).

Creativity in everyday life and in working life is innovative thinking and getting things done.

Creativity is not a monopoly

Some historical development has led to situation that in business life, creative thinking – aka creativity – is often assigned to a certain company function. Or it is an outsourced task for a company subcontractor. It is not uncommon to juxtapose creativity and productivity and then cause a tangle of problems. That could not be done more wrongly! Innovative thinking and getting things done in practice – and ultimately the company’s business outcome – are events from the same timeline and from the same chain of events.

Creativity in corporate communications

Explore different companies and get to know different business areas, functions, business units and models of businesses, and listen quite common perceptions of the role of “creative work”! You may end up thinking that a huge potential for success and well-being awaits those companies in which creativity is understood being innovative thinking and getting things done. Fortunately, such companies do exsist.

In no way can creativity be associated exclusively with, for example, performing arts or literature or medical research, architecture or marketing etc. And creativity cannot be explained by ingenuity in advertising – although it is in insightful advertising that innovative thinking and creation can be considered as a good example of innovative thinking and making things happen.

Many people work and act in areas of life where it is permissible and desirable to act typically for our species. Those people are privileged to harness the force of creativity that our common history of development has enabled. This should be a privilege for everyone, by default.

Creativity is a force of nature

Creativity – as a phenomenon and as a concept – does not include any information of the scope of creativity, and no implication whether it is ie. a matter of space conquest or corporate accounting or a marketing plan. Creativity has no specific scale or measure and no common benchmark or a reference value. Creativity is a force of nature evolved in all the organisms on our planet. Creativity is You.

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Timo Keinänen  Explorer, service designer, concept designer, art director, writer and designer.
”I belive that you should be yourself, as all other roles are already taken. If you have the opportunity to express an opinion, express your own.”

Thoughts, posts and opinions represent myself only.