Welcome to the creative age; An essay by William Childs

Imagine a power so strong that no army can defeat it. Imagine that this power never gets depleted. In fact, the more you use it, the more you have of it. Who wouldn’t want that type of unlimited power? Well, that very power resides inside all of us. I’m speaking of course about creativity.

The first use of the word “creativity,” was by the 17th-century poet Maciej Sarbiewski — but he applied it only to describe the creation of poetry. For over a century and a half, the idea of human creativity was rejected, because the term “creation” was reserved for creating “from nothing.”

Human creativity has been being studied and explored in countless books, podcasts, websites, magazines, in both the public and the private sectors. We’ve crossed the event horizon where creativity is now an accepted way to drive change and innovation.

The fields of music, science, technology, architecture, art, business, education, literature, medicine or engineering are necessary for our country’s continued growth and prosperity. People like Steve Jobs, Louis Pasteur, Nikola Tesla, George Washington Carver, Marie Curie, Frank Lloyd Wright, Miles Davis, Ayn Rand, Emelia Earhart, Maya Angelou, Pablo Picasso, among countless others. They all used significant amounts of creativity to break through the limitations they encountered to make invaluable contributions which enhanced our world. They were all ridiculed.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Nobel Prize-winning physicist working on the Higgs boson particle or a middle school student working on your next science fair project. Both must access creativity if they hope to stand out from everyone else. Today, the demand for people who are willing to lead us beyond what we think we’re capable of achieving is in high demand.

We need those people who won’t accept the ‘Well, we’ve always done it that way’ mentality. Good leaders know that sometimes they’re going to have to bend a few rules to help us push us past our limitations. No of us will change the world by being safely ensconced inside our comfort zone. Innovation is messy. It doesn’t follow a straight path and certainly won’t track neatly onto a spreadsheet.

We need to consider that our world has seen more change in the last one hundred years than it has in the last billion years and creativity is leading the charge. In his groundbreaking book titled, ‘The Rise of the Creative Class, which recently just celebrated its tenth anniversary, author Richard Florida, who is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on economic competitiveness, and technological innovation explored the rise of creativity as a fundamental economic force, and discovered that creativity is indeed experiencing a renaissance.

“Human creativity is the most spectacularly transformative force ever unleashed, and it is something that all of us can draw on to one degree or another. If the rise of this new order and new social class poses tremendous challenges, it carries the seeds of its resolution as well,” said Florida.

Thankfully, even though creativity is now being taken seriously as an economic driver, more work needs to be done before creativity receives the full status it deserves. The old stereotype of creative people sitting around on their beanbag chair looking for meaning through the incandescent glow of their Lava Lamp still lingers.

Creativity can be intimidating to the people who don’t fully understand it. Ask Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras how it went for him when he proposed the radical idea the Earth was not flat in 500 B.C.

Every revolution has its critics. This one is no different. Accessing your creative resources is one of the best options anyone can use to separate themselves from the dross of mediocrity that often permeates society. I’m excited to see more examples where creativity gets the proper status it rightly deserves. The most challenging part anyone will ever face when trying to bring creativity into a workplace is the knowledge that not everyone is going to share your enthusiasm about it. Don’t let that stop you.

The world needs people with the guts to stare down their fear of failure and move forward anyway. Stay positive, stay humble and never settle. Remember, we’ve all been programmed to avoid failure because of the criticism that usually follows it. Don’t be fooled; it’s the critics that carry all the fear.

WILLIAM CHILDS | Creative Director | Brand Storyteller | Columnist | Optimist

Bill is an accomplished creative leader with a history of delivering award-winning campaigns for a variety of businesses. Relentlessly dedicated to the skillful and creative translation of strategic business objectives, he’s known as a collaborative mentor and champion of fearless creativity. With a career spanning three decades, Childs knows how to take an acceptable idea and turn it into an exceptional one. His reputation of setting high creative standards while helping to create a culture of genuine collaboration and engagement is one of things he’s most proud of across his career. Recognizing and mentoring talent, and building high-performing, cohesive teams is one of his passions. Email. Website. Twitter. LinkedIn.

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