Thursday, November 11, 2004

Creative Productivity

The future will be even more full of change than the present. And the present is change filled. This is not just a truism. We have entered a time period wherein technological, economic, and social conditions, together and separately, are driving change at an accelerating rate.

Creativity is one of the keys to the future! The discoveries, inventions, innovations, and improvements that will fuel the next economic expansion will require creativity. Creativity will be needed to overcome our social, political and economic problems, to face ever increasing worldwide competition, and to meet the challenge of a time of rapid innovation.

Creativity, the basis for all innovations. Creativity will also be needed to respond competitively to the innovation of others. And, creativity will be required of you to cope at all levels, personal or professional, with the changes about to be thrust upon you.

To be creative requires a positive future orientation. You must become students of the future so that you may plan to meet the creative challenges.

You must be sensitive to the present so that you may be able to detect those factors that will have a bearing on your future. And, you must be willing to change; to move your interest to that which gives you the highest return for you investment, keeping in mind at all times the broadest definition of your business, career, or self. This is imperative in a time of change for it is only within broad concepts that you can adapt to change.

Von Fange wrote in Professional Creativity, "to make creative contribution, as Einstein indicated, requires that one always search for what is fundamental. Or, to phrase it another way, if buggy whip people had realized that they were not in the business of making high quality buggy whips, but rather in the business, fundamentally, of stimulating further output from the prime mover of the family conveyance, their factories would not now be gaunt skeletons upon the American industrial scene." History does not treat favorably individuals, companies, or industries which do not react to change.

Creativity is inherent in our nature. You are created creative. Unknowingly, you choose to not exercise all of your creative talents because of the limits imposed by the processes of communication, socialization, and education. To be creative requires that you break through these limitations. Anyone can be creative. To profess that you cannot create is to set a goal you will certainly achieve. You are in control. But the very processes of communication, socialization, and education that limit creative ability, enable progress to be made. Humans require a purpose, a goal, and a paradigm for their life and career. Their establishment enables rapid progress to be made. But, as soon as they are established, they limit what can be accomplished. Progress, technical or social, is made by the establishment of a purpose and a paradigm. When maximum utilization has been-made of these, a revolution in thought occurs, and a new paradigm or purpose is established. This is creativity.

Creativity results in something new being brought into being; an attempt at immortality for that new creative may live beyond the creator. Rollo May in his book The Courage to Create captured the thought this way: "Creativity is a yearning for immortality. We human beings know that we must die. We have, strangely enough, a word for death. We know that each of us must develop the courage to confront death. Yet we also must rebel and struggle against it. Creativity comes from this struggle-out of the rebellion the creative act is born. Creativity is not merely the innocent spontaneity of our youth and childhood; it must also be married to the passion of the adult human being, which is a passion to live beyond one's death." Yet immortality through creativity does not come easy. Edgar Lee Masters has one of the characters in Spoon River Anthology say "Immortality is not a gift. Immortality must be earned."

Creativity requires courage. Picasso stated, "Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction." Creativity implies change and change implies abandonment of the old. It requires courage to face the new. "He was a bold man that first ate an oyster" observed Jonathan Swift. You must be courageous to face the critics of change. You must be courageous to face the anxiety produced by changes in our own thoughts. You must be courageous to face the struggle which is a part of the creative act. Von Oech in A Kick in the Seat of the Pants defines four roles of a creative person-explorer, artist, judge, warrior. A good metaphor, all of these roles require courage.

Creativity also requires thinking. T. J. Watson, in his collection of essays, As A Man Thinks, stated it this way; "Thought begets the will to create." All thinking is mentally directed creativeness. You think only when you wish to achieve a conclusion that, by implication, did not exist before.

You have two facets to your brain, two different ways of perceiving the world. L-mode thinking, characterized by linear temporal, analytical, logical processes, dominates American culture. R-mode thinking is typified by holistic, non-temporal, spatial processes. Creativity is a product of R-mode thinking. Purpose is a product of L-mode thinking. Balanced thinking skills, allowing the sub-dominant R-mode style of thought to surface, fully awaken your creative and cognitive abilities.

Creative productivity is working, or living, smarter, not harder. Repeatedly performing the same operation faster is not the key to improving productivity; creativity is.

Creative productivity in your professional or personal life can be accomplished through an understanding of the mental and physical processes that are in response to real or perceived demands made upon you. Creativity is a state of mind over which you have control.

Paul Schumann

No comments:

Post a Comment