Why creativity is so important

I recently had the pleasure, actually privilege, to co-facilitate a workshop with a group of amazing people focused on Leading with Creativity. For all of you that have categorised yourself firmly in the “not creative box”  I urge you to stick with me on this one. It’s only 500 or so words, what have you got to lose? And for those who are already active creative types, then this is perhaps not what you expect it to be. So hang in there.

Leading with creativity is about recognising our ability that exists in each and every one of us to create – be it art or music or dinner. Maybe you are writing a master piece or maybe you are not. Maybe you paint, or maybe you don’t. But each one of us, is at some point or another required to create. To build, to draw or bake. To look at a problem and find a different way. That too my friends is creativity. So we are all creative beings, whether we identify with that label or not.

What was interesting in researching for this workshop, was how often simply the idea of creativity can be enough sometimes to stifle creativity. Our society is not set up to reward the process of creativity nor do we encourage it in our education or even our workplaces (watch a great Ted X from the honourable Ken Robinson to learn more about this ). It is an interesting thought given we are in the age of innovation. Creativity for me is not simply about creating a masterpiece or writing a novel. It is a process. It is allowing myself to be me and to have the belief in my ideas. It is looking at things differently, it is driving a different way to work, it is stepping outside the comfort zone, it is change. Creativity and change are so intrinsically linked for me – without creation we are stagnant, there is no growth, we are stuck. Constant renewal is actually my comfort zone. Sitting still and being content not. So creativity is in fact my drug of choice. It is interesting as I had never really looked at it this way. I thought to be creative was to make something and unless it was a masterpiece it was a stretch to even call it creativity. The label carries such power.

Letting go of the idea that creativity requires awkward dance movements or out of tune songs for those of us not blessed with rhythm and musicality is a step towards embracing creativity for the true power that it really is. Of course creativity is many of those things – it is art, it is poetry, it is dance. But it is also the freedom to recognise that in all of us lies a creative being – that creativity can for some of us require stepping outside the safety net and discovering the magic that lies in creating. Be it a random doodle on a page, a private solo dance in your living room or even creating a magical dinner for your loved ones – creativity is an expression of you, it is your opportunity to be your unique self. So without it, we lose the chance to be free.

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