Skip to main content

Creativity and the masses

When I left British Airways, many many moons ago (in 1995 to be precise), I set up a company providing training in business creativity. Creativity is a subject that has always interested me, and while at BA I'd taken various courses with the likes of Edward de Bono, and now wanted to explore the area further.

I ought to clarify that by 'business creativity' I don't mean getting business people to paint pictures and write music. I'm looking at a very specific area of creativity - problem solving and idea generation. These are essential for business, and involve creativity. If everything stayed the same and there were never any new challenges, you could get away without being creative. But in practice, 'in this ever changing world in which we live in' as Sir Paul McCartney put it so poorly, being creative is a survival essential for businesses.

One of the premises of running these courses is that everyone is creative - and everyone can enhance their natural level of creativity by using some straightforward techniques. This is something I've had lengthy arguments on with another writer on creativity over the years. He believes that only a few really are creative, and the majority never will be.

What I do accept is that we have different natural levels of creativity. Some people naturally spark ideas left, right and centre - others don't. However, the best ideas often come from unexpected sources, and the point of taking a systematic approach to creativity is that it can be enhanced, making ideas come more on demand, and of better quality.

The reason for bringing this up now is I was listening to someone ranting on about genius and how the common herd never really get what it's all about. That may be the case - but everyday creativity, in some ways more important than genius, is something we can all benefit from. You can find out more about business creativity at the Creativity Unleashed website.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Is 5x3 the same as 3x5?

The Internet has gone mildly bonkers over a child in America who was marked down in a test because when asked to work out 5x3 by repeated addition he/she used 5+5+5 instead of 3+3+3+3+3. Those who support the teacher say that 5x3 means 'five lots of 3' where the complainants say that 'times' is commutative (reversible) so the distinction is meaningless as 5x3 and 3x5 are indistinguishable. It's certainly true that not all mathematical operations are commutative. I think we are all comfortable that 5-3 is not the same as 3-5.  However. This not true of multiplication (of numbers). And so if there is to be any distinction, it has to be in the use of English to interpret the 'x' sign. Unfortunately, even here there is no logical way of coming up with a definitive answer. I suspect most primary school teachers would expands 'times' as 'lots of' as mentioned above. So we get 5 x 3 as '5 lots of 3'. Unfortunately that only wor

Why I hate opera

If I'm honest, the title of this post is an exaggeration to make a point. I don't really hate opera. There are a couple of operas - notably Monteverdi's Incoranazione di Poppea and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas - that I quite like. But what I do find truly sickening is the reverence with which opera is treated, as if it were some particularly great art form. Nowhere was this more obvious than in ITV's recent gut-wrenchingly awful series Pop Star to Opera Star , where the likes of Alan Tichmarsh treated the real opera singers as if they were fragile pieces on Antiques Roadshow, and the music as if it were a gift of the gods. In my opinion - and I know not everyone agrees - opera is: Mediocre music Melodramatic plots Amateurishly hammy acting A forced and unpleasant singing style Ridiculously over-supported by public funds I won't even bother to go into any detail on the plots and the acting - this is just self-evident. But the other aspects need some ex

Which idiot came up with percentage-based gradient signs

Rant warning: the contents of this post could sound like something produced by UKIP. I wish to make it clear that I do not in any way support or endorse that political party. In fact it gives me the creeps. Once upon a time, the signs for a steep hill on British roads displayed the gradient in a simple, easy-to-understand form. If the hill went up, say, one yard for every three yards forward it said '1 in 3'. Then some bureaucrat came along and decided that it would be a good idea to state the slope as a percentage. So now the sign for (say) a 1 in 10 slope says 10% (I think). That 'I think' is because the percentage-based slope is so unnatural. There are two ways we conventionally measure slopes. Either on X/Y coordiates (as in 1 in 4) or using degrees - say at a 15° angle. We don't measure them in percentages. It's easy to visualize a 1 in 3 slope, or a 30 degree angle. Much less obvious what a 33.333 recurring percent slope is. And what's a 100% slope