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The Case for Creativity

Updated: Dec 16, 2022


I had the opportunity to view a fascinating Australian documentary on creativity by Roger Ungers. “Finding Creativity” is a one-hour documentary featuring perspectives from a creativity researcher, glass artist, singer/songwriter, chef, and social change entrepreneur. As a creativity and growth executive coach I have spent decades immersing myself in the creative sector. Today, I work to foster that same creative mindset for clients that are not only changing the world, but how we experience, understand and interact with that world. Ungers’ documentary adds evidence that creativity is not an innate talent but rather a disciplined practice requiring experience, skill, attitude and environment to be successful.


Experience and Skill

Creativity flourishes not just from a plethora of ideas, but from informed ideas combined with new perspectives, According to creativity researcher Dr. Tim Patston, it is that experience in whatever field of expertise -- Mozart in music, Einstein in physics -- that builds both the perspective and the mastery needed for creativity.


“Creativity is about reinterpreting something that already exists.”

Attitude

There is also a certain attitude necessary for creativity to flourish. It isn't the fragile flower or the irreverent mad inventor stereotypes, it is a mindset. Singer/songwriter Henry Brett describes it as:

“You need the skin of an elephant and the heart of a poet.”

And social change entrepreneur Jan Owen describes the mindset as bravery:

"Unleashing creativity is courageous. . . .You need to stare fear in the face. You are at the edge of what you know and what you don’t know."

Environment

Hands down creativity is sensitive to the environment, both physical and psychological. Yet, creativity can be found in any human activity where there is a problem to be solved.

Chef Coksun Uysal often has to remove himself from the kitchen:

I go to museums, the beach, a coffee shop. I look at the colors and think of the plate as a canvas.

And glass artist Holly Grace finds that the compression of time in the hot shop where the glass is blown and fired is essential to not making creativity too precious. It's calculated hard work. Yet being disciplined and open allows creative output that expresses:

Beauty and brings out what is hidden and beautiful in the world.

"Finding Creativity" is streaming on SBS in Australia only, but hopefully will have a larger North America distribution at upcoming film festivals.


Break the Tape Leadership helps leaders unleash creativity and potential in themselves and the organizations they lead to generate meaningful momentum. (And we have fun, non-boring ways to help!)

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