Creativity is being curious enough to do something different, constructing products and services that customers welcome and cannot live without.
Those that follow me know that I help individuals and organizations become creative thinkers who welcome doing what others think is impossible. Actually, most of my clients admit that they needed my help to to start thinking outside of the proverbial box.
In this post, we focus on one of the five components of a cutting-edge culture.
Creativity Starts with Curiosity
A few years ago I had the opportunity to assist in writing a Mystery Theater script. I had never done that before so I found it intriguing. (Notice that I was curious.)
That curiosity led to helping write, direct and act in our small play. In the third year, we met a woman who became our stage manager. She was involved in making independent films.
Ok. I’m curious. How are they made? What does it take to make one? Could I possibly write a movie script?
Being curious, I started watching murder mysteries to help me with the writing the plays (which by year 4, I was writing by myself as the original writer left.) I was curious about what made the movies interesting and why I kept watching. My curiosity kept growing.
This spring I wrote my first movie short script (about 10 minutes in length.) We filmed it in July and it is now submitted to film festivals.
Curiosity leads to creativity.
What is your team curious about doing?
Creativity Develops with Drive
When the lead author stepped away, I gladly stepped forward, anxious to take it to another level. That is when my creativity materialized. My curiosity was mixed with a drive to do something better.
This is where we often fail. We don’t drive because we are content with what we have. We are too comfortable with the effort we are now expending. We often fail because we are too compliant to those dictating our success and who are determined to prevent our failing. That leads to the next step.
What drives your creativity?
What will drive their creativity?
What will squelch their creativity?
Creativity Forgets about Failure
The fear of failure is fostered by those demanding perfect execution. Failure is often applying another’s standards to our results.
To that, I encourage you to ask, “was it really a failure? If so, what was the criteria?
The difference between failure and success is the standard you apply to the result. It is all about expectations.
But are they really our expectations?
Are they the expectations of others thrust upon us?
Or are they expectations we have unreasonably forced upon ourselves?
- Is my movie, “Deceived” a failure if it doesn’t win an academy award?
- Is it a failure if it never generates a profit?
- Is it a failure if it is never accepted into a film festival?
The answer is “NO!” to every one of those questions. The movie is a success because I did something that I didn’t imagine doing until very recently. It is a success because I was willing to think beyond what I had done before. It doesn’t matter what others expect. It matters what I did and if it met my goals.
Too often creativity is squelched by the expectations thrust upon us. Re-engineer that thinking. Turn failure into success.
Failure is not a failure if you learn from it and use it as a stepping stone to the next level of success.
Granted, losing an important competition hurts. But it is only a failure at the time. If you use that failure as a learning tool and then as a motivational tool to succeed the next time, was that really a failure?
(NOTE: Yes, failure matters to our employers. However, when we think bigger we realize that even if we fail and lose our job, if we learn from it and learn to “fail forward,” that failure will ultimately become a significant stepping stone. Yes, failure hurts but it doesn’t need to mean the end. It can be a step in our ultimate success.)
It may be wise to eliminate the word “failure” from your vocabulary. Use “result” or “attempt” instead. Edison did.
“I DIDN’T FAIL. I JUST FOUND 10,000 WAYS NOT TO MAKE A LIGHTBULB; I ONLY NEEDED TO FIND ONE WAY TO MAKE IT WORK.“
THOMAS EDISON –
DO THE IMPOSSIBLE
Loren Murfield, PhD
I work with leaders and entrepreneurs in small business, sales and Real Estate to think bigger and reach higher to find their breakthrough success.
Which of these books will help you take the next step?