I happened to be flipping through the pages of a photography magazine this weekend and found this incredibly thought provoking piece about where creativity comes from. Erik Wahl is a photographer and the keynote speaker at Imaging USA this week in Nashville and in the magazines' interview the question was asked:
You make an intriguing statement: Creativity is not a genetic trait. Where does creativity come from, then?
"Creativity has been wrongly diagnosed as a genetic trait". "Rather, it is a learned and practiced skill --just like reading, writing, and arithmetic --into which every single one of us can tap.
Our minds have been trained from childhood to think in lockstep and conformity. Our school systems automated us to sit in straight rows; color within the lines; and respond with sequential, one-dimensional, regurgitated answers. We were taught to take all our wonderful, multidimensional answers and to narrow them down in search of only one right answer. Ultimately, our analytical systems blocked our natural paths to creative thinking. In a sense, we were trained to become creatively constipated.
Don't get me wrong - these left-brain analytical functions are important. In fact, they are absolutely, categorically, 100 percent necessary. Necessary, but no longer sufficient to compete in the rapidly changing global economic marketplace. Sales and marketing strategies that worked yesterday will not necessarily work tomorrow for the changing needs of customers. The success paradigm has switched from knowledge and experience-based learning to a new frontier that emerging organizations are successfully embracing; imagination-based thinking".
He essentially closes the interview regarding the state of our economy and says:
"The current economic state mandates creativity is no longer a luxury --it is a necessity. Those who embrace creativity are better equipped to succeed in the future".
I thought this was one of those highly inspiring interviews and so my take on it is: keep on thinking outside of those proverbial coloring lines!