Creativity gets all the glamour, a seeming supreme being among talents. And so it’s easy to forget the less glamorous side of creativity, the bit that means the creative juices get to deliver something that people will care about.
I like the definition of creativity that comes from social science of a successful activity producing something novel and useful. This requires a combination of creative thinking and problem solving, but also that the problems are worth solving and that the solution actually gets delivered in a usable, that is, useful form. There are no absolutes, but I tend to think that the second part of this duo is more challenging than it’s given credit for – it’s the difference between coming up with a clever idea and delivering a clever solution.
The delivery bit often requires much less glamorous skills, like hard work, persistence, and selling. Yet, without the discipline that kept Terry Pratchett sitting at his desk writing the Discworld novels; the engineering required to create the unibody chassis of a MacBook; and the bravery of a comedian to stand-up, the world would be a duller place.
I know Peter Drucker said it (“Ideas are cheap and abundant; what is of value is the effective placement of those ideas into situations that develop into action”), as I’m sure have many others. But I think it’s worth a reminder…
Be remarkable, and deliver,