In the initial years of my research, I didn’t even know I was “researching” anything but was instead just following a curiousity and a question that revolved around the way work worked (arising from reading The Cluetrain Manifesto). In time though, my curiosity expanded and I started questioning my own talent and passion, wondering if I even had one. Eventually, through deep reflection after reading a myriad of articles, papers, and books, I started noticing a pattern emerging from my research and it seemed as though many other people were talking about it as well without even knowing it because they were all using different perspectives, contexts, and disciplinary languages to describe it differently.
In time, I eventually realized this pattern, this narrative, that many people were talking about and struggling to articulate was creativity. Once I recognized it for what it was, it was like all of my research, which initially seemed like a chaotic pile of ideas and thoughts, suddenly began converging and crystallizing together into a cohesive, unified structure of depth and meaning. Not only was I beginning to understand creativity but more importantly, I was beginning to understand how it worked universally at many different levels, both micro and macro, like a fractal infinitely expanding outwards.
At its core, while most people see creativity as generating something “new and of value” (aka innovating), its secrets begin to unlock when we start to apply it to our very lives as social innovation. By doing so, it releases its true potential, allowing us to not only adapt to change but to actually to begin to embrace it, once we understand how it works. To do so, we need to go beyond change and look at how we transition through its gaps, transforming the very way we look at ourselves and our world around us (aka our world view).
By doing so, we eventually begin to see creativity’s footprints both behind us in time, seeing how it is reflected in a myriad of mythologies as Joseph Campbell’s monomyth, and beside us in the present as it begins to affect and alter not just the way we work but play and learn as well. In effect, by understanding creativity, we see how it uses creative destruction to shatter structures that no longer work and meet our needs and then proceeds to use flows to recreate newer, complex structures to meet and contain our current needs.
More to come…