Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

"Creativity," an essay by Georgie Schnobrich


I thought businesses had got over the vogue for saying they desire creativity in their employees, but recently I heard it again. This annoys me greatly, because from all I've seen, they don't, really. They see that money can be made from creativity sometimes and they want that potential - without all the mess, time, error and expense involved.
They want to adopt their brain children, not gestate and give bloody birth to them themselves.

Creativity very often is inefficiency in action. Creativity willfully goes down dead-end alleys and stays to rummage in the dumpsters. And most of the time what it finds is interesting, useless junk, not treasures. Which it enjoys anyway.
Creativity lives on waste. It needs enough material to ruin and discard in order to come up with the truly nifty, surprising things, and to get them right.
After investing time and effort, Creativity changes its mind, and can't give good solid reasons why. After finding a workable combination, Creativity goes on to try all the rest anyway, because knowledge is good even when it isn't authorized or being paid for.
Like Edison, Creativity knows that finding out all the ways a project won't work is an important and desirable stage of development. Business calls this Failure; especially if it persists longer than a Quarter.

Business values profit, efficiency, organization, economy, consistency, profit, accountability, right answers, steady progress, and all that good left brain stuff.
Creativity values that too, - as it might value a "good" set of dinnerware too precious to ever get around to using often. Because Creativity tends to break things.
Business seems to want the golden eggs without having to feed and house and breed the troublesome goose.

It's also true that discipline, skill practice, judgment and objective assessment are ingredients of Creativity. They form the framework that inspiration can illuminate. And there's Creativity in minimalist situations too, where it finds ways to do wonders with barely anything.
That's the respectable, industrious part that Business finds attractive. But unless they can accept that their hired Creative people must be welcome go out to play and ruin their expensive new shoes, they don't really want them.

Anyway, this is how I see it.

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Tags: art, philosophy
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