Being a person who offers solutions to people who are in need of hosting services and website support, I constantly come into contact with all sorts of individuals. Rich or poor, everyone who’s interested in making a name for themselves in this digital cyberspace, sooner or later finds their way into a scenario where they need assistance from someone like me.
Whether they are looking for a dedicated server for their online business, a VPN or just a shared hosting option for their website – they all come knocking at my door.
Naturally, when you come into contact with someone for the first time, you start talking about this and that. As it usually happens, people begin to tell you their life stories. They begin to acquaint you with who they are, what they do, what they like, what they dislike and where do they see themselves in a couple of years. Yeah, this sort of thing doesn’t happen only at the barbershop.
Although these entrepreneurs are all pretty different, concerning their work and their life stories, talking about everything and anything with these individuals I came to an understanding that a vast majority of them don’t really understand the difference between “being creative” and being creative.
Before I really start to dig into this subject and further explain why this could be a huge problem for any of them, let us first get the basics straight:
Creativity: The Meaning Behind the Word
There’s no such thing as an universal definition for creativity. Everyone has it’s own interpretation of the meaning behind the word. Although most people use this term to explain the capability or act of conceiving something original or unusual, personally, I use the term creativity to describe the ability to look at your surroundings and the tools at hand, then harness them in a way that is novel, unique and has the capacity to be made real.
People often fail to mention that creativity can be displayed as almost anything. A skill, an attitude, anything. Creativity doesn’t even have to be meaningful. It doesn’t even have to be beneficial. It doesn’t need to be new in idea, method or process. Creativity is born when a mind is provoked. When a certain realization requires an amplification. It’s the antithesis of expectation.
Although it comes in a lot of shapes and forms, creativity is most useful in problem solving. Given the same problem, with the same available information, raw materials, and parameters; more creative people tend to find and come up with more novel solutions.
Creativity is not a single thing. It can come from a wide range of different behaviours and activities.
The Problem With People and Creativity Today
A lot of today’s businesses mistake “being creative” with actually being creative. They all think that they encourage creativity, but the truth is quite different.
To be creative is not the same as stealing someone else’s patent or an idea for a marketing campaign and putting your name on it. No. Being creative actually means implementing some real change into the world around you. It means that if you want to reuse a certain concept, you have to enrich it by adding something more to it. You have to spin it so that it looks and feels fresh again.
People are not stupid. They can tell if something is just plagiarized or not. That’s why before we go any further and continue recycling someone else’s ideas over and over again, without any concern, we have to understand why is this kind of behavior extremely toxic for us all.
The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating article about the lack of young scientists today, highlighting how creativity doesn’t require many years of age to be productive. After thoroughly reading this article, I came to an understanding that we are all stuck in the same loop, and we have no one but ourselves to blame for it.
Even though we constantly say that we encourage creativity, the truth is that we’re completely against it, thus proving that we don’t even know the difference between “being creative” and actually being creative.
Is Being Creative Actually That Important in Business and Life?
Creativity is now more important than ever before, especially in business. It’s the only tool that drives innovation and helps certain brands stand out from the crowd.
Creativity is also seen as a reaction to problems or challenges. It expands beyond the individual level towards organisations, businesses, communities and societies.
In this time and age where all the decisions are more or less driven by information that can be found on the internet, everything comes down to presentation. No matter how good or unique you think your products and services are, there are always tons of people out there who offer the same things as you do. But, with a little creativity, you can actually become unique.
Creativity, especially in business sense, presents the ability to take ideas, concepts, theories and patterns that exist in one or more domains, and combine to form a concept, thought, etc. in a separate domain. It’s a concept of “remixing” where you capture good content from the environment/other people or you create your own content by going out in the environment and creating/building things.
How to Apply Creativity In Your Work
There’s an insane number of web hosting companies out there. They sell the same services as we do. Just like us, they try their hardest to provide their clients with the best possible services. So, what makes us unique? What makes us any different? – Well, almost nothing really. When you really sit down and look at it from a completely honest perspective, our work is basically the same. We use the same hardware, they do business the same way as they do, they have the same customers with the same problems as we have – basically, we’re the same. But, although this is all true, thousands of people from all over the globe still see us as the only web hosting company for them.
Creativity can also include the act of asking new questions, or phrasing things in a way that makes the concepts new and approachable.
Creativity is inspired by a previous observation of certain something, coupled with a current problem, deficiency or void requiring solution. To put it in even more simple words – creativity is a form of analogical reasoning.
So, knowing this, it’s a process that can actually be teach. “Creative thinking”, in this sense, is a skill that anyone can gain, if he or she really applies themselves enough.
In order to come up with a different, unique or unordinary solution or reaction to something, one must first:
1. Understanding the problem in hand.
2. Consume information like it’s going out of style and work hard at turning that into knowledge and applying it wherever possible.
3. Harness what you already have. Experience and specialist knowledge can, if carefully used, lead to exceptional creativity
4. Be open to risk and show a lot of determination and self-assurance.
5. Use your mind. When you’re interacting with people, yourself, or whatever. Don’t just sit there and zone out – think! Absorb! Participate! Staring at a white sheet of paper is not creative. It’s the process of acting and doing that leads you to marvelous results.
Creativity is one of the greatest qualities any of us can be blessed with, yet many never allow their true creativity to be expressed. Why? – Well, because creativity requires a lot of experimenting. It requires a lot of work. Next to that, creativity also involves a lot of risk. You have to be open to put something big on the line and risk being shut down, if you want to win big in life.
The most important take away here, from everything written above, is to avoid being judgemental and encourage improvement. There’s no such thing as a bad idea. There are only ones that are useful or not.
Most people never share their creative ideas because they fear how people would see them. This kind of behavior discourages people to think and dream.
This is one of the factors that can turn a previously successful organization into one that falls behind and is overtaken by more forward-thinking competitor. Think while you’re ahead, encourage creative thinking and always try to reinvent yourself.
Thank you for reading this blog post. If you have any thoughts on this matter, feel free to write them down in the comments section below.
That’s it for now,
See you soon again,
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.