Sunday, July 15, 2007
I just read Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book, ‘Creativity’. He defines creativity as happening in the intersection of an individual who sees a new pattern, a ‘field of accomplishment’ (the ‘experts’ who can understand and accept the individual’s creative idea or act), and a ‘domain of knowledge and action’ (a body of knowledge mediated by symbols and bundled into systems, like geometry, art, or legal systems, which makes up what we call a culture).
If you think about it, this makes every creative act an act of collaboration. It's not an indivdiual act, it's a group act. We tend to focus on the achievements of individuals. But we need to become better collaborators.
We need to ask questions so that other people can think about the ideas and form their own opinions which they feel comfortable sharing. This will allow for more new ideas, allowing for open comments and looking at the world with fresh eyes.
You can be a creative genius but in the end it's all about the others. Surround yourself with people from all walks of life: different experience, different educational and cultural background. And see what happens.
You can't be creative by yourself. We're in it together.