Creativity is Inseparable from Context

Creativity – a hot topic now and rightly so. In an earlier post I talked about IBM’s 2010 study, Capitalizing on Complexity, involving over 1500 CEO’s from around the world.  The basic result is that complexity is the major challenge facing organizations world-wide and that the most important characteristic needed now in senior executives is creativity.

According to what you read now, creativity is a rare commodity.  Why is that?  Why have there been great periods of creativity and innovation and times of “drought”?

In reading Joey Reiman’s Thinking for a Living, he references Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who states that creativity is inseparable from context. In his opinion, raw talent is less essential to creativity than a rich domain (environment) and receptive judges.  He goes on to say that the difference in great periods of creativity such as the Renaissance, people didn’t suddenly get smarter or more talented – the difference was the socio-cultural environment (the domain) in which they lived. The culture provided ways to fund, nurture, spark and reward creativity.

Judges are those people with the power to pass judgment and hand out rewards and penalties.

My question for you (and me), is if you are in the position of a “judge”, are you creating an environment (the domain) whereby creativity is encouraged, nurtured, and celebrated? Or are you throwing a “wet blanket” on the spark of innovation in your area?

These questions take some careful searching out of yourself to find the answer.

So this week, start developing the right context for your team to truly become creative.

Grace and Peace to you,



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