Creativity is using original points of view and inventing fresh ways to overcome difficulties.

Creativity has cousins – imagination, Innovation, ingenuity – all to help find a fresh way to overcome a challenge or a need of some kind.

I have been watching the Netflix Series New Amsterdam. Apart from the usual crises and ego flaunting (indicative of most medical shows) I have been excited with the Medical Director’s complete focus on patient care and outcomes.

And how this focus leads him to create so many new ways of using, applying and changing the hospital’s ‘normal’ focus on money, expenses and donations – into making better use of the resources already available. Many of these resources are simply wasted. He turns these “magically” or “creatively” into less expensive and better patient outcomes.

Creativity comes in many forms. While certainly linked to art, literature and sculpture – it is also about life in everyday settings. We are each endowed with this gift and we would be surprised at the challenges we can solve – if we apply this mindset.

Like many families Creativity has more than one side:

  1. Good Side where the world meets joy, hope, anticipation and inspiration. A side where cures, stars, peanut butter, ice cream and new worlds are found. Where libraries, museums and great buildings have been built.
  2. Bad side where despair and misery and entitlement reside.

To allow yourself the privilege to be Creative – you should:

  1. Be active – not quiet
  2. Be unpredictable – not predictable
  3. Be willing to take risks an thrown caution to the wind
  4. Be prepared to rock the boat
  5. Be uncomfortable and forgo some security

One great example who used Creativity till he died at age 96 was the Aboriginal preacher, writer and inventor – David Unaipon. He is known as Australia’s Leonardo. He was a man of diverse talents and is an appropriate example of Creativity because he represents all ordinary people of ordinary origins who develop original points of view and invent fresh ways to overcome difficulties every day. His face is on our $50 note.

  • He developed and patented a modified handpiece for shearing in 1907
  • He made predictions about polarised light and helicopter flight
  • He studied philosophy, science, music, mathematics and engineering
  • He patented a centrifugal motor, a multi-radial wheel and mechanical propulsion device
  • He pursued a passion for perpetual motion
  • He was the first Aboriginal writer to be published
  • He was a prominent spokesman for Aboriginal people

In 1951 he wrote: “Even if I never arrive, I shall always recall the hours I spent and the experiments I have tried endeavouring to solve a (scientific) problem”

 Creativity works when you make it work:

  1. At Work:
    1. Praise the ingenuity and inventiveness of those who have already solved challenges – by looking from more than one angle.
    2. Draw up a list of challenges that are annoying, frustrating, expensive, boring or divisive and encourage team members to suggest ways to – improve, reduce or eliminate them.
    3. At all times you need to resist the temptation to be cautious, impatient, safe and comfortable.
  2. At Home:
    1. Increase time away from technology – mobiles, screens, news, useless gossip
    2. Play a wider range of music, cards, board games, backyard cricket
    3. Plan some outings
    4. Encourage creativity and make up games that help find new ways of building up the character and emotional lives of all the family.

Creativity is a product of our perception and the way we think. If we can change that – then we can change almost anything.