Creativity is a learned skill. It is something that requires practice. If you would like to be creative you cannot expect that you will naturally be so. Although, children tend to exhibit it a bit more naturally because they are willing to fail a little more than us adults.
I think that the most important thing to understand about creativity is that it is more than simple art. Creativity is about doing things differently than conventional thinking would dictate. If you are always doing the same things that everybody else is doing you will never truly be creative.
I think there is an assumption that in order to be creative you have to let go of all semblance of format and structure. In reality, there needs to be a framework or a structure that will allow your creativity to make sense. In the past, I’ve talked about this as being rails.
When we compare creativity to artistic creativity we can look at all of the greats in history to understand this concept. Looking at Da Vinci or Michel Angelo we can understand that their creativity came from their adherence to certain structures. Those structures came in the form of sculpting or painting or drawing. Before they could ever create something new they had to understand the structure and the tools available.
I believe that this comes down to focus. You need to have constraints that help you focus your efforts appropriately. The fewer the constraints you have the more difficult it is to unleash your creativity.
When you are attempting to foster creativity in teams, they will need context in order to be creative. If you ask them to try without any context they will have no form and what they create will be meaningless.
There are very few people, by comparison, that can have zero guidelines and still produce incredibly creative work.
Creativity should never be limited to the understanding of the arts but the arts can help to understand creativity. All fields of life need creativity.. business, marketing, etc.
If you can develop this creativity, you’ll be able to accomplish amazing things.
Corey Smith is the founder of Tribute Media and serves as the Digital Marketing Strategist. He is also the author of "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter."