I go to work every day with the hope that we can make something new.
I am always amazed at the power a new idea has to spark momentum. It invigorates and energizes people. It births possibility and inspires what could be next. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does it is really special.
But sometimes we don’t generate new ideas. It’s normal and it happens so instead we start relaying on ideas that worked in the past or on ideas that worked for other people. We try to bootleg the momentum of old or others ideas to create that spark for us, usually with mixed reviews at best.
When we do this we replace the essence of our own ideas, the power of that moment, with the system of ideas. We stop doing the work. We stop sweating and digging. We stop exercising our muscles. We stop fighting for the new thing that could change everything and we replace it with past success or the success of someone else. We stop creating and we start imitating.
Before we over react, it is okay to be inspired by others. It is okay to borrow, steal, and remix…as long as it is part of the creative process and not a replacement for the work of being creative, the work that inspires and ignites our teams and organizations.
When we replace the fight for new with the system of what has worked we forfeit our position as change makers. We become the very thing that damages creativity…a widget.
Today, go fight for the new ideas, we need them to get better.
Brilliant post. This is exactly what I’ve been wrestling with.
Stephen, wouldn’t you agree:
Being creative is about solving our CURRENT problem and when we start to imitate we’ve often forgot the problem we are trying to solve? We make assumptions as to why that idea work for someone else. Good ideas might be great ideas when they are solving the right problem. But if we are just imitating someone else’s good idea we might be missing the point.
I would agree Creativity at times is to solve a problem but other times I think creativity or ideas are to enhance situations…not always problems specific. But I do agree with you overall!