From the perspective of creativity it has been a strange year – a strange couple of years – and that is a good thing. Things have shifted, the space of possibility has been opened.
New questions are being asked – do we really want to go back to the old “normal”?
Different futures are possible.
So, It’s that time of year – a moment to renew our sense of hope, possibility, and commitment to change.
This is the year to make our New Year’s resolutions include being more creative and innovative in all that you do – work, cooking, relationships, education, new projects, contributions to society…
Because you want to make the change you seek in the world.
However, few approach creativity and innovation with intentional practices that result in impact and change. Much like your fitness goals likely include a specified regimen, developing creative engagements should be no different. Saying “I will be more creative” is not enough. There is much more to it.
And opportunity exists at every turn in our life to craft creative experiments and develop innovative outcomes..
So where to start?
We’ve developed a list of 22 ways you can be more creative and innovative in 2022.
Consider it your innovation and creativity manifesto for 2022.
22 Ways to be More Creative and Innovative in 2022
- For the sake of radical innovation, genuinely accept and embrace that the “outcome” cannot be known in advance (and is not the final “purpose”). Welcome not knowing as the right hand of the creative process.
- Develop experimental practices. Embrace that there are no novel ideas but in doing, because new ideas emerge from actions. Novel thinking comes from novel doing. At the beginning of the process don’t wait for a novel idea because it can’t.
- Feel intuitively how making is thinking. Make the conjoined practices of making-thinking second nature. Remember: novel “ideas” (new and clear concepts) come later.
- Don’t solve problems before you invent them. Because solving existing problems keeps you within the existing logic. Creative processes involve the creation of new problems worth solving for unknowable worlds still to come.
- Embrace innovation as a long slow process that takes time. Hard for many, but when embraced, genuine novelty emerges. Stay in it for the long haul.
- Understand and activate how all creativity is about developing constraints. Freedom = constraints. Actively producing novel constraints = being creative.
- Don’t simply “break all the rules” but develop new rules that break the old framework.
- Carefully and deliberately develop ways of Blocking the known at a deep level – this will move you towards the unknown. (You don’t need to know where you are going – you can’t if you are involved in a creative process – but you can know what you are refusing).
- Creativity is a worldly process: treat your life as an open experimental project for creative and innovative endeavors.
- Slow down, don’t focus on ends but on sensing and noticing the odd and the strange as it so tentatively emerges: Follow and be changed by what happens.
- Train oneself to limit moral, factual, or functional judgements – suspend attachments to the way it’s always been done. Follow, magnify and stabilize aberrations.
- Be a crow: shift your focus from “what it is” to “what can it do.” What effects does something have? This can only be known by doing an experiment. Always experiment with multiplying the effects – the “what else it can do?”
- Creativity is an iterative practice not a linear path. Repeat processes and become different with each repetition of the process.
- Repetition over reflection: When you think you have something – do it again differently. And then do it again differently. Then see the patterns, and frameworks. Now step outside of these and do it again.
- Come in third: The first time something new happens it is too unique to even be seen. The second time something new happens it is an echo -- a fleeting unstable double. But it is only when something happens for a third time that it can be recognized. Be there.
- Move sideways with and connect disparate novel effects, practices, tools and habits into novel assemblages.
- Make new tools and related practices: Tools make us, and new tools will make us different. Engage with how the assemblage of things shape us. Understand and embody how this distributed and relational form of agency works.
- See the entire assemblage as a series of levers, buttons and knobs that can be manipulated to change what exists to the new. Experimentally push things across thresholds into new qualitative states.
- Craft probes into the unknown: perturb a field. To activate emergent unknowable (in advance) potentials – poke things. Find the novel emergences, transform with them… Follow and ask open ended questions. Stabilize the novel and go further.
- Work at multiple scales. Go above, below and beside things.
- Collaborate with others from the beginning. Collaborate with more than humans: relations, habits, tools, assemblages, non-human beings, etc. Get radically distributed in your approach.
- Commit to creativity as a force for the good. Leave the world a better place than you found it. Be open to being radically surprised by what this might be. New values and senses will emerge with novelty.