There are lots of false assumptions about creativity.
Here are six myths of creativity that we see frequently:
1. CREATIVITY BEGINS AS AN IDEA
Ideas are conservative — they rely on existing concepts — the radically new is not at first conceptualizable. It is a worldly difference — something different happening because of some novel process. Ideation comes much later.
2. CREATIVITY IS IN THE HEAD
If creativity does not begin as an idea, it most certainly will not begin in the head. The good news is that thinking itself is irreducible to the brain — it is extended, embodied, embedded and enactive. It is something extended — with others and an environment.
3. CREATIVITY IS INDIVIDUAL
The new emerges from the middle of doing in a manner that is irreducible to any one component of the action (we want the credit from what is collective and emergent). In this manner it is always with others in highly interdependent and collaborative ways: humans, tools, practices, habits, actions, processes, concepts, environments…
4. CREATIVITY IS HUMAN
This one is most perplexing, for we see creativity all around us — dinosaurs evolving into birds — new and novel life confronts us everywhere and at every moment. Creativity — the emergence of genuinely new is a basic feature of reality that we can participate in — it is not something unique to us.
5. CREATIVITY FIRST REQUIRES A CHANGE IN MINDSET
This is one of those false chicken and egg problems. We are changed by what we do — where being thinking and doing are of a piece. Far too much energy is expended on individualizing, internalizing, and essentializing creativity and its purported mindsets and far too little attention is put to the intersubjective conditions of action — ecosystems, tools, environments, processes and practices.
6. CREATIVITY IS IMPOSED
The new emerges from the dynamics of an experimental situation. Creativity does not begin as an idea that is imposed upon passive matter and then released to an awaiting world. There is no passive matter— self-organizing processes (which we participate in) are continuously at work engaging the latent unintended capacities to move processes in novel directions (creativity). Our actions do not come from the outside but co-emerge with the systems creative evolution.
We are curious about how you understand these six myths, & what you do to avoid them. Send us a message and let us know...