What happens to creativity during a time of uncertainty?
Creativity Surge: How to Sustain Your Energy During a Global Crisis
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by Gerard Puccio, PhD
Author of “Creative Leadership” and the “FourSight® Thinking Profile” and Chair of the International Center for Studies in Creativity
As part of our nature, humans are born into the world with two innate qualities that promote survival and growth. All humans are wired to find and follow patterns. We are innate conformists. This bias towards conformity has many advantages. It promotes cooperation, establishes norms, enables learning, and saves energy. To underscore the latter, when we follow an established pattern, we don’t need to think, problem-solve, or exert effort to learn something new. Thus, we conserve energy, and in nature, energy is a precious resource.
However, if all we ever did were conform, there would be no growth or change. Thankfully, while all humans have been wired to conform, it is equally true to say that all humans have been wired to be creative. We have been bestowed with the higher-order thinking skills that enable us to imagine new possibilities and the physical dexterity to transform these original thoughts into reality. Humans, literally, are creativity machines.
It is the union of these two predispositions that have allowed our species to survive and thrive. The dynamic interplay between conformity and creativity has enabled our species to spread across our planet. This is what I refer to as the Conformity-Creativity Polarity. And it is precisely this polarity, a union of what seems to be opposing qualities, that is the competitive advantage for our species. Where we have the capacity to generate novel ideas (the creativity pole), we also possess the built-in ability to learn, to replicate, and to disseminate those novel ideas that work best (the conformity pole). It is the fluid and balanced movement between these qualities that is the fundamental driver to our success as a species... Read the full article.
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