“Creativity is not just for artists.”
— Twyla Tharp
“Creativity is imagination in action.”
– Sir Ken Robinson
The lively Nature vs. Nurture Debate has played out in all arenas for decades, sometime simultaneously; education, entrepreneurship, psychology, medicine, and even machine learning. As both a behaviorist and social entrepreneur, both of which I wrote of in my book, The NICE Reboot, I have followed this debate for years. I have engaged in the debate myself; avidly, vocally, and even sometimes mistakenly.
I have curated content on it using tech like my indispensable, favorite Zite App, and even blogged about it previously. Whether or not startup entrepreneurs are born or made, and whether creativity can be taught are both important questions to ponder. Why? Because they have far reaching implications for the future of work, and how one will engage in the work/life balancing act that is a reality of the human condition. Especially in these areas:
I started this series of blogposts on creativity, and why it matters so much in entrepreneurship and in life a few weeks ago. I was inspired to do so after reading and being profoundly moved by Ed Catmull’s inside look at Pixar, in Creativity Inc.
I am not alone.
Many people are avidly reading it and actually learning ways to fuel innovation and synthesize imagination and creativity for better product/project management. Many people are starting/maintaining conversations about what it means to innovate and still be authentic and partial to old ideas that are still great. Many people are leading the way in showcasing the sweat and tears it takes to harness creativity in daily life and workflows. It truly validates Tim Kastelle’s keen insight in his recent post: “There’s no low-hanging fruit in innovation.”
When it comes down to it, the Nature vs. Nurture Debate on creativity is somewhat irrelevant. The journey of harnessing creativity is where the learning and doing take place. The outcome is where success, and having a successful life, takes on new meaning and becomes part of the entrepreneur’s DNA.
That’s why I believe that whether one is asking about creatives being born or made, or entrepreneurs being born or made, the answer is the same. It lies in this observation I made recently at one of my speaking engagements; relevant to all people from all over:
Success is like the crashing of the sea after the buildup of the waves over time…..
Success takes time and patience, and comes in many shades, like the shades of the ocean at twilight.
I’ve learned that this is the truth of the entrepreneurship journey. The one where one’s creativity, persistence, and perspective all affect the waves’ buildup, and colors the hues of the sea. The digital sea of data accessible 24/7 and impacting on our Theory of Mind on an hourly basis. The debate hasn’t changed and will continue, especially in this iEra of rapid acceleration and consumption.
We just have more front row seats and access to the proverbial mic.