Chennai: To Nandan Nilekani business creativity is in understanding
different trends and different incidents that are completely
unconnected in some ways and saying, `Hey, maybe if we take these two
or three things together, this is the likely way things will go. If
we do the right thing, we can take advantage of that.'
A lot of business creativity has to do with visualising a future that
others don't see, explains Nilekani, co-Chairman of Infosys, in one
of the essays included in Creativity: Unconventional wisdom from 20
accomplished minds edited by Herb Meyers and Richard Gerstman
"You can't predict where the idea will come from, nor can you
centralise ideas. But you can create an ecosystem where ideas
flourish," says Nilekani. Build a culture where people are intrigued
with an idea and are free to run with it, he advises.
In a following essay, Erica Jong, the author of Fear of Flying,
writes that real creativity consists of seeing the world differently
from the way other people see it, and being compelled to share that
with others. She cautions, however, that some creative people can be
mean and niggardly. "And they wish the worst for you. There is a
great deal of Schadenfreude. That probably is the most difficult
thing about being a functioning artist."
Karim Rashid, a renowned designer, declares, in a different chapter,
that we are all born creative. Yet, we need to be encouraged to be
creative, he argues. A major hurdle, according to him, is laziness.
"The majority of us are lazy. Especially, as we get older, we focus
more and more on making a living and on various activities that seem
to be most important to us, and being creative takes a back seat."
Another big block is the society that teaches us to conform, frets
Rashid. "Conforming at a young age prevents the majority of people,
who may be basically creative, from pursuing a creative career."
To Steven Holl, who was named `America's Best Architect' in 2001 by
Time magazine, creativity is the breaking out of the habitual ways of
thinking. "Creativity is not just for artistic entertainment,
says. "Creativity is central to our survival. Imagination is central
to our survival. Without these, we are dead."
Anybody who creates something is in some way or another not satisfied
with what exists, states Roland Heiler, head of the Porsche Design
Studio. "I also feel that it's quite important to communicate the
results of a creative process appropriately in order to make people
comprehend that what they're looking at is innovative, different and
individual," he counsels.
"So it's necessary to involve people and make them understand that,
if you want to be really innovative, you must overrule the tendency
of making compromises every time you create something just to please
Dale Chihuly, a prolific glass artist, insists that a creative person
has to take creative decisions, such as how long to work on something
before deciding whether it is worthwhile, or when to abandon an idea
and get on to something that is more promising.
Creative people are driven by factors of validation and a sense of
acknowledgement, says Chris Bangle, BMW Group chief of design. "That
does not mean they need a third party to do the acknowledging,
"Often it can be a dialogue only between the designer and the
creation, but this needs to be a loop of personal satisfaction to the
tune of: `I came, I designed, you exist.' The bigger the loop and the
more people that enter into it, the more energy a creative person is
usually rewarded with."
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