Make way for the creative, By Alex Ogundadegbe

Make way for the creative, By Alex Ogundadegbe
Alex Ogundadegbe

Increasingly today, the world is on the lookout for creative people. They come in all shapes and sizes: the nerd that shuns the disco party to read up the latest discovery in science and see what he can learn from it; the bespectacled geek that would rather fiddle with his computer and try out the latest software than go out on a date with his girlfriend; the poliltical pundit who believes he can read the way the next elections will go based on a few permutations and signs that emerge on the horizon; the fashionista who sees the taste swing of a whole generatiion in shoes, bags and clothes and takes on the challenge of feeding a whole new style of clothing into the fashion stream via catwalks, pupstruts and well placed mannequins is the shop windows of boutiques. The creative essentially makes something out of nothing, or takes something in existence and builds upon it, wowing contemporary society with a tweak or innovation that nobody else has thought of. Scratch that! Perhaps someone else thought about it but did not have the temerity to try it; less they think he is crazy. Well, craziness in a very productive way is a major attribute of the creative, no matter which sector in life he is found; Science or culture, arts or governance, it really does not matter. Creative and artistic people are imaginative, curious, and spend a great deal of time at rest or in solitude, thinking about what is and what can be. The history of warfare shows people like Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of Franc; Erwin Rommel of Germany and Alexander the Great of Macedonia who were all able to defy superior numbers, conservative thinking and even superior equipment to win battles in strange but creative fashion.

Creatives are passionate about their work. Their passion drives them into unimaginable realms and is contagious in nature.

Every part of life could do with a little creativity and everyone can be creative, if only they try.  Creatives can be found quietly reflecting on the topics that hold their interest, allowing their minds to wander and eventually they find solutions that nobody else can see and bring them to bear in situations. Sometimes their creative edge is used to the detriment of society and ends up destroying rather than creating.  Experts have discovered that the creative edge can often be spotted in children early in life. By observing youngsters at imaginative play, they were able to find that some children could think up games, build concepts or even see themselves in a position or situation they would like to be in future. All this they are able to do purely by imagination.  The creative mind can also be found among adults that day dream: remunerating things in their mind. Creatives keep turning a concept over and over until they are able to make leeway and eventual chance upon a solution to a problem or strategy that nobody has thought out before. Creativity involves the dual processes of generation of new ideas, as well as generating different ways of seeing the same events, both are important to achieve creative solutions to the problems.  An Engineer was given the ground breaking project of building a road through a jungle that had never been thoroughly explored before. He got a surveyor the task of checking the land out through a footpath that ran into it. The surveyor gave a report and based on his own research and the report of the surveyor he gave his quote to the government organization that had selected him as one of the possible contractors. He won the contract and began clearing his site for construction. After a week and a half of clearing he found that a mountain was right in the middle of the path! Some how, the surveyor had miscalculated the route. His whole world came tumbling and he went home for a rest, thinking up what could be done to salvage his reputation, the money he would spend and overall the possibility of getting greater projects from the client. After some deep thought he came up with several options: Build the road around the mountain, blast the mountain out of the way or drill a hole through the middle and make the mountain out as a natural tunnel!  Creativity gives options!

One of the world’s most beloved works of art, “David,” the 17-foot-tall, 12,000-pound marble masterpiece etched by Michelangelo Buonarroti, is available for public viewing in Florence, Italy. What makes the statue more exceptional is that it was carved from a single block of white Italian Carrara marble that had been rejected by other artists for being flawed! The huge daunting statue depicts a naked David, the Biblical hero who used a slingshot to slay the giant Goliath. Michelangelo was able to see in a flawed block of marble something nobody else could see!

In all these the creed in all major conditions appears to be: make way for the creative!

Creatives are passionate about their work. Their passion drives them into unimaginable realms and is contagious in nature. They are able to influence people around them and often make others see what their ideas are about and what effect such ideas can have on their immediate environment and humanity in general. The creed of the creative mind rests upon: “How can I do this better? What can solve this problem we face?” The creative often requires solitude for this deep thought process that throws up ideas and makes him think differently from the majority. One other great trait they have is the ability to turn adversity to their advantage. Benjamin Franklin, politician, writer and businessman advised that we suffer the fool when we find ourselves in distasteful situations: If you find yourself in an environment that you dislike but have to endure, settle down and study it. See what you can gain from it. Ideas are sparked from the oddest situations. Writers have found material for novels and plays from being at scenarios they have sought to recapture in their stories. Singers are known to write songs from life’s situations. Engineers picture tools and machines that can do the work of hundreds of men in the shortest of time. Politicians elicit strategies that can bind discordant people together and win them elections.

The corporate organization seeks people who can make money for the organization in exceptional circumstances, save the organization money in situations that they could lose it, add value to the company in such a way that their products and services can be fully appreciated and adapt to novel situations such that new strategies, technology and environments would need to be mastered at the shortest possible time. In all these the creed in all major conditions appears to be: make way for the creative!

*Ogundadegbe is a renowned management consultant. He trains managers and executives in the arts of Customer Service, Human Resources Management and Management strategy (