Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Imaginative Authors, Successful CEO's Accountants, and the World of Creativity

What do:

Imaginative authors
Successful CEO's
Accountants who think outside of the box

Have in common??

The answer -- Creativity

A fascinating topic - what is creativity: what are the characteristics of a creative person: can it be measured: can it be taught?

Why are some people creative? An interesting perspective comes from Sigmund Freud. Freud postulated that creativity arises as a result of frustrated desires for fame, fortune and love. An Interesting view point, don't you agree?

In a similar psychological vein, Arnold Ludwig found a correlation between depression and creative achievement. This view is supported by recent comprehensive and laudatory research by J. Jamison at the University of Pittsburgh. She provides evidence that psychological suffering is an essential component of artistic creativity? Her theories are proven by extensive examination of the links between manic depression and creativity in the lives of artists such as Van Gogh, Byron, and Virginia Woolf. The presence of bi-polar depression was evident in well known individuals such as Ernest Hemingway and Theodore Roosevelt. Indeed many such individuals indulged in self destructive behavior including suicide.

Beyond the "artistic group" there are some interesting links. J P Guilford postulates that creative people (compared with others in the general population) identify multiple, rather than singular, answers to a set of problems. Indeed, the literature discusses "thinking outside the box" as an example of creativity.

From a business perspective, a worldwide study of 1600 Chief Executive Officers identified the MOST crucial trait for successful leadership is CREATIVITY. Not drive, or personality, or technical expertise - but creativity. This explains why CEO's can successfully migrate from firm to firm regardless of the market niche. It's about finding unique, clever, out of the norm solutions to complex problems.

The same is true of "creative accountants" who explore gray and multiple options outside of what may considered normal accounting methods. A very sought after trait in this profession.

Indeed, getting ones arms around the bowl of jello called creativity is an inexact science. Creativity amongst artists oftentimes comes to those who have troubled demons. For writers, the flurry of ideas of ideas and words is sometimes followed by extended periods of blank pages and darkness.

Creativity in business is essential to leadership excellence. Those who are noncreative remain in roles such as managers or technocrats. Creativity is indeed a career changer. Consider those with whom you have worked.. the creative leader comes up with ideas, strategies, and concepts which amaze those of us sitting around the table. " Where did that come from?" We shake our heads, gather our laptops and implement these previously unimagined ideas.

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