In the interests of fair coverage of our creativity topic this month, let’s discuss what can turn creativity into a drag. Let’s talk about when to stop being creative.
In this article, a demand is made that we “stop thinking outside the box”. This may be surprising, but the points that the author makes are valid. Why are we including an opinion that seems to be the polar opposite of everything that has been said in our Creativity series up to this point? Simply put, while all creativity is wonderful and worthwhile, creativity for the sake of being creative is rarely beneficial in the business world. Focused creativity, as mentioned in our previous posts, is the key.
The title of the article is somewhat misleading — and perhaps the title of this one is as well — it is not, as it might sound, an argument against creativity. The argument isn’t to actually stop being creative. The basic argument here is that in order to focus your creativity and allow the end product to be as relevant and meaningful as possible to your audience, you cannot totally reject the “box” that holds the basic assumptions about your organization, your industry, or the world at large. Put another way, we must critically examine what the real issues are, what box we actually live in, before we can begin to address those issues in a new, creative way. If our only goal is to think outside the box, we never allow ourselves the opportunity for this crucial self-reflection.
Let’s open this up for discussion. There are some great points in the article and even a few in the comments, so what is your take on this? Is creativity for creativity’s sake a drag on business? Do you think there really is a time to stop being creative? Is “thinking outside the box” a misleading term? Comment below!