Why Equal Opportunity Creativity Ain't a Bad Idea

IMAGE:  Alice Achterhof  via  Unsplash

Let me make this clear, everyone you know has creative ability.

That’s why it pains me when those in creative-driven careers dismiss "non-creatives” as such. More than that, it pains me when those same so-called “non-creatives” agree with that notion.

Creativity is all about making connections. We’re all taught at early ages to recognize patterns and arrange them into bigger pictures. If you’ve ever colored, put together a puzzle or played connect the dots, you know the drill.

Related: My Creative Manifesto: What Is It and How Will It Impact My Work?

However, we all approached these seemingly ordinary activities from different perspectives. When coloring, many of us actually enjoyed coloring outside the lines. For puzzles, some started with the border pieces while others tried to recognize characters from the box and build around them. Connecting the dots? Yeah. I typically drew curved lines as opposed to straight lines so my pictures wouldn’t look so angular.

Does that mean there are right and wrong creative perspectives? Of course not. It means we all make connections differently, which is pretty mind-blowing if you think about it.

IMAGE:  Nik MacMillan  via  Unsplash

IMAGE: Nik MacMillan via Unsplash

In fact, these differing perspectives may be the key to facilitating group brainstorms. A great large-scale example of this can be seen and heard in perhaps mankind’s greatest creation — language.

Just like puzzles or coloring, languages all boil down to recognizing patterns and arranging them into bigger pictures. From there, our differing perspectives allow us to collectively tinker with languages through slang, poetry and song based on factors like culture, geography, education and personality.

Our unique perspectives shape the way we speak, relay ideas and, ultimately, add flavor to creative brainstorms. If facilitated properly, they can maximize output and increase the possibility of success.

That’s why it’s important to invite a range of professionals to collaborative brainstorms. Make it inclusive. Because at the end of the day, there are no bad ideas. No matter who it came from, if a “bad” idea eventually sparks a great idea, was it really a bad idea in the first place?

Similarly, founder and principal of MSTQ.io Yazin Akkawi wrote for Inc.com:

Ultimately, like most things, creative thought is a trial-and-error process that requires failure. And while bad ideas can be building blocks to creative thought, sometimes they are in fact actually good ideas -- just ones that nobody else understands yet.

Ideas that were once ridiculed have led to some of the greatest inventions in history, such as human flight or electricity.

That said, there's another major benefit to equal opportunity creativity – which, in my opinion, is the greatest benefit of all.

By making creative brainstorms inclusive, those who typically deem themselves to be “non-creative” are then given opportunities to hone their own creativity, which could provide them the tools they need to contribute more efficiently in the future.

Over time, those same "non-creatives" should grow enough to thrive in traditionally creative environments, making them more valuable to your team.

Give your entire team opportunities to intermingle, participate in brainstorms, share their perspectives and grow together. You'll come up with greater creative ideas and strengthen your team in the process.

How does your team make the most of creative brainstorms?