The Next Best Thing By Marcus Organizational Behavior-MGT 5013 “Creativity, it has been said, consists largely of re-arranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know” (George Kneller). Often times people will not try things because they do not know what the result will be opting to immediately say “ I cannot do this or that cannot be done. When I hear people say things like this my response is usually that it’s not that you can’t do it but that you are not willing to try.
I run into this with my wife more often than I would like. Conversely, she often tries to keep me from trying to do things that will make our lives better. If I listened to her then I would have never used bed sheets to make cushion covers for our couch and love seat when our slip covers were ill-fitting . Our couch and love seat looked terrible until I got a creative inspiration during a sick day and was home alone and decided to attempt the bed sheet maneuver.
Recently I purchased a game called rock band in which one can play drums with actual drum sticks. I was having a problem with the sticks slipping out of my hand so I took duct tape and applied several layers of tape around the sticks where I was holding them allowing me to have a better grip while rocking out. I have no idea if this is common practice with drum players but at the time I felt as though I was brilliant for thinking to do this. Creativity knocks at the door of our psyche everyday (Staw 2004).
The only problem is that we either don’t acknowledge it or we automatically shoot it down because you may think that it is an unattainable concept or that people will not want to endorse your idea or even that your wife will make you feel like an idiot for even thinking of such a thing. I wonder if the person who concocted the idea to make a remote control that could control every component in your living room submitted the idea amidst fear of rejection or self doubt. Either way I would like to shake that person’s hand because it definitely made my life much easier.
Creativity is not just making new things from scratch. In essence, there are three broad types of creativity (Staw 2004). Creation of course is what we naturally think of when we think of creativity. Besides the fact that the words are pretty much the same in sound and spelling, creativity is the concept and creation is the process. The wheel for example never existed until the good ol cavemen decided that it would make their lives easier. Initially language had to be created. Of course new types of language are created everyday.
An example of this would be ebonics however ebonics is not a creation of language but it is a modification of language which I will explain shortly. In other words, the only way to create is to make something that was not already present and did not require the assimilation of another entity to make the item. Modification is the act of altering something that already exists so that it can perform better, perform a new function, perform in a different setting or be used by someone new (Staw 2004). This brings me back to the aforementioned ebonics comment.
Ebonics is just another way of speaking initially utilized by the African American community but has become more widespread and has crossed cultures. Ebonics is nothing more than a new way of speaking. It’s faster and efficient when all participants are fluent. I have a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle that I plan to work on starting this month that will make it faster, sound better and more aesthetically pleasing. One of the modifications will be the addition of rear foot pegs so a passenger, namely my wife can ride with me. Synthesis is the act of relating two or more previously unrelated phenomena (Staw 2004).
While creation is nice synthesis is the real engine of survival and prosperity (Staw 2004). Someone was out in the wilderness one day and had a backpack consisting of food and clothes but more importantly, a knife, can opener, scissors, a screwdriver and corkscrew to pop that nice bottle of Merlot around the campfire. This same person thought to him or herself, wouldn’t it be nice if I didn’t have to carry all of these items. Next thing you know the Swiss Army Knife was made. These examples seem mundane and elicits the response of “I could have thought of that”. So why are we not all inventors?
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift (Albert Einstein). Unfortunately society is very fast to shoot down ideas that are the result of outside the box thinking. Outside the box concepts are uncomfortable because they are different from the norm. Change is anxiety provoking and sometimes scary. In addition to societal factors there are also internal factors that hinder our creative inspirations. We build our own walls to protect us from the rejection that may come.
Psychological Dimensions of Organizational Behavior provides three examples of these walls. These examples are as follows: 1. The idea that one has to be a genius or possess a vast abundance of intelligence to be creative 2. We have to have bravado or “chutzpa” 3. The creative person is a recluse that creates from Gods influence. While all of these examples can be easily believable, none of them have ever been proven, in fact they have only been disproven. Children have the ability to be very creative. This is probably because children are not influenced by society.
They perform without fear of rejection as the concept of rejection is not important to a child. A child’s mind is so full of imagination and has not been corrupted by the deadlines, bottom lines or production numbers. It is cliche to say this but the children are our future and they will more than likely create the next best thing. References Wikipedia Creativity retrieved March 2nd from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Creativity Creativity Quotes retrieved March 2nd from http://www. wisdomquotes. com/cat_creativity. html Staw, Barry M. Psychological Dimensions of Organizational Behavior 3rd