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Discover smart tips, personal stories and our take on the latest marketing trends
14 April 2015

If creativity is your goal, then you're definitely missing the point!

I’m driving home in my car at the end of a very demanding week that has made me yearn for the weekend. There has been an accident, of course, which has created a dreadful traffic jam. I knew I would be driving for hours.

Never thought this moment could evoke real creativity…


New buzzword in town

Since Creativity is the new buzzword in Marketingville, we are looking for guidelines, tips and tricks, do’s and don’ts and best practices. We try to have questions answered, such as ‘How can we be creative?’ and ‘How can we induce creativity?’. But is creativity still creativity if there are guidelines and a ‘Creative Thinking for Dummies’ book? Is the path that we follow towards creativity not part of creativity itself?

It seems that creativity is the new Holy Grail for success. But what is creativity really? Is it an original campaign? A beautiful interior? An unsettling idea?

For me it’s all of those things, or maybe none of those things. It depends on respecting the essence of pure and honest creativity: the origin of your creative thinking.

The origin of your creativity

Back to the traffic jam: I don’t know if it was the many red lights, the music, the fact that I was totally alone with my own ideas or maybe a combination of all of the above that triggered me. But that night, real creativity took hold of me.

The outcome of this sudden burst of creativity is what you are reading right now: my new take on creativity and how it originates. In my opinion there are different kinds of creativity, with ‘origin of creativity’ as the differentiating factor. That ‘origin’ may be your mind, your body or your soul. Sounds clichéd? Maybe, but those basics in life still stand and will always be a certainty.

Basic Creativity – for others

The first kind of creativity is the sort that follows only the mind and is the least impactful. The main purpose for this type of creativity is not for you but for others. For example, people are pushed to come up with creative ideas with a certain goal in mind, such as creating more profit (e.g. a marketing campaign, a new music hit, a new book, etc.). Often this has to be within a certain timeframe or with certain restrictions and boundaries. Given the circumstances, only this kind of basic creativity will be induced in the main. The risk here is that creativity becomes the goal per se. It’s being creative for the sake of being creative.

Personal Creativity – for you

The second expression of creativity comes from your body. This creativity is induced by a personal interest and has an impact mainly on you. It is all about self-expression and finding meaning through the things you do. I call it personal creativity. This may be, for example, a strong interest in interior design, resulting in a living room that is really dazzling. This sort of creativity energises you.

Impactful creativity – for all

The third form of creativity touches your soul. It is similar to personal creativity since it is also about personal interest and self-expression. But impactful creativity goes a step further because the major impact is not only on you, but also on others. You bring your personal creativity into the public domain. You don’t think rationally about this creativity, you just follow it. There is no real reason; it is all about following your gut feeling.

The tricky part is that you will never know when it is going to hit you. This is the deepest and most honest kind of creativity that underlies the most innovative and strong ideas, the best music, the most beautiful artwork and the best dancers. Little ideas, emerging DJs and street artists can also be perfect examples of this impactful creativityas long as it is a translation of an inner passion.

What separates the former from the latter are the external parameters. You need to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right people to get the chance to do great things with your creativity. Nevertheless you can still trigger good luck and coincidence by trying to create the best possible conditions for it to just ‘happen’!

Companies that find a way of allowing their employees follow this impactful creativity and use it to good effect have found the real Holy Grail in creativity.

If Creativity is your goal, then you’re definitely missing the point!

Guidelines, tips & tricks and best practices will fall short in your search for real, deep and meaningful creativity. It’s the search itself that is part of creativity. What will induce creativity for one person will not work for someone else. For me, it was that exhausting Friday night in the car that made me think about creativity. It just happened.