AND WHAT NOW FOR CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION?

By Juliet Rogers, Sierra Leone

Creativity and innovation are the bed-rocks of human intelligence, wisdom, and understanding by which the world can be a better place.

In examining the postulates of this subject, one is minded to be totally subjective if not iconoclastic. I assure readers that it is not really so. I however ask readers to bear with me if per adventure I happen to mistakenly drop an ‘icon’ or two.

Creativity which is believed to be an artificial diction, is usually linked with originality. One school of thought links it with creation. It is my view that, creativity has assumed a limitless dimension bordering on original things, inventions, and whatever things portray an original stature. Creativity to a great extent is synonymous with ingenuity. Not only that, in some exceptional cases, it goes beyond knowledge (see Exodus 31:1-5).

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In this world of ours, many people have won the title of being a genius because of their wisdom and their ability to invent or emerge brilliant or credible ideas linked with scientific or technological development. Wisdom is conceived as the ability to judge rightly in matters relating to life and requires sound judgement especially in practical affairs. In making good use of knowledge especially in practical affairs, one has to make good use of one’s talent. It would be necessary to judge rightly and to access correctly. Wisdom is seen through the apparent issues of life to the real issues of life. It is uncompromising about fundamental values, but flexible and creative about the means whereby they are to be preserved or pursued. It is also defined as “good judgement in bad cases.”

Since the beginning of human consciousness, people have been inventing things all the way. People like Thomas Alva Edison, Graham Bell, Virginia Apgar, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Linus Towalds, Johannes Guterberg, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Leonardo da Vinci and many others have made priceless contributions to the advancement of mankind. All things were created because mankind felt the need for them. Hence, there is the often – used idiom that: “Need is the Mother of Invention” is said.

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Dr. Edward de Bono who is widely regarded as one of the foremost experts in the fields of creativity and Lateral thinking, wrote:
“Creative thinking is not a talent, it is a skill that can be learnt. It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities which improves teamwork, productivity and where appropriate profits.”
“Jan Koum, the WhatsApp proprietor is a self-made billionaire with a net worth of $7.1 billion, reports Forbes. He dropped out of San Jose State University to start a new, modern app that disrupted the mobile messaging industry. WhatsApp has over 500 million active monthly users and was sold to Facebook last February for $19 billion.”

On the other hand, innovation has to do with complementing new ideas with originals and effecting necessary change. Dormant institutions are made valuable and operative. The litmus test is its relevance in enhancing the social and economic developments of society. Nelson Mandela, then President of South Africa, in his famous speech in 1994 sought to allay the fears and aspirations of his subjects. He attempted to peel away one layer of understanding to re-create another. That’s innovation.

Moreover, according to ‘Blue Philosophy’, “INNOVATION is the gateway to success. A conqueror of problems. Self-sufficiency in action. The source of empowerment through inventions, lateral thinking. Africa must innovate or die a colony!…”

Sergey Brin wasn’t after the money when he co-founded Google. He was simply a hacker who wanted to build the best search technology in the world. He and his partner Larry Page maxed out their credit cards to buy servers and computer parts and by the late 1990s Google dominated the search engine market. Thanks to the success of Google AdWords, he finally figured out how to get paid from all that traffic. He racked up a net worth of $29 billions, reports Forbes, but innovation was always the forefront of his motivation to succeed.

Businessman and business sketch
Businessman and business sketch

In approaching the subject more closely, one must be able to identify some positive forms of improvement relevant to a society or the community at large. For instance, There was a certain period in my friend’s career as Customs Officer, and while serving as Deputy Commissioner and Special Assistant to the Commissioner, she was targeted for dismissal so Central Administration transferred her to a non variable, dormant Division of Training and Human Resource Development as its Director. Her first step was to institute an awareness campaign in the Division by explaining and selling out ideas on what the Division could do. She then organized and conducted the first and most successful talk about Customs Brokers Training Program followed by a series of In Service Training Programs. That Division moved from its dormant stage to a more attractive and valuable institution. This is innovation entwined with creativity in its entirety.

As Warren Bennis has written: “The organisations of the future will increasingly depend on the creativity of their members to survive. Great groups offer a new model in which the leader is an equal among Titans. In truly creative collaboration, work is a pleasure, and the only rules and procedures are those that advance the common cause.” (1)

I have ventured to bring that instance to show that with creativity and innovation go competence and performance. This means that, creativity and innovation are like twin brothers with identical caps, reflecting the pivot by which and through which wisdom and knowledge are quantified.

In the meantime, reflect on these words:

“Diversity drives innovation and creativity, and both depend on good ideas. Those ideas can come from anywhere, anyone.”

Amonition:
We live in a world of changing circumstances. With the world fast becoming a global village, society has of necessity to embrace the numerous scientific and technological changes. No one country can afford to live in insolation. This means that, we all must come into terms with the realisation of changing circumstances. We must therefore be adaptable and flexible enough to meet with the demands of productive change. Otherwise, we risk being in conflict with our environment and even in our homes. “There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same pattern.” (2)

Candidly, in this world of scientific and technological advancement, one cannot afford to be static. So too is knowledge. It is therefore my candid opinion that, creativity and innovation are the bed-rock of human intelligence, wisdom, and understanding by which the world can be a better place. Indeed, creativity and innovation are doubtlessly essential ingredients to modern civilized living. I submit that with these attributes, the world would definitely become more advanced in all spheres.

FOOTNOTES:

(1) Warren Bennis’ quote

(2) Dr. Edward de Bono’s quote

© Juliet Rogers,
Sociètal engineer, Life&Emotional Intelligence Coach.

® All Rights Reserved.

 

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