“Everyone is Creative. It’s Part of the Basic Software We’re All Running.” Three Creativity Speakers on How to Cultivate Inspiration
The path to developing creative, innovative ideas at work isn’t as illusive as it might seem. Just ask Harvard history professor Sarah Lewis, neuroscientist and bestselling author David Eagleman, or Welby Altidor, the man responsible for the corporate culture at Cirque du Soleil, one of the world’s most creative companies.
“Showing your work too early can help you find an audience, but being too conscious of your audience can unhinge you from your own creative self.”
Where do new ideas come from? A question as enduring as it is puzzling, but Sarah Lewis, Harvard professor and bestselling author of The Rise—a book about the foundations of creative human endeavor—has worked out the finely balanced equations between grit, play, surrender, space and failure that leads to true creative breakthrough.
“We draw on our experience and the raw materials around us to refashion the world. Knowing where we’ve been and where we are, points the way to the next big industries.”
Building a creative company isn’t luck. It’s science. That’s what David Eagleman, neuroscientist, bestselling author and host of PBS’ The Brain says. In his latest book The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World he theorizes that, as artificial intelligence spreads and machines advance, human imagination will become a company’s most valuable resource. This is the dawn of The Creative Economy, and lucky for us the brain is not only hardwired to innovate, it can learn to innovate too.
“My role at Cirque du Soleil was actually to be chief collaborator: building bridges, making connections … creating opportunity for genius to emerge.”
Welby Altidor was the executive creative director for Cirque du Soleil. It was his job to create the innovative and collaborative culture it’s now known for. How did he do it? Creative courage. What’s creative courage? It’s engagement, motivation, focus, authenticity, failing early and failing often. It’s fostering the safe space where true creativity is born.