Don’t worry, I still don’t believe that the innovators of the future will turn into walking light bulbs (although one can never be too certain of anything) and look like this. They might look sillier or smarter, older or younger…or, maybe, somewhere in the middle…
Anyway, this morning I stumbled upon an interesting article in The New York Times where the author presents his views on where America will be in the 21st century. What caught my attention was the profile of a creative person that Howard Gardner of Harvard describes:
She comes from a little place somewhat removed from the center of power and influence. As an adolescent, she feels herself outgrowing her own small circle. She moves to a metropolis and finds a group of people who share her passions and interests. She gets involved with a team to create something amazing.
Then, at some point, she finds her own problem, which is related to and yet different from the problems that concern others in her group. She breaks off and struggles and finally emerges with some new thing. She brings it back to her circle. It is tested, refined and improved.
And this is something I completely agree with and I can relate to. First of all, I look at my background and I see myself growing up in Sofia, Bulgaria – a place quite far away from the global centres of power and influence. Second, I look back at the places I studied and worked, and I feel that I always quickly reach my potential, wanting more and more, and I am constantly looking for new opportunities. However, quite often, as a result of this trait, I can’t achieve the ultimate satisfaction that comes with success. There’s only an exhilarating feeling that last just a few hours at the most. It’s simply not enough.
Then, I’ve always preferred working in a team of like-minded, assertive people with the same interests and ambitions. I always try to establish synergy within the teams I am working with. And what the team produces then is a product of great quality, appreciated by many. But, of course, everyone is unique and posses different strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, people have different interests. And it is important that within a team you have everyone involved in a separate, special project that can, at a later stage, be of benefit to the group. I need this freedom and I always pursue my interests, that in turn, broadens my horizons, I learn new things, and I can use this new knowledge within my work and the team.
The conclusion is that creativity is not a solitary process and creative people and innovators function best within groups. Therefore, I am grateful that I know at least two people with whom I can get together, start something and be sure that the outcome will always be of great quality. Having this belief in the first place already sets up a productive and easy-going working environment, as a result of which creativity and innovation thrive.
Here is the link to the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/09/opinion/09brooks.html
Have a great and productive day!