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The Myths of Creativity – Busting Three More!

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The Myths of Creativity – Busting Three More!

We’re on a mission to help demystify the processes that drive creativity. Because really, wouldn’t we all benefit from being a little more creative in our work and play?

We’ve previously explored the work of David Burkus, author of ‘The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas’ and all round top creative chap. We discussed three of his 10 creativity myths – The Eureka Myth, The Expert Myth and The Cohesive Myth – all well and truly debunked by Burkus, whose research supports that with proper training, anyone with an ounce of common sense and a desire to be creative can deliver innovative new ideas. We don’t need to be crazy scientist types or signed up to the bonkers bunch…

However, it seems that many remain hindered by ‘creativity blockers’, hardly surprising when we each have so many priorities competing for first place. We wanted to help simplify things a little and knock three more offenders off the list of creativity cloggers to encourage more innovative strategies and processes in the work that we do.

What makes one person more creative than the next? And how can we demystify the heavily shrouded process of creativity?

Here goes!

The Originality Myth

The longstanding myth about intellectual property and the concept that a creative idea is owned by the person who originally thought of   it. We tend to believe that when we have a good idea we alone are responsible for it and that the idea is unique. In fact, history shows us that new ideas are actually the natural evolution or combination of existing thoughts and observations. Apple is a great example. Steve Jobs was famously quoted, “Picasso had a saying – ‘good artists  copy, great artists steal’ – and we have always been shameless about   stealing great ideas.”

The bottom line is that every idea is made up of smaller ideas and every ‘original’ idea took its inspiration from somewhere or someone.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Don’t be afraid to learn from others and don’t be offended when others learn from you. Allow yourself to be inspired by successes! Build on existing ideas to help shape your own and don’t feel the need to constantly reinvent the wheel. Nobody has time for that.

Build on existing ideas to shape your own. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Nobody has time for that. (Tweet this!)

The Lone Creator Myth

Building on The Originality Myth, we might accept that outside influences offer inspiration, but we tend to view the act of creation as a lonely endeavour. We have a tendeve works to a sole person, disregarding the support network that inevitably existed around them. This article by 99U explores the benefits of sharing ideas and seeking feedback from a trusted group of friends or colleagues – well worth a read.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Don’t feel the need to slave away at an idea in a  dark and lonely corner. Collaboration cracks us open! Take a look at the networks around you. Enlist the support of others and use the power of teamwork to get creative!

Collaboration cracks us open! Explore your networks, use the power of teamwork to get creative! (Tweet this!)

The Constraints Myth

It’s a commonly held belief that constraints hinder our creativity and the most innovative results come when resources like time and money are unlimited. In actual fact, creativity thrives under constraints. When we’re stuck on a creative challenge, it can be easy to place blame on our limitations when actually they are helping to provide structure and perspective.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Embrace limitations. Try a new approach – intentionally apply limits like deadlines or budget restraints to leverage your creative potential.

Embrace limitations. Set limits like deadlines/budget restraints to leverage your creative potential. (Tweet this!)

So many of these creativity myths are actually pure poppycock and they can have a damaging effect on our confidence and our capabilities.

Try to think a little differently next time you’re presented with a challenge that requires a creative approach. Spend time understanding and nurturing the components of creativity in your own environment – reconsider your own myths of creativity. If you’re in need of a kick-start, take a look at our recent infographic, 7 Ways to Generate New Ideas.

We’d love to hear your creativity experiences – share your thoughts and ideas with us on Twitter at @AliveWithIdeas

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Jo Hobbs — Communications Manager

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Sarah Crowdy — Campaign and Media Officer Communications, South East Water

“We went to ‘Alive’ for ideas on how to run a specific employee program in Europe. Alan and his team were brilliant in coming up with fresh, creative and practical approaches. The team took charge and executed brilliantly. We are pleased with the progress made so far and hope to have the same level of partnership and commitment going forward.”

Sobha Varghese — Tata Consultancy Services

“Alive helped us create a video of our response to the floods of winter 2019. Our Chief Officer received messages from all round the country praising us for it and was really pleased with both the video and the response to it.”

Alexander Mills, Communications Manager — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“We had the privilege to work with the Alive team. It was our first time to be involved in creating an animation for our patients within paediatrics. The team were approachable, friendly, creative and very accommodating. Your vision for what you want to create, is at all times acknowledged, appreciated and accommodated by the team. They worked effectively and with great passion towards our project and worked not only alongside health professionals but also our patients who really enjoyed the experience of working with the Alive team. It has given our team the confidence and inspiration to do further projects in the future. We highly recommend Alive and their exceptional team.”

DR ELENI ATHANASAKOS, Lead Paediatric Clinical Scientist — NHS Barts Health

“‘The short animation developed in co-production with clinicians and young people is outstanding! Informative, developmentally appropriate, vitally fun and engaging. We are really grateful for the expertise of the Alive with Ideas team for their innovative approach in building children’s health literacy.'”

Kath Evans — Director of Children’s Nursing at Barts Health

“Our mission was to update our brand visuals to better reflect our innovative and forward-thinking organisation. After receiving numerous pitches from different branding agencies, Alive stood out with their clear passion and understanding of our identity and goals. We thoroughly enjoyed working with the Alive Team to create an engaging new brand that we are immensely proud of.”

Lianne Springer — Communications and Engagement Lead

“Alive wowed us during the pitch process and they didn’t stop wowing us throughout the whole project. Every person we worked with at Alive were so friendly, knowledgeable and clearly passionate about what they do. They have worked with us to really understand what we do and have created a new brand and website that really stands out from our competitors. Thank you!”

Louise Burnard, Head of Marketing and Communications UK — Be | Shaping the Future

“I think the team have done such a brilliant job, particularly with responding to our requests. It's one of the best mental health videos I've ever seen. Very proud to be associated with your exemplary work. Thank you so much.”

Dr Anna Batho — Clinical Psychologist – Critical Care, UCLH

“We have worked with Alan, Caroline and the wider Alive With Ideas team for many years. In that time, they have provided a dedicated service that is second to none. We appreciate their attention to detail and creative approach to bringing our brand, communications and stories to life. And would recommend them to anyone looking for creative communications support.”

Georgia Beech — Internal Communications Specialist, Ocado Group

“This is brilliant. I wanted to give my heartfelt thanks to all of the team who worked on this. You all understood exactly what we wanted to communicate and why, and then managed to do it in a way that was far better than anything I could have imagined. I’m a bit choked up to be honest!”

Sarah Wright, Head of Communications and Campaigns — NEA

“Each time I work with the team, I am always stunned at the effort and creativity that goes into each detail and am always eager for the end result. The team is extremely accommodating and always provide a fresh approach to our projects that elevates our communications materials!”

Alana Khaytin, Communications Specialist — Braskem America

“What I really appreciate about Alive is that they work with us as partners, and care as much about getting it right for our patients as we do.”

Sara Langston, Patient Engagement & Marketing Manager — italk

“Alive are unique in how much they deeply listen and invest in you and your ideas. I have not come across a company that listens as much as they do to ensure your needs are understood and met (actually - they always exceed my needs and expectations). Everyone I recommend Alive to has an equally brilliant experience. When you work with Alive, you are not only getting some genius creativity brought into your life, you are also hanging out with some of the best examples of human beings I’ve ever known.”

Steph Tranter, Hybrid Exec Coach & Psychologist —

“The (Alive) team were able to creatively pull together and document (in just over 2minutes) everything our service has achieved over the last few months, from thousands of prescriptions deliveries to hundreds of phone calls made to the vulnerable. The final product was so powerful and reflective of what our service has and continues to achieve. It couldn’t have been better received within the service – thanks Alive for once again helping us to communicate our vision!’”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire & Rescue

“We worked with the team at Alive to create our staff recognition video.
At a time like this, its never been more important to share the amazing work that our staff have done and continue to do on a daily basis under very difficult circumstances. We wanted to shout about this and recognise that when the time came, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue stepped up to the plate. We didn’t want an ordinary thank you post on social media or a basic email sent out internally, we wanted something special. Enter Alive. ”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“Our company is fun, we have great brands, but most importantly we’re all about our people – and I wanted an agency who would understand that and help us bring it to life through our website and other comms. Straight away I felt that Alive ‘got’ us and provided the creative inspiration exactly where we needed it, as well as the technical expertise to deliver a well-functioning website.”

Keren McCarron, Head of Corporate Affairs & Communications — KP Snacks

Thank you so much. Incredible work done at incredible speed by incredible people.
Outstanding work as ever and what a turnaround. As for the concepts – wow. These are that good it would be an insult to describe them as just good. It’s a joke, quite frankly. This is exactly the Alive effect I was after. Right now I feel like I am living in an Alive With Ideas wonderland. Thank you!”

Jack Grasby, Campaigns Manager — SYFR

“If you are looking to improve creativity and build teamwork, I highly recommend a session like this for your team. No matter where you are in your creativity journey, a workshop like this can give your team a boost of energy and ideas to invigorate their creative thinking.”

Amy Lilja, IC Manager — Hennepin Healthcare

“Alive were there to help when we were working every hour to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. They gave us the creativity, ideas and support we needed to deliver campaigns which empowered our residents in the most difficult time most of us have ever seen, personally and professionally. The team understood what we needed, worked closely with us and delivered fast without any compromise on quality. Working with Alive has been a joy in the darkest of times and I have no doubt will have helped to save lives. Thanks team x”

Julie Odams, Assistant Director of Communications & Customers — Derbyshire County Council

“We got 'Alive' involved to help us shift mindsets across our organisation and they delivered! Using simple, clear and creative ideas the team have delivered us a campaign which has seen a dramatic increase in idea sharing and development. They’ve also played a significant role in creating a culture of shared success. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with again, in fact, we already are!”

Gavin Buckle — B&Q
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