Friday 13 July 2007

Two views of creativity

Innovation is a big topic of conversation at my workplace at the moment. The consensus seems to be that innovation = creativity + action + reflection + further creativity + further action + (you get the idea).

I recently subscribed to Colin Stewart's Arts of Innovation blog. In this blog, Stewart uses David Galenson's work on conceptual and experimental innovators to look at creativity. So, for example, the latest post I got was about Malcolm Gladwell's current project, a book on the American healthcare system, which he describes as being in need of a Cezanne (experimental innovator - building on an idea step by step) rather than a Picasso (conceptual innovator - pushing development forward with massive, unpredictable breakthroughs). [All of which, by the by, seems like a good basis for a 'What kind of modernist master painter are you?' quiz in the next copy of Idealog].

Meanwhile, on the UX magazine site, I've just come across a Nov 2006 article about Creativity 2.E (which goes to show that the current trend for putting '2.0' after everything can be successfully merged with the past trend of adding 'e-' in front of everything) which looks at the evolution of creativity for web workers, and includes gems like this:

[Traditional] skills, talents and abilities are needed – no doubt about it. But what’s also needed is the evolution of them – the next iteration. But what does this look like? An Information Architect who completely grasps Human Computer Interaction but can also think fluidly – can do things like rapidly create prototypes, facilitate user testing, understand visual design and occasionally write copy.

You might well ask at this point, why on earth am I brining these two things together? Well, in one part of my life, I work in web development, which is where I've learnt about the iterative process, granularity and rapid prototyping. In another part of my life I do art things, where Paul and Pablo fit in. So for me, it's grist for some kind of mind-mill, which you get to share.

No comments: