...Pass it on' (A. Einstein)
Historically, creativity was the preserve of gifted individuals; great artists and thinkers touched by a certain genius. But, in recent years, it has become a quality all of us can (and do) possess.
This democratic turn coincided with the public and private sector attempting to harness its powers for growth. As a result, we now have ‘creative industries’, a ‘creative class’ and even ‘creative cities’.
As with any buzzword, determining the genuine from the aspiring – not to mention the plainly fraudulent – can be tricky. With money to be made, many businesses have sought to position themselves as creative without actually, you know, doing anything creative.
Indeed, the start-up world has mastered this better than anyone else. While the initial idea may be creative (Airbnb, Uber, or any other digital start-up you care to mention), the businesses themselves tend to be more concerned with operations than new ideas. But the halo of creativity remains, held up by an informal corporate culture and the ubiquitous table tennis table.
Which inevitably prompts the question: what is a creative business?
Traditionally, it was those in the business of creativity; ad agencies, fashion houses, film studios, the list could go on… But there’s no denying it now encompasses a broader swathe of industry, which is probably fair. After all, we as people are all capable of creativity (although, to paraphrase Orwell, some of us are more creative than others).
But it does mean that individual businesses increasingly need to define it for themselves – what are they working towards? How do they cultivate it? How do they measure it? Heineken took this step in recent times; and we at Razor will be doing the same over the next month or so.
There will be outings, experts, and conversations about what creativity means to us – and how we can knit it deeper into the fabric of the company. Watch this space.