Are creative people filtered out on their way to the top?

Here it is, before the end of 2010 a google alert just came across my path linked to Fortune article about how being creative, especially during a recession is not a good idea…. It goes something like this “if you are bubbling over with fresh creative ideas — put a lid on it if you hope to become promoted”. I guess this explains why I am self employed, demoted right out of the system and still struggling to retain my autonomy with potential clients who even when considering hiring me will ask for your ideas on Search and Social media then after I make a few off the cuff suggestions to gauage their SM acumen find them declaring that those “stratagies” simply will not work with their current marketing as this is the way we do it and the way we have always done it”. huh?

As I see it there is no “way to the top” by being a Creative. You start at ground zero and work at making something new instead. If you are good you broaden your network and distribute a few ideas or memes, perhaps they even go viral and get shared, creating influence. Now there is an idea that’s time has come, eh? If you are an idea obsessed superstar you create a start up. The rest of us muddle through as consultants or freelancers.

I am working my way through the best books of 2010 – a list compiled by “brain pickings” on ” business, life and mind” which by the way, I was able to download onto my ipad – through the KOBO app. I just finished reading “Cognitive Surplus” . As I mentioned in an earlier post three of the top books have to do with ideas and creativity. Cognitive Surplus first which is all about how everyday people (users), what the author calls the world’s amatuers, are taking the time formerly spent watching TV and doing something online that is “participatory”. The byline of the book reads “creativity and generousity in the connected age”.

Clearly the companies that Fortune article is referring to are not connected and by extension – NOT generous. If they were they would be singing a different song. Like the fact that Google gave all its employees at 10% raise for 2011 or that Facebook has alot of former Google employees on staff. My favorite quote in the book is one that goes something like “even the lamest creative act, is still a creative act”

Which brings me to the two key philosophies behind the my thinking on creativity and work.

1. Who ever controls your time controls your mind
2. As humans we are creative (i.e. SOCIAL) beings

The Thinker working on  an idea...


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