Dr. Edward De Bono visited India in September, 2007. His visit has been of an immense value to many organizations. He talked on the importance of creativity and innovation. I really do not know how many organizations have started realizing the importance of creativity at their work places. Just to speak in few words, Dr.Edward De Bono is a creativity Guru, and an outstanding man accredited with 74 books to his credit. He is a “lateral thinking” Guru and an inventor of “Six Hats Theory”. He has been traveling all over the world and speaking and advising hundreds of organizations on creativity and generating newer business ideas on the strengths of creativity and lateral thinking. Lateral thinking means to think in an unconventional way. What they say in the management parlance is to “think out of the box”. Are you interested in knowing more about Dr.Bono? You can digitally travel to his personal website @ Dr. Edward De Bono. You can also know about Dr. Bono on Wikipedia.
Are Indians creative? Dr. Bono says, “From the limited interactions I’ve had, I find Indians very argumentative”. He further adds saying, “Argument is a very primitive way of discussion”. A very cryptic remark isn’t it? We really need to peek in and introspect ourselves. I think Indian-born Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen will definitely agree with Dr. Bono. However, Nobel Laureate and world renowned economist Amartya Sen in his book “The Argumentative Indian” delves deeper and wider and beyond the narrow argumentative traits of the “Argumentative Indian”. In contrast Dr. De Bono says, “Americans are creative and have a ‘go getter’ attitude. The Chinese have not started thinking creatively, but the Japanese are slowly shifting from logic-based thinking to creative thinking. The French think they are the most creative. But in fact, they are not”. Can India become a Superpower? He gives an instant solution. He says, “If India can partner China, the two can become a Superpower in a short time. Alternately, if India and China can form a coalition, bringing other developing nations under its fold, it can beat all other superpowers”.
Great Guru !! Creativity has its own power. The biggest power lies in creativity. Dr. De Bono advises organizations to appoint a CIO - Chief Ideas Officer. He should be responsible for ideation, collection and implementation of ideas. He further says, “Ideation should be made compulsory”. He gives the example of a bank in England which allows its employees to “just think” for half an hour daily. The bank employees have to report at 9 am and think till 9:30 am.
What is lacking then? Why can’t we be creative? He gives the following three factors that prevent us from thinking creatively: Lack of confidence, Lack of knowledge of adequate creative thinking tools, Fear of taking risks. We all at Better Manage Now, strongly feel that the future world does not belong to the competitive but to the creative. The “Blue Oceans” belong to the creative and the innovative, and the “Red Oceans” belong to the competitive. The competition with the other is an old adage. And to be creative and innovative is a new thinking and a new beginning. Creativity and innovation is a new mantra that will keep the businesses ticking. Creativity is all about mindfully creating the future. It is crafting the future with full of awareness and consciousness.
Let us contemplate on some brilliant insights given by great people on creativity:
“There is nothing new except what has been forgotten”. Marie Antoinette.
“Your theory is crazy, but it is not crazy enough to be true”. Niels Bohr.
“You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star”. Nietzsche.
“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up”. Pablo Picasso.
“If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe”. Carl Sagan.
“You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created”. Albert Einstein.
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift”. Albert Einstein.
“Creativity has nothing to do with any activity in particular - with painting, poetry, dancing, singing. It has nothing to do with anything in particular. Anything can be creative - you bring that quality to the activity. Activity itself is neither creative nor uncreative. You can paint in an uncreative way. You can sing in an uncreative way. You can clean the floor in a creative way. You can cook in a creative way. Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach - how you look at things. So the first thing to be remembered: don't confine creativity to anything in particular. A man is creative - and if he is creative, whatsoever he does, even if he walks, you can see in his walking there is creativity. Even if he sits silently and does nothing, even non-doing will be a creative act. Buddha sitting under the Bodhi Tree doing nothing is the greatest creator the world has ever known”. Osho.
“Each man comes into this world with a specific destiny - he has something to fulfill, some message has to be delivered, some work has to be completed. You are not here accidentally - you are here meaningfully. There is a purpose behind you. The Whole intends to do something through you”. Osho.
“Life in itself is not meaningful. It is meaningful only if you can sing a song of the eternal. If you can release some fragrance of the divine, of the godly. If you can become a lotus flower, deathless, timeless. If you can become pure love. If you can beautify this existence, if you can become a blessing to this existence, only then life has significance, otherwise it is pointless, it is like an empty canvas, you can go on carrying it your whole life and you can die under its weight, but what is the point? Paint something on it. Meaning has to be created in life, meaning is not given already. You are given freedom, you are given creativity, you are given life. All that is needed to create meaning is given, all the essential ingredients of meaning are given, but meaning is not given. Meaning has to be created by you. You have to become a creator in your own right. And when you become a creator in your own right, you participate with god, you become part of god”. Osho.
So what’s next then? Can we still think of not being creative? Some ground rules:
- We can create only from the created and not create the created.
- We can create within the creation and not outside the creation.
- We can be a drop in the ocean and not an ocean in the drop.
Are you still not thinking of creating something? Let us not create anything out of everything, but let us create something out of nothing. And let that something be of a value. Let that something be meaningful.