Big Questions

…or The 10 Things You Need to Know About Creativity

I’m exposed to a fair amount of social writings on creativity. From LinkedIn group digests to Fast Company articles, this results in a pretty constant stream of attention-grabbing (and comfortably quantified) leads, such as “The 5 Things Creative People Do Before Breakfast,” “Eight Rules for Fool-Proof Innovation,” and “How This One Dumb Trick Can Melt Your Creative Inhibitions.”

While I don’t begrudge the authors for angling for my attention this way — after all I’ve probably done it myself  — I am struck by the certitude of the statements. Ironic, because creativity is fueled by questions. It’s in asking the right question in the right way at the right time that gives us creative traction.

Big Questions in Creativity 2013This is one reason I’m proud to have a chapter in the recently published Big Questions in Creativity 2013: A Volume of First Works, Vol. 1. The book, a collection of ten graduate research papers, is published by the ICSC Press, the imprint of the International Center for Studies in Creativity, my alma mater. I’m also proud to be among peers exploring such diverse questions as “What is Creative Economy?,” “How Might Creative Problem Solving Combat Bullying?” and “What is the Role of Creativity in Talent Development?” To be sure, we do more than ask questions — we synthesize information, arrive at conclusions and make recommendations. But it all begins with a Big Question.

So if your appetite for writings on creativity extends beyond pithy headline reporting and into what editors Cynthia Burnett and Paul Reali call a “vibrant and often messy ‘multilogue'” designed to spur “new, provocative questions about the field of creativity,” then here’s The 1 Thing You Need To Do: buy this book.

(My chapter for those who are interested is “What are the Natural Relationships Between Creativity and Leadership,” a topic I’ve blogged on before.)


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