“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” Winston Churchill

What’s your creativity quotient?  Ever sat an IQ test, or worried about your lack of emotional intelligence?  Oops that’s just me.  We measure numeracy and literacy and empathy, but with creativity there is no set measure or agreed approach.  And maybe, there shouldn’t be one – there’s nothing uniform about creativity – therein lies its beauty and its mystery.

However Bruce Nussbaum believes there are characteristics we can look for in people with high creative intelligence.  Bruce is Professor of Innovation and Design at Parsons The New School of Design in New York, and is the author of Creative Intelligence.

A lot of what Bruce identifies as creative competencies can be described as the ability of people to recognise patterns and understand needs. It’s about being able to connect the dots…….. Knowing what is meaningful to people, and seeking ways to improve their lives through the skills at their disposal.  Bruce also highlights the importance of self-awareness. Not just understanding our specific skill-sets, but looking at how we can re-frame them to work in multiple scenarios.

Importantly he makes the point that we’re being wrongly taught creativity is a rarity reserved for ‘special’ brains.  As a result, we are rejecting creative thinking in favour of predictability and conventionality.  We are all creative!

Staying with creativity as a topic, I’m a fan of Austin Kleon and his book Steal Like An Artist.  He’s just published a new book ‘Show Your Work!‘  I’ve just ordered it.  According to Austin if Steal was a book about stealing influence from others, Show is about influencing others and letting them steal from you.  Cool – let’s all add to the creative landscape.  In ten chapters, he lays out ways to think about your work as a never-ending process, how to build an audience by sharing that process, and how to deal with the ups and downs of putting yourself and your work out in the world:

  1. You don’t have to be a genius.
  2. Think process, not product.
  3. Share something small every day.
  4. Open up your cabinet of curiosities.
  5. Tell good stories.
  6. Teach what you know.
  7. Don’t turn into human spam.
  8. Learn to take a punch.
  9. Sell out.
  10. Stick around.


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