A life without creativity is possible, but meaningless.
Dr. Gerhard Huhn
It is about understanding creativity within a larger framework of meaningfulness, strengths, values and potential development. At first glance, for many, it looks like a concept that only belongs to art and culture. Through the contributions of this website the connection between creativity and your everyday personal and business life should become alive. With a deeper understanding of the creative process you gain the key to the real potential of your mind.
Why computers don’t cry?
Why did the mathematician Archimedes run naked on the street?
Why you don’t have to worry about personal unemployment because of the consequences of digitization? (or why you should?)
In answering these questions you may discover the secret of human creativity.
Here's why there is an answer to these three different questions:
Contrary to the widespread belief that artificial intelligence (also called AI) is the most important topic of the future, I would like to say that the future is not created as a sum of algorithms but by the power of the human mind and spirit.
Algorithms can help accelerate and simplify mental processes, and - my be - avoid human made mistakes, but they can not make illogical leaps across different levels for creative solutions, recognizing, generating, and valuing paradoxes, or making something useful and NEW from the flashing associations. (see a.o. Dreyfus, Weizenbaum, Cicurel with Nicolelis)
Computers can not laugh about bisociations (Arthur Koestler) or even – as Archimedes after his ingenious idea in the bathtub – act crazy by being overjoyed. They also know no despair, tears and depression, if, despite all efforts no solution appears – for creatives people often the trigger for the subsequent breakthrough to the NEW.
Computers can not cry or laugh.
They may be able to take over a considerable part of the functions of the linguistically dominant, sequentially operating cerebral areas. The stimulus impulses of the limbic system (emotionally differentiated and perceived in the opposite part of the neocortex), possibly even processes of the brain stem, as well as the holistic and not bound to the laws of the logic wilder gestural forces of the more pictorial, analogously working other cerebral areas can not be represented with algorithms. In contrast to the computer, the involved elements and processes in the brain are subject of changes immediately in every process due to corresponding feedback processes. Hopes for creative solutions through digitization are illusions.
Digitalization pushes creativity to its limits.
As for the future of work:
Once you gain the reputation of being a creative person, you will be among those who will be the most sought after in the future.
Creativity is considered the key to shape and manage the future. Insufficient power of ideas and the lack of imagination are the causes of most serious problems, be it in companies and organizations, be it private.
If you look at the people who have become billionaires with algorithms, you will find a.o. Steve Jobs, who quit his studies and got excited about calligraphy and meditation, Atari founder Nolan Bushnell who wants to play first and foremost even as an adult, and the two Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin selected Eric Schmidt among all the highly qualified applicants for the post of CEO, because he was the only one who, like the two founders, is a fan of the annual bizarre Burning Man happening in the Nevada desert.
Simple creativity techniques alone do not help much.
Creativity is not a single, methodical act. To create something in the spirit of thought is a question of consciousness, inner attitude and the personal handling of fantasy, irrationality and illogicality.
It is different kind of thinking than usual, one has to overcome fear, one has to be brave and one must be able to develop enthusiasm under even very difficult circumstances.
Only those who feel to be part of the world can empathize with evolutionary processes and shape change.
Being able to ask a child's questions, be amazed and at least temporarily find their way back to modest naturalness can be far more stimulating than stare at financial ratios or economic indicators in order to optimize them.
There is too much emphasis on purposeful, convergent thinking, and too little on divergent, diversity, flourishing of the mind.
It is important to be open to ideas, inspirations, flashes of inspiration, unexplainable things. It needs an inner serenity. Sometimes being alone helps, sometimes it's better to work together, and so we need to be able to decide for one of each in any given situation.
Creativity has to do with the willingness to set goals and to pursue them with commitment and a strong will. But just as important is the ability to let go, to play, to fantasize, and ultimately, the creative power in the human being is very often (or always?) a question of the heart, of surrender, of love.
All this is nothing for algorithms.
Creativity research: from the muse goddesses of antiquity to neuropsychology today.
Over the centuries, there have been many different ideas about idea creation. It has always been an important topic.
The German poet Friedrich Schiller described it as the »work of creation of the soul« (»Schöpfungswerk der Seele«). Nietzsche provoked with the assertion »One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star,« and Einstein emphasized that »fantasy is more important than knowledge, because knowledge is limited«.
In ancient Greece, the artists were hoping for the kiss of the muses (goddesses in charge of them), and Arthur Koestler has given his book »The Act of Creation« the German title »Der Göttliche Funke« («The Divine Spark«. His explanation of bisoziation (as the origin of a wit or joke) »is used to describe the tension-creating coincidences of two or three mismatched associations, which then, at the moment, unleashes the liberating laugh).
Creativity - a question of genius, of talent?
I was fascinated by the phenomenon of creativity and did not let go of it since I discovered the Swedish edition of an American book in 1968 in a bookstore in Stockholm with the title »Kreativitet och Uppfinnings Förmöga«
To my great surprise, it was not only claimed but often proved that creativity is not the exclusive talent of a few geniuses, but is more or less rooted in every human being. The ability to find new ideas can, once discovered, be unfolded and strengthened. The different methods and techniques can help here.
But then, a study published years ago in German business magazine »manager magazin« showed that only 1% of ideas were found using creativity techniques. The statistically lean result, however, says nothing against these techniques.
My own observations about their use in companies have shown time and time again that they have not been used or implemented properly in almost all cases. The barren percentage would probably turn out a little better in a recent study, since the use is now also a bit more professional and new methods such »Design Thinking« have been added - Overall, however, the results remain poor in relation to the effort.
Now the hopes are directed to digitization and Artificial Intelligence (also called AI). More and more sophisticated algorithms are supposed to produce solutions.
Given the uncritical enthusiasm for the digital, I would like to warn against seeing the solution in the focus on omnipotent algorithms or relying solely on more modern creativity methods and techniques or corresponding processes. Here the train is steered with increased speed in exactly the wrong direction.
Heuristik vs. Algorithmen
The alternative to algorithmic solution finding is described by the rather uncomfortable word heuristic, a more intuitive, quicker approach through rapid assessment, exploration, experimentation, in which sensing, sensory perception, emotional forces play a role, the insights are sparkling from the unconscious approach to the inner treasure of knowledge and experience.
The heuristic approach lacks mathematical certainty, so it is also more susceptible to errors.
More meaningful than a discussion, which approach is better, would be an integration of both:
Intellect and intuition, analysis and imagination, logic and paradox, knowledge and premonition, experience and inspiration, imagination and risky exploration of the untried, enduring and integrating contradictions and opposites – is the art of the creative mind.
All that is already within you!
And you will have already experienced it several times.
The secret of creativity is still not deciphered in depth. But today we know a lot more than 20, 30 years ago, which promotes idea generation and what hinders it. Using this knowledge properly can enormously expand your professional and private opportunities.
Learn to use your creative resources
Now you can consciously use and reinforce this ultimately inexhaustible resource of personal creativity.
To give you suggestions, practical tips and inspirations will be the goal of this site. Feel welcome, because:
A life without creativity is possible, but meaningless.