When you hear the word creativity, what comes to mind? We definitely are prone to think of the arts when describing someone as creative. Most of us immediately envision an artist brushing away effortlessly on a canvas or a graphic designer putting together clever images for clients, or even a dancer choreographing her next masterpiece. However the most encompassing definition of creativity found on Dictionary.com is: cre·a·tiv·i·ty [kree-ey-tiv-i-tee, kree-uh-]: the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas forms, methods, interpretations, etc; originality; progressiveness. Surely, that goes far beyond our traditional concept.
Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in 2014 reveals some atypical yet praiseworthy selections. For example, is a successful fight towards women’s rights to work in the Middle East a creative accomplishment? According to Fast Company and our broader definition of creativity, it is. The #1 slot went to Princess Reema, CEO of Saudi Arabian Luxury, for her achievements in winning more jobs for women in a highly controversial environment. And would you believe US Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Fox, grabbed the #7 spot for pushing innovative solutions to reduce approval time for infrastructure projects? We undoubtedly must recognize these thought leaders for finding ways to transcend traditional ideas, rules, relationships, just as our definition of creativity states.
Other top slots went to some of the US’s most clever knowledge workers like Google’s VP of Product Management, Mario Queiroz, for leading his team to penetrate the smart-TV industry with Chromecast, and Jill Wilfert, who drove efforts to get the popular LEGO movie concept to the big screen. As Wilfert put it, “It had to be a fantastic, entertaining movie experience above anything else. We know exactly how kids interact with the brand.”
The idea of creativity has definitely shifted to a new level. And though we still love our artists, painters, dancers and designers, we must continue to cultivate and nurture this new era of creative thinkers and thought leaders.