What is your next career, fortysomethings? – III

The third of my completely uninformed and subjective keys to survival as an employee in the world my children now own: creative content generation.

There are volumes of material on this subject and I don’t intend to rehash it.  In the immortal words of Inigo Montoya (as penned by William Goldman): “Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”

Creativity is making something better, not always something new.

Creativity is innate, not just in a few individuals, but in all of us.

Creativity is a skill.  Our individual differences in natural ability are rapidly surpassed by differences in experience and practice.

Creativity is more often the ability to mass produce and brilliantly down-select, than it is to brilliantly produce.

Creativity happens when it happens, so you have to be paying attention and capture it when it does.  If an idea comes at an inopportune moment, write it down now, work it later.

Why does any of this matter?  Because contributing to the synergy of ideas is central to being valued on a creative team, and creative teams are central to successful business in the world of my millennial kids.  In almost every setting, teams produce more ideas than individuals, iterate through them more quickly than individuals, and produce more innovative results than individuals.  We need to get comfortable with idea generation, contribution, and down-selection, using all the skills I’ve talked about in parts I and II.

Next time: The fun way I’ve decided to try and bring it all together.

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