Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Is creativity an intrinsic characteristic?

Something intrinsic is something "belonging to a thing by its very nature" ( With this in mind, I have never considered myself a creative person. One only need look at my grade school art projects to appreciate the validity of this statement! However, after reading the text's small blurb on creativity I have come to believe that creativity is not an intrinsic characteristic, rather, it something everyone can gain and enhance.

The text defines creativity as "the process of looking outside ourselves and our routine to discover new ideas and innovative solutions" (W&O, 139). The commonly used cliché, "think outside the box" may need to be reworked for public relations practitioners. Perhaps we need to learn to "think outside the press release." This is not to say that we should never think within the box (press release), but creativity pushes us to go beyond the bounds of our self-imposed comfort zone. As the text states, "creativity often means borrowing and adapting ideas" (W&O, 141). Being creative does not mean we have to come up with brand new ideas all the time. We would live in a very primitive world if no one ever built on the ideas of others.

Finally, "fear is probably the single greatest barrier to creative behavior" (W&O, 144). I often hesitate to voice my ideas and opinions for fear of rejection or ridicule. Doing so greatly stifles my creative capabilities. We are not born with or without creativity, but our fears can certainly limit it.

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