We are social creatures. Collaboration is hardwired into us, from infant playgroups to the board meetings that mean so much to us as working adults. Ancient man depended on one another to hunt prey animals and so provide for their families. Nowadays we provide for our loved ones in slightly less bloodthirsty ways, but this doesn’t stop us from amassing modern tribes made up of friends, family and work colleagues in real life, and increasingly through social media.
Put your heads together, they tell us, when the going gets tough. Two heads are better than one. But why?
Collaboration in the workplace
In my last post, I touched on the importance of the workplace as a learning environment. On a practical level, we are all equipped with different skillsets, and combining these skillsets develops a more versatile team. Together we are strong. This aspect of collaboration also extends to creativity.
Creativity is association. It is recycling, and the inception of new concepts from old ones. Donatella Versace famously said that “Creativity comes from a conflict of ideas”.
What’s the best way to create conflict?
Bring your team together and ask them to collaborate.
Conflict carries negative connotations, but in the context of creativity, it is an awesome thing. We all bring something different to the table. Channel these conflicts of ideas into content and strategies. Learn from your successes and your mistakes.
Think back to prehistoric man, returning triumphant with his prize slung dripping over his shoulders. What is conflict, if not the strike of flint on flint? What is creativity, if not the spark that followed?
The creative community
Hot on the heels of LGBT Pride Month, the subject of community is not far from my mind. As a writer, I know that creativity can demand isolation, long hours spent on my own, at my desk, in my room, with only my imagination and sometimes an insistent cat for company.
But my experiences have also taught me that, for the most part, writers are incredibly supportive of other writers. From critiques, line-edits and attending signings, to promoting strong reviews (and offering shoulders to cry on when the inevitable bad reviews rear their bestial heads), the writing community looks after its own.
This support is integral to creativity. Whether you’re quick-firing ideas for tomorrow’s meeting or trying to flesh out a crucial strategy plan together, finding yourself in an environment where you are free to regurgitate thoughts, talk ad-hoc and express yourself makes all the creative difference.
How do I know this?
Creativity drives results. On its own, creativity is not directly measurable, but when you apply it to content in the form of blog posts, articles, social media campaigns and the like it becomes instantly trackable.
There is nothing quite like imparting something of yourself into a piece of writing and watching it grow, like by like, share by share, view by view. Your creativity itself remains intangible, but you can feel its heat, taste its smoke, watch the shadows it casts dance across the walls, and know that your creative venture has made an impression.
This is how Zest balances its creative culture with quantifiable results. This is how it has retained its identity in the face of rapid growth. And this is why we continue to celebrate creativity, as individuals and as a creative collaboration.
Creativity is as much about cave paintings as it is human industry; flint, fire and the combined guiles needed to hunt through the Neolithic twilight.
When was the last time you put your heads together?
For more information how our creative culture can benefit your business, give Zest a call on +44 (0)1865 684999 or contact us online.