TOBM.5 - A Weird Skill Called Creativity
Taming your own creativity once and for all.
Welcome to the fifth edition of TOBM!
In this editorial, we will be sharing previews and full chapters of The Orange Book of Marketing with some commentaries and highlights.
Learn more about the book by clicking this link.
V - A Weird Skill Called Creativity
By now, reader, you can only be wondering: "What the hell am I reading, and why did I open this book in the first place?" Well, credit where credit's due! That is a very fair question for a peculiar book indeed, the answer though may be right in front of your eyes, but it can only be seen from another perspective, like when pets slightly tilt their head for not understanding something... because maybe and just maybe, it was "The Orange Book of Marketing" that found you, it opened you and perhaps is wondering the same thing from his book mind: "What the heck is going on? Someone please put me in a folder or a shelf, there's a weird person reading all my words!" So now even I'm confused; who is the actual weirdo around here, huh? The book, the author, you, Braveheart, the Shifu, the moon, the chameleons, everyone or absolutely no one?
One thing is an absolute fact: at least one single person out of everyone who reads this book has already made or will make that exact question, but perhaps absolutely no one would be so random to the point of considering the personal experience of the actual book while being read by someone, is that even a possibility? It might not be, after all, books are not gifted with consciousness, but words are! Fairly because they carry ideas from a human mind. But if we are to imagine things and exercise a brainstorm, it tends to be counterproductive to be too serious, the more absurd, the better - for the book now told me that it realised how important the person reading it really is and will start to pretend being slightly more technical and serious while maybe, forgetting about all the fun.
If we are to be serious about the capacity to be creative, we then need to start researching how exactly a creative mind thinks and what is there of different about it. Can a machine be truly creative? Can a creative person work and execute tedious tasks like a machine? If we are to think about it, humans and machines have bugs, but do you know what happens when software presents an error? It probably gets logged in a console so that the programmer can understand the root issue of the bug, which may very well be a typo in a specific line of code. The bug is then fixed, and the software becomes reliable again. This was the description of a very logical process that regards engineering and math because it regarded technical stability, bugs come and go, but the fixes stay until there is a massive amount of code written that acts like a perfectly functioning software. Trial and error, measuring and fixing until there is nothing else to fix.
Bugs, though, can vary in complexity, and the bigger the issue, the more brains and mental math will have to be made until the problem is solved. Another perfect example would be for us to picture a maze; let’s say that all of a sudden, you find yourself at the entrance of a hedge maze in a beautiful garden, and there’s a sign that says: “Can you find the other entrance?” you feel invited to the challenge, so you enter it, only to find out that it would take you hours to escape and that you would hit many different dead ends. In fact, you only found the way out because, at a given moment, you knew exactly where the dead ends would be, so through some good trial and error, you found the right way. This exercise perfectly describes what it means to think logically, to think vertically, as in: “If one plus one equals two, then two plus one equals three” The scientific method is one of the most amazing human inventions precisely because it provided us with the guidelines to start measuring and analysing things in a way that we began to predict (like computers) exactly how they behave until they became undeniable truths. This doesn’t mean no creativity is involved in science, only that it is much more serious because, without due diligence, the scientific aspect is lost.
In a perfect counterpoint, a creative way to imagine the maze exercise is to first reconsider the actual sign, for if the goal is only to find the other entrance, absolutely nothing could stop you from reaching this goal by simply going around from outside the maze and reaching the other entrance much faster than exploring it from inside. Creative thinking or lateral thinking works in a way that pure logic is never enough for a sharp solution, fairly because the creative solution won’t ever be obvious or strict to the rules, it is by finding different gaps in a problem that we can envision a completely different way of doing or creating something.
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another person, but that can only happen if we can exercise putting our mind outside ourselves and trying to paint a picture of how the world looks from other eyes, from another heart, another origin, taste or sense of value. To consider for even a slight second how a book would feel for being read by a person is the exact same thing as putting yourself in other shoes, even if, in this context, there aren’t really feet.
So now, putting behind any bookish shyness, confused mind or confusing words, let’s open some space for the book to shine its formality and be more direct regarding this chapter.