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Author's profile photo Tom Cenens

Creativity as a virtue

Hello SDN Community

Some days ago I got inspired to start blogging on SDN. Since it’s one of my newly defined goals (set by myself) I want to talk about creativity as a virtue.

For me, writing this blog is part of a creative process.

Why creativity is a virtue

In my opinion, it makes you (or your product) stand out from the crowd, it gives it an additional edge. People are not looking for the next exact copy of something that already exists. They expect to see new things, it doesn’t have to be complicated to be a good idea or achieve a good result. 

You can see this trend everywhere, why is there a program on television called X-Factor to find a singer, they are not looking for someone who just has a nice voice, they are looking for someone who is for some (not measurable) reason interesting to watch, interesting to follow.

Yes we can

A customer asked me once if it was possible to build a certain idea he had, my answer was everything is possible but we will have to see if it’s feasible. Those first three words “everything is possible” is what the customer likes about me. I’m not afraid to walk outside of the lines which are already defined, looking for something that is not yet there. It doesn’t matter if it’s a solution to an issue or a newly defined idea.

It’s one of main reasons he doesn’t want anyone else to manage his systems. A lot of competitors can give him standard support but that support is often already defined, bound within the lines of what is expected.

Grabbing attention

Yesterday I gave two demos on recent tools for SAP Solution Manager for my CTAC colleagues. My opening slide had a picture of the good, the bad and the ugly on it. I haven’t yet received official feedback of my presentation but I’m convinced I had some part of the crowd or everyone wondering what I was going to say and why the picture was there.

Grabbing attention can be a good thing and it can be achieved by being a creative mind. 

Another perspective

Can you learn how to be a creative mind? That’s a difficult question but before I answer, let me tell a little story first.

I have a two year old daughter and when she had a cold a while ago we went to the doctor and he said she is really attentive, she watches and analysis the situation (being calm in the beginning) and after she has assessed the situation, she comes up with ideas of what she can do next. Children are often good at being creative, they can do things or come up with things that we as an adult wonder how did they figure that out or how did they get the idea to do that.

Children are less influenced (at least at very young age) by everyone else, I don’t know if it’s a catch phrase in English but in Dutch we say “the truth comes from a child’s mouth” because they are often very honest.

The fear trap

Adults tend to take into account a lot of factors, if your boss sais we will go this way with a product, a lot of persons will not give feedback on it. Their logical thinking process sais, it’s my boss; I don’t want to say he has a bad idea or I don’t dare to put my idea on the table because they might think it is garbage.

I do believe everyone can be a creative mind given they try to put the fear aside of having an opinion or an idea.

Thousands of years ago adrenaline pumped through the veins of our ancestors when they went out to hunt. Today we get adrenaline pumped through our veins when we present an idea, as if it’s as dangerous as going hunting and possibly getting injured or killed.

Staying within the safety zone, making sure you don’t disagree, doing the same every day without reflecting on whether or not a process can be improved or changed is a no go for me. I get bored when I cannot be creative, experience new things, redefine what is already defined and give feedback on thoughts. I have an opinion on things.

Coming up with ideas

Having a bad idea doesn’t make you less worthy, even if you have lots of bad idea’s you might come up with something that blows everyone away. In my opinion it’s better to have bad ideas than no ideas at all.

Final thoughts

Even though I’m writing this blog, I myself also have to fight those instincts; I was also nervous yesterday (it was already some time ago that I did a presentation).

For me creativity is a virtue, what is your opinion on this topic ?

Kind regards

Tom

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