A few weeks ago, I wrote about the creativity-innovation partnership.

The title ‘An Imaginary Line’ referred to the figurative device in the post…an attempt to illustrate the connection between innovation and the type of activities which influence our capacity to achieve the creative outcomes we so prize.  The line I described looked something like this:


It seems that maybe I had the line all wrong.  I should have been thinking less linear.

I should have been thinking of a squiggle…

I am referring to Damien Newman’s spot-on, brilliant depiction of the design process, shown here, as “The Squiggle”.

The creative process is not linear.  And given the many constraints and imperatives associated with innovative outcomes, why should we assume that any process of innovation would have the luxury of being linear?

Each day we are met by experiences, observations and ideas which have tremendous potential to influence our creativity.  In some instances the impact of this new data can be directly mapped to a creative outcome, and in other instances outward evidence of such connections may be less overt.  I refer to those activities that impact creativity as foundational activities. Engaging in foundational activities ensures that we are equipped with the thinking skills that are needed to construct outcomes that break with the status quo.  Examples of foundational activities are so abundant, and varied, that the concept of plotting such examples hardly evokes the image of a straight line!  Enter “The Squiggle”.

All figurative devices aside, the heart of this discussion is not lines, squiggles or an exercise in plotting!  Taking time to identify and articulate some of the foundational activities that lead to innovation is what is really of interest.  Foundational activities that are important to my creative practice have included painting, shooting photographs, practicing intentional observation…to name a few.

What activities are important to your practice?

I have some thoughts about how to explore the relationship between foundational activities and innovation from a new perspective in 2012.
I invite you to check back in January for the details.

© 2011 Kira Campo