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The Hiding Spot For Creativity

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February 8, 2013

Have you heard one of these phrases recently in a meeting?

  • Don’t have enough time
  • Costs too much
  • Don’t have the right equipment
  • Don’t know how to
  • Need more people

Me too. In fact, I’ve often been the one saying them.

You know what I’ve found though? Constraints have a way of fueling creativity, not limiting it. By defining the boundaries, you can focus attention on creativity within the boundaries. Sometimes the small budget, limited staff, short timeline or other constraints have forced me to look at an idea in a completely different way. Sometimes, by embracing the constraints, you end up with something far better than if you had no constraints at all.

I stumbled across this great video by the band Atomic Tom on YouTube. Back in October 2010, they had their instruments stolen. How did they respond? They improvised. They used what they had. They embraced the limitations. Check this out:

Next time you find yourself working against constraints, don’t push away. Lean in.

What limitation or constraint do you need to quit fighting this week & embrace? Creativity often hides in constraints.

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Phil Bowdle
Atlanta, GA