The Hiding Spot For Creativity

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.

  • mike brennan

    Love the video. That’s not an easy task on a NY subway train! I just saw an art documentary that was talking about how limitations in an artists media can birth creativity, Great reminders to no complain but create!