5. Creative people tend to be both extroverted and introverted.
Creative companies look outside as well as inside. They tell stories and look for the limelight, but are also great listeners and willing to learn from anyone (and anything).
6. Creative people are humble and proud at the same time.
Creative companies know their self-worth and don’t shy away from tooting their own horns, but they also keep their eye on the next challenge and know that their status should be continually justified. They acknowledge their debt to those who came before them, while not afraid to carry out their own vision.
7. Creative people, to an extent, escape rigid gender role stereotyping.
Creative companies actively seek a healthy gender balance – in terms of both staff mix, leadership and cultural style. And, by the way, ‘balance’ shouldn’t be just between the two heteronormative genders.
8. Creative people are both rebellious and conservative
Most organisations will be either rebellious or conservative, but truly creative companies stay loyal to their values while challenging and often revolutionising their markets. A deep understanding of your business, requires you to be immersed in its history, principles and mechanics. And then you have to be able to challenge them and evolve your business mix and even your business models – a rare quality.
9. Most creative people are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well.
In a creative company, people passionately defend their work as they are expected to, but they are not ashamed to step down or make changes when someone has a better idea, because creative companies are “all about the work”, so when the work can be improved, there’s no reason for conflict.
10. Creative people’s openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also to a great deal of enjoyment.
Creative companies can be a bit of an emotional roller-coaster, but have the biggest potential to provide fulfilling work experiences (and, in turn, great customer experiences). In creative companies people are not afraid to be themselves, allowing themselves to show vulnerability (for more about the importance of vulnerability to creativity and happiness, see Brené Brown’s smash hit TED talk.)
Being at forefront of your business will expose you to a lot of criticism, unless you can handle it, your creativity will be squashed very early. In a truly creative company, the thought that things can be better and you’re not aspiring to make them so, is unbearable. This requires a certain sensitivity. Companies with a culture of compromise, rarely exhibit creative breakthroughs.
So here you go. It’s easy to see analogies between the behaviours of creative companies and the traits of creative people. Maybe because first and foremost creative companies need to stay human.
"Of all human activities, creativity comes closest to providing the fulfilment we all hope to get in our lives. Call it full-blast living.
Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. Most of the things that are interesting, important, and human are the result of creativity.
What makes us different from apes – our language, values, artistic expression, scientific understanding, and technology – is the result of individual ingenuity that was recognised, rewarded, and transmitted through learning."
And who wouldn’t want to work hard for that ethos?