Many business leaders, managers, and owners want to come up with business breakthroughs that will propel them to new career heights and/or help them their business. I want to discuss today how the greatest people of our time use creativity to create more breakthroughs.

The below discussion comes from a brainpickings article.

The secret of creativity is that it is combinatorial – made up of a combination of things. Nothing is entirely original. Everything builds on what came before.

We create by taking existing pieces of inspiration, knowledge, skill,  and insight that we gather over the course of our lives and recombining them into incredible new creations.

Let me explain with this story about Picasso.

Picasso is sitting in the park working on several paintings. A woman walks by, recognizes him, and begs with him to draw her portrait. He’s in a good mood, so he agrees. A few minutes later, he gives her a portrait. The lady is elated, she cries out about how this masterpiece captures the very essence of her soul and character. She is enamored with its beauty. She asks how much she owes him, “$5,000.” said Picasso. The woman is taken aback, shocked, upset and asks how that’s even possible given it only took him 5 minutes. Picasso looks up and, without missing a beat, says: “No, madam, it took me my whole life.”

“The idea that in order for us to truly create and contribute to the world, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these pieces to build” new solutions, processes and more.

Think about it like legos. “The more of these building blocks we have, and the more diverse their shapes and colors, the more interesting our castles will become. Because if we only have one color and one shape, it greatly limits how much we can create, even within our one area of expertise.”

Your success, failures, fulfillment and more is based on what you do every day and the diversity of your experiences (people, education, ideas, etc.). It’s not a linear process like school. It’s piecing together a lifetime of concepts, ideas, experiences, beliefs, values, and relationships and creating something new. h

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