Innovation and Creativity Professional Learning

5 reasons why cultivating creativity in a crazy world is a non-negotiable


Slide1Many have watched Brene Brown’s TED talks on the Power of Vulnerability and Listening to Shame. Last week I was travelling down the rabbit warren of finding a new e-book on Amazon, when I came across Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, a guide to wholehearted living. It deals with the cheery topics of shame and vulnerability
Each guidepost addresses things like letting go of: what people think, perfectionism and the need for certainty, and cultivating: authenticity, self-compassion and, intuition and trusting faith. I’m about halfway through… yet to face letting go of “Being Cool and Always in Control and Cultivating Laughter, Song and Dance – I guess she left that guidepost as last for a reason.

This morning “Cultivating Creativity/Letting go of Comparison” stopped me in my tracks, enough to pause and reflect here. Brown writes:

Let me sum up what I’ve learned about creativity from the world of Wholehearted living and loving:


  • “I’m not very creative” doesn’t work. There’s no such thing as creative and non-creative people. There are only people who use their creativity and people who don’t.
  • The unique contribution that we will ever make in this world will be born out of creativity.
  • If we want to make meaning we need to make art. Cook, write, draw doodle, paint, scrapbook, take pictures, collage, knit, rebuild an engine, sculpt, dance, act, sing – it doesn’t matter. As long as we’re creating, we’re cultivating meaning.

Creativity, which is the expression of our originality, helps us stay mindful that what we bring to the world is completely original and cannot be compared.

I realised that to make a difference in the world, or at least in my small part of it, cultivating creativity is essential. Yet in the busy-ness of life, it seems like a luxury. If I want to find solutions to big problems and become my authentic self, I need to stay mindful that what we bring to the world is completely original and cannot be compared.”

5 reasons why cultivating creativity in a crazy world is a non-negotiable:

  1. Not just for arty-types, it’s unique within all of us
  2. Enhances our leadership to bring new ideas to old problems
  3. Helps us to live without comparison – therefore no meaning to ahead or behind, best or worst
  4. It is the essential ingredient of design (and design-thinking)
  5. Brings us closer to our authentic self

So what now? I guess there might be a bit more mess around the house. Just don’t tell the other half!


What does it take to inspire, empower and equip leaders for world where change is the only constant? I am an educational consultant and PhD candidate with the ILETC Project at Melbourne University. I facilitate workshops and regularly speak in the areas of: People, Place and Pedagogy in the new paradigm Facilitating change Challenging current practice Learning space design Equipping leaders to navigate change International education context I am passionate about rethinking school and learning to inspire and equip young people for an exciting future. To contact Anne and find out more about the work of SCIL or make contact visit:

4 comments on “5 reasons why cultivating creativity in a crazy world is a non-negotiable

  1. Daniel Pampuch

    Hi Anne
    Just finished reading Creativity Inc: overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration, by Ed Catmul of Pixar fame. I think you would really enjoy this book! Daniel


  2. Hi Anne.

    I haven’t read the book, and your summary has made me curious about it. Can I also suggest that doing the things you suggest are also fun (as long as we are not put off by not being perfect, first time), which increases the benefits you describe?

    Thank you for the reminder.


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