It’s Time To Use Your Creative Intelligence

We’ve all heard it, no matter how we make our living or what circles we run in: “he’s a ‘creative’…” That’s usually followed by some derogatory comment couched in a “bless his heart” sentiment, or a joking tone: “…so don’t expect him to be on time,” or “…so of course she can’t manage her finances.” As if creative professionals are idiot savants whose talents somehow hobble them. We all know, because it is drilled into us in every way, that if you want practical, resourceful help getting something “useful” accomplished, you have to ask a “business” person. They know how things work. Don’t ask the creatives, haha, because they don’t know how to operate in the real world.

crop of The Green Watering Can, by Clark Hulings
crop of The Green Watering Can, by Clark Hulings

Well guess what? We’re in a new reality now, one in which we have to completely rebuild the ways we live and work and exist on the fly, with no net. And guess what: the people best positioned to do that are the ones who cop to being creative. Creativity and resourcefulness (and forthrightness, bravery and honesty, of course, but that’s a different article), are exactly what we need to pull us through this situation. “Knowing how the system works” is next to useless, because we must put new systems in place—to teach and learn and work remotely, manage our households with austerity in mind, stay connected while staying apart. All of this demands flexibility and creativity. So if you haven’t already done so, I strongly recommend you turn to the “creatives” in your life to help you invent the new ways you will thrive in the face of this pandemic.

Here’s another news flash: YOU ARE THE CREATIVE IN YOUR LIFE! Yup, turns out we all have left and right brains, and we are all terrific at inventing systems to live and work by. We are all gifted at figuring out how to spend 24/7 with our loved ones, and no one else, without feeling like committing suicide or homicide. This is true of you no matter your field of expertise, training, background or interests. So please FREE YOURSELVES to create personal bold new worlds.

One more thing – have fun while doing it! And declare victory a lot. Every positive, creative thought and action matters—they are the art that each of us creates everyday, and the reason we are here.

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Elizabeth Hulings
Elizabeth Hulings is the Executive Director of the Clark Hulings Foundation, and a principal of the business-strategy consulting firm Counterpoise, where she has worked with startups, nonprofits large and small, multi-national corporations, and sole proprietors--including artists of all stripes. Before launching Counterpoise in 2001, Elizabeth lived through five Fortune-500 mergers at the predecessors of Citigroup, Cendant, and Verizon Communications. She also honed her skills at several nonprofit organizations including the International Development Exchange, The Management Center/Opportunity Knocks, and Human Rights Watch.

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