Get out more!

At the launch party for Creative Times Online, which was full of ‘creative industries’ people clustering together, I met a civil engineer.

Civil/structural engineers don’t normally attend these gatherings of ‘creatives’ (fashion designers, musicians, writers, film-makers, advertisers, artists, website designers, broadcasters and publishers, graphic designers, performers, computer games programmers, designer-makers, etc.)

So I was intrigued. This engineer was looking for new ideas from outside the world of engineering, by learning from people in other sectors.

I consider that kind of lateral-thinking to be creative.

It reminded me of Peter Drucker’s criticism of how people tend to stay within their comfort zones:

“Most [executives] think they are in touch with the outside world if they play golf with the vice-president of another company in the same industry.”
Peter Drucker. Management Guru. (Financial Times. London. 16 November 2004.)

In contrast, the most effective (and most creative) people learn from other industries and sectors. (See article on Lateral-Thinking Leadership.)

I then looked around the room and wondered how many of these ‘creative’ people ever go to gatherings of engineers, hoteliers or bankers in search of new ideas, business methods, or customers.

Probably very few.

We should get out more.