Don’t die like a Dinosaur

Posted on September 12, 2009


I will occasional quote Hugh MacLeod from GapingVoid. He has great insight on how to be creative and original. He offers profound but simple truths that can apply to all Creative Leadership types.


Com­pa­nies that squelch crea­ti­vity can no lon­ger com­pete with com­pa­nies that cham­pion creativity.

Since the modern, scientifically-conceived cor­po­ra­tion was inven­ted in the early half of the Twen­tieth Cen­tury, crea­ti­vity has been sac­ri­fi­ced in favor of for­war­ding the inte­rests of the “Team Pla­yer”.

 Fair enough. There was more money in doing it that way; that’s why they did it.
There’s only one pro­blem. Team Pla­yers are not very good at crea­ting value on their own. They are not auto­no­mous; they need a team in order to exist.
So now cor­po­ra­tions are awash with non-autonomous thin­kers.
“I don’t know. What do you think?”
“I don’t know. What do you think?”
“I don’t know. What do you think?”
“I don’t know. What do you think?”
“I don’t know. What do you think?”
“I don’t know. What do you think?”
And so on.
Crea­ting an eco­no­mi­cally via­ble entity where lack of ori­gi­nal thought is hand­so­mely rewar­ded crea­tes a rich, fer­tile envi­ron­ment for para­si­tes to breed. And that’s exactly what’s been hap­pe­ning. So now we have millions upon millions of human tape­worms thri­ving in the Wes­tern World, making love to their Power­point pre­sen­ta­tions, feas­ting on the crea­ti­vity of others.
What hap­pens to an eco­logy, when the para­site level reaches cri­ti­cal mass?
The eco­logy dies.
If you’re crea­tive, if you can think inde­pen­dantly, if you can arti­cu­late pas­sion, if you can ove­rride the fear of being wrong, then your com­pany needs you now more than it ever did. And now your com­pany can no lon­ger afford to pre­tend that isn’t the case.
So dust off your horn and start too­ting it. Exactly.
Howe­ver if you’re not pari­cu­larly crea­tive, then you’re in real trou­ble. And there’s no buzz­word or “new para­digm” that can help you. They may not have men­tio­ned this in busi­ness school, but… peo­ple like watching dino­saurs die.