The creative process has a high tolerance for ambiguity. The heuristic technique, from the Ancient Greek heurískō, which means 'I find, discover', is an approach to problem solving or even self-discovery that employs a practical method that is not guaranteed to be optimal, perfect, or rational, but is nevertheless sufficient for reaching an immediate, short-term goal or approximation. The most fundamental heuristic is trial and error, which can be used in everything from matching nuts and bolts to finding the values of variables in a complicated math problem. In a world where strategy is a commodity, creativity becomes the vital factor from which value flows. Heuristics are the strategies derived from previous experiences with similar problems and those creative solutions are not conceived in isolation, but are worked out through improvisation and the cross-fertilization of ideas with others. Creativity helps people solve problems, and ideas are infectious.
The most important element of Richard Florida’s theory, in his book “The Rise of The Creative Class,” is that ‘all are endowed with an incredible capacity to innovate. That everybody has the capacity to be creative, and that some of the best ideas are born out of collectivism rather than individualism. People everywhere place a high value on engaging creative work.’ Drawing inspiration from the streets, from the everyday, creativity is not just a form of self-expression, it’s a business necessity.
Seeking out like-minded individuals when all of my creative cohorts were in advertising or graphic design, I was at a loss for the camaraderie of a mentor or teacher. Green to the business of trends, I had no peers or frame of reference, shy of Firmenich Paris having a relationship with Li Edelkoort and books by the name-branded futurist, author, and founder of BrainReserve, Faith Popcorn. It wasn’t that I was doubting my ability to do what I was doing, it was my second-guessing if I was doing what I was doing correctly. Like my firewalk experience, even if I was getting it right the first time, I didn’t believe it myself. This time, however, it wasn’t my fear of success or a case of imposter syndrome, it was coming to terms with re-inventing myself.