The Creativity of Social Action: Art, philosophy, and political science

The pursuit of innovation depends on creativity as a competency, yet creativity – especially in organizational settings — is difficult to understand, let alone manage. This paper proposes a composite account of creativity using the three disciplines of art, philosophy, and political discourse. First, it uses the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty to suggest a phenomenology of creativity, in art and otherwise — especially with regard to its ineffable, innately mysterious nature, which allows innovation to arrive “as if fully formed”. Second, Heidegger imparts the perspective that creativity is a response to something to be succumbed to, as part of a relationship between the potential innovator and reality, and not something creators are able to fabricate and impose simply out of their imaginations. Creativity consists more in attentive questioning of what is. Third, Hannah Arendt claims that every participant has ‘natality,’ or the potential to create, but creation often arises in a social context, and not always simply where a lone genius works in isolation. Therefore, it can be concluded from these accounts on creativity that the aggressive pursuit of creativity in an organizational setting should include an expenditure of effort by leaders to create a social environment where participants can reflect upon and accept their own inner creativity as well as the creativity of others as a collective response to aspects of a reality we ordinarily overlook in our daily, purposeful striving.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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