By Spencer Yarnell Head of Spreading the Herd Word
Someone called me cynical today.
It could have been in reference to a certain post earlier this week, or in reference to some opinions on ‘creative’ ideas.
I disagree. I maybe have moments of cynicism but I’d rather think I try to stay critical. I see the world this way: Cynicism is the cyanide of creativity but unquestioned creativity is the cyanide of progress. By definition cynicism by the online free dictionary is “An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity”. An attitude of negativity can never be creative. creativity is the act of saying yes to a gut whim, to embracing a solution that is far from ordinary. By its very nature creativity says yes and negativity says no. Cynicism and creativity can never coexist.
That being said saying ‘yes’ can only get you so far. Like a parent who only ever says yes to a child, unbridled creativity is never made to face reality of circumstances or more importantly it is never anchored down to a purpose or a goal. Any creative endeavour has a goal and thus it is always worth asking,”will our current methods help us reach said goal?”
I think of the critical mindset as the “yes, but” mindset. Obviously its easy to go too far but I think it’s always an important part of any process.
So next time someone plans to use a an elephant riding contest for a marketing ploy don’t feel remiss to say: “yes but.. Umm how does that drive sales exactly?” You might get an excellent answer, you might realize you need to head back to drawing board, either way nothing is ever lost from this approach.