Nowadays, whatever you read or look at, you would find the word creativity mentioned. I think that the word "creativity" is one of the most overused words out there to the extent that the word creativity has turned into a cliché just like "think outside the box" and "think different" have become. Everybody talks about creativity not only because it is an important topic but also because of human ego. Everybody wants to think of himself or herself as creative person including myself, Come on admit it, you do too. Here I am jumping on the bandwagon and sharing my view on creativity.
So What’s the fuss all about?
The reason why creativity is important is because we live in the conceptual age as Daniel Pink calls this age in his great book "A Whole New Mind". It is no longer enough for a product to do the job. Therefore, mobile phones must be slick and neat; cars must be monster-like and hand made, and everything else needs creativity to be sold to people and to be sold to people it needs to touch or shock our senses. This is where creativity overlaps with humor. I believe that creative people must be funny or have a sense of humor.
What do you think Einstein?
I think he agrees.
Why humor is part of creativity?
First, Read the following joke:
Two elderly men talking to each other, the first guy said moaning: Man, I am 83 years old, and my whole body hurt. How about you?
I feel great, I feel like I was just born.
The other guy furiously says: How #$%$# come?
The other guy says: I have no teeth, I have no hair and best of all, I just wet my pants.
If you analyze the joke you can realize very quickly that it starts with something we are all familiar with otherwise we wouldn't be able to know what the funny part that's coming next is all about. Then, a buildup was given before a epiphany is reached with the punch line. The punch line is something that you didn’t expect and it has somewhat a connection with something totally new or forgotten. Now ponder the next philosophical question: If a funny joke is never heard, is it still funny? I don't know if an unheard joke is funny or not but a funny joke must be heard and laughed at. Finally, after the joke is heard many times it loses its humor and dies.
Now let’s examine creative thinking process, usually we would be working on an existing problem or a situation that needs improvement. We would mix and try different things until the “aha” moments comes and a connection is made. When a product or a solution is presented to people just like joke, you would get "That’s interesting" or "a smile" reaction.
Another important similarity to consider is the product or the solution time, if iPad existed 20 years ago it would've been a complete failure because its time hadn't come. Also, a joke must be told in a right time and you mustn't tell a joke in a funeral for example or else you will share the grave with the deceased.
So in a conclusion.. If you want to be creative you need to have a sense of humor and to have a sense of humor you must have a playful mind and look for connections where it is least expected.