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Insights + Inspiration…by Madeline Haigh

Creativity Isn’t Just for “Creatives”

When I tell people I’m an artist, many respond by saying, “You must be so creative, I can’t even draw a stick figure.”

There seems to be a general idea that creativity is reserved for people in artistic fields, but I think this is far from true. Let me tell you, I’ve seen plenty of fine artists produce technically exquisite work, but the message behind the piece or the subject matter isn’t interesting or engaging; artistry and creativity aren’t mutually exclusive.

One of my favorite quotes is actually from a Nobel Prize winning biochemist. Albert Szent-Georgi said, “Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” I believe that this definition for discovery holds true for creativity as well – it speaks nothing of the arts, but of observation and curiosity.

I went to a liberal arts college, which exposed me to a variety of different people, classes, and disciplines. While I took my fair share of art classes, my favorite classes that challenged me the most were in entrepreneurship, specifically creativity in entrepreneurship (yes, that was a real class). One exercise we did in class was to think of a problem, write down one hundred questions about that problem, then group together similar themes raised in the questions. This divergent and convergent thinking exercise helps to recognize patterns, quiet reservations, and narrow on next steps

This is where I learned the not-so-secret secret that creativity is a skill. And a skill can be learned, practiced, and improved with exercise, time, and commitment. Sure, some people are naturally gifted with a creative mind, but for those who feel creativity is a foreign skill for themselves, it’s often more comfortable to leave the creativity to others. Because creativity can be scary. It requires putting your original thoughts and ideas into the world and seeing if they actually work or resonate with people – you need to be vulnerable, humble, and brave to do so.

At CLUTCH we don’t reserve creativity solely for the “creative” team – our entire team is curious, and the best breakthrough moments happen when we bounce ideas back and forth together. Each person brings a unique perspective, expertise, and set of experiences to draw inspiration from. Coming from a “creative,” give yourself the permission to call yourself creative and work to foster an environment of creativity at your company for others as well. Because you’ve seen what everybody has seen – but to make a real difference and to stand out against your competitors, you need to think what nobody has thought.


CLUTCH is a hybrid consultancy and agency focused on helping B2B businesses find and realize their peak potential. As business acceleration experts, everything the firm does is designed to drive the growth of revenue and opportunity. The firm combines a mix of strategic consulting, marketing communications and lead generation, and learning and development services to consistently produce business results for clients.

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