Shelli Baltman reflects on creativity, and how you don’t have to be ‘creative’ to bring it in to your day-to-day working life.
‘But I’m not creative!’
Even today, it’s hard for me to write that. After almost 20 years as an Innovation Expert, a role where clients hire me for my creativity and fresh ideas, and a long track record of commercial success, there’s still a small, childlike part of me that wonders if I’m creative enough.
My journey to a career in the world of creative thinking and innovation was not the standard path through marketing or advertising. After an undergraduate business degree, I started my working life as a management consultant, building excel models and cutting my teeth in data and analytics. Even after my MBA I worked at McKinsey & Co. in London and was practicing a purely fact-based, analytical approach to the business world.
Then, while working on a pitch for a start-up, I met some amazing creative geniuses, who blew me away with their ability to think differently, their ideas that seemingly came from nowhere, and their unwavering belief in those ideas, however eccentric. And I couldn’t figure out how they did it. Where were they getting these incredible ideas? Did their brains just work differently? I was jealous, to say the least. I wished more than anything that I was creative, like them, since it looked like so much more fun than the world I was working in!
And so, in 2002, I decided to make it my mission to move into the creative working world. I set out developing my creative muscles and started reading and learning widely, all the while doggedly pursuing a career with an innovation agency. Then, finally, I convinced an agency to hire me, which marked the beginning of over 20 years of fulfilling creative work, and more than 400 successful innovation projects. Now, not only do my clients value and launch the ideas developed during those projects, but I truly love my career, and each and every one of the creative skills that I’ve been able to develop and weave into what we do at The Idea Suite.”
Key points include:
- State of mind
- New connections
- Embrace experimentation
Read the full article, “But I’m Not Creative!”: My Journey To Creativity, Confidence And A Career That I Love, on theideasuite.com.