Why I Wrote It: The Power of Creative Paths

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This book was written when I realized I knew more than I did.

Let me rewind, because this involves Project Management, seminars, and Seventh Sanctum.

Anyway, awhile ago I was asked to speak at a seminar for local members of the Project Management Institute. I have a bit of a reputation as being a creative type, so I spoke on the role of creativity in Project Management. This is more important than it seems.

See, Project Management in the broad sense (yes, I’m including Agile) requires creativity. You have to think around problems. You have to imagine solutions. You have to communicate in interesting ways. It was a natural subject for me.

But what I needed was a way to talk about different forms of creativity, giving the people there ideas of how they could understand their strengths. I turned to my Seventh Sanctum work for that, and realized Generators fell into five categories:

  • Expansion (adding things on)
  • Combination (combining things in set patterns)
  • Reduction (removing items)
  • Fusion (fusing concepts)
  • Mapping (metaphorical)

That gave me a great way to describe creativity so people could ask about their strengths. I put a lot of thought into this, then used it as maybe 25% of the presentation, and let it sit.

It was only years later when it hit me that “duh, this would be a great book to organize my theories on creativity.”

I know, yes, it was obvious. In hindsight. To someone who wasn’t me.

So I realized, yes, I should expand on this way of viewing creativity. I often advised people on creative endeavors, and this gave me a framework within which to think and coach.

Which meant then I had to organize my way of coaching to help people. So the framework I had carefully assembled now drove me to organize my thoughts. That’s what a good framework does – it’s a skeleton to put things on. Frameworks may not be complete or perfect, but they let you do a heck of a lot because they help you think of the big and small picture.

The book got a lot more intense than I expected because I had this framework. I organized my advice, found things that made me think, had to give examples, and so on. Writing on creativity, using that structure, required me to be more creative and more aware.

The result is a book I’m proud of, but I’m thinking I should revisit it now and then, rewrite it every few years. That way it keeps up with the times, that way I don’t let things sit, and that way I stay aware of my own thoughts.

Amazing what you can learn when you pay attention and have a framework.

Steven Savage