Orbiting the Giant Hairball
The contradictions between company culture and creativity
Orbiting the Giant Hairball is an ironic guide and enquiry into the contradictions between company cultures and creativity. After 30 years in the same company, MacKenzie tells the story of his experience as a creative. In fact any company, with its rules and regulations, will always try to contain any enthusiasm even to the extent of discouraging new ideas brought forward by creative types, in an attempt to ‘normalise’ the employees. Spending time in an environment that aims to stifle creativity can be very discouraging for creatives. However, the author offers a solution. In order to survive, the creative person needs to maintain a healthy distance from the hairball that guards over the company rules, and orbit around it.
Many useful tips to:
- Understand how creativity is interpreted within a company.
- Evaluate the status of your own creative genius.
- Learn to defend your creative instinct in environments where bureaucracy usually wins.
Every man is a potential artist, but we forget our creative side too early
As children, we were often stimulated to be creative. We learn about the world through drawing, telling stories and observing colours and we give it the shapes of our imagination. Growing up, however, that creative part is sacrificed in favour of rationality.
In a class of six year olds, if we asked all the artists to raise their hands, all the children would put their hand up and try to grab our attention. When we are six, we all feel like artists. If we asked the same question to a group of 8 to 10 year olds, less of them would put their hands up. This is because as we grow up, we are encouraged to develop our more serious side, to play the part of the students that have to learn things and get ready for the big wide world.
Rationality smothers our playful side, and seriousness takes away our irony. What is actually happening here is that we are confusing being playful with being dumb.
Then there are social rules that impose composure and tend to level out any type of diversity. After all, society requires us to be normal, not to be unique. So over time we forget that we are potential artists and we lose contact with our creative side.
This tendency to forget also derives from real lacking on the part of adults who, having already stepped out of the creative world, don’t recognise little ones as artists.
Giving up on the belief that we are artists represents a slow and inevitable process of disenchantment for those young people that would like to enjoy some recognition for their talent, but who are destined to become simply normal. Yes normal, because companies want normal people, even when they say that they are looking for creatives.
The key ideas of "Orbiting the Giant Hairball"
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