Creativity equals change.
While the word “creativity” is tossed about so casually that it has become a kleenex word (that is, it has become generic rather than specific), there are some of us still fighting to reclaim it. So: creativity is the work of producing something new and valuable. When introduced to others, this new thing (product, solution, theory, method, etc.) by its very nature is a change.
Which raises a question: don’t we all resist change? Isn’t change bad?
Actually no, and no. First, let’s consider resistance. As humans we crave change. Not in everything, and not all the time, but we have an inborn need to grow and learn and develop. When we are not changing, we say things such as “I’m in a rut.” This is not to suggest that there is never resistance, but to emphasize that the commonly-held belief that we all resist all change is just not true. What we do resist are those things that cause cognitive dissonance: senseless change, random change, change that is clearly not for the better.
But: why do we seem to resist change even when it’s positive? I believe that we are reacting to the fact that change is difficult. It’s not about the change, it’s about the hard work of change. Which may also be why true creativity is relatively rare: creativity is not the sudden idea, it’s the hard work of forging a novel and valuable solution out of that idea.
Finally, is change bad? Here’s the answer, as succinctly as possible. Seth Godin said, “Change is not a threat, it’s an opportunity.” And that, precisely, is how creative people think.