Several months ago we sat in a cold conference room, looking at projected sales figures, circs, and stats. I’m sure the pep talk encouraging us to be more commercial came from a good place.
Until the veteran presenter dropped this line: “Don’t let yourselves be carried away by beauty and creativity.”
I could feel the eyes of my friend boring into me. Later she said she could just feel my confusion and anger rising.
I thought I had misheard the presenter. Maybe she meant, Remember this is a business. Remember it’s all about budgets and bottom lines. Remember, you are all battery hens.
Instead, some of the most creative and hardworking people in the industry got: Don’t let yourselves be carried away by beauty and creativity.
Why not just tell me that I’m not free to choose my own religion. Or that you think the ability to appreciate and find the beauty in things is meaningless against profit. The reason anyone sustains working overtime, weekends, holidays, for that long is because they are committed to creativity.
That line alone was a dealbreaker. You won’t get innovation without creativity, and big ideas means taking risks, failing, and being carried away.
And I will continue being swept away by beauty and try my hardest to take calculated leaps forward to grow and make this place better, in my own little way.
There is nothing frivolous about these qualities, my friend. In fact, the mind is made rich and fertile because of them. You must always champion beauty and creativity. Always.