Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Creative, the Berry, and Productivity

I had a most enjoyable conversation with my friend Polly tonight. Polly is what I would call a highly successful member of the creative class who is both switched on and tuned it.

We were talking about a cornucopia of things, one of them being the importance of context-decoding and connection-making. A successful 21-st century creative is not just one who has acquired much information of a general and esoteric nature but especially one who can make connections, contextualize things fast and effectively, and make the right linguistic choices.

I agree with both cognitively and experientially.

While talking to Polly, I thought of a Richard Florida article on the creative class and the human capital and I thought I’d include a snippet here. In it, Florida and his collaborator Charlotta Mellander, observe:

‘The role of talent and creativity in economic development has been a subject of growing interest to social scientists. Human capital is observed both to be an important contributor to growth and to be unevenly distributed

While there is consensus on the importance of human capital to economic
development, debate takes shape around two central issues. First, there is the question of how best to measure human capital. The conventional measure of human capital is based on educational attainment (share of population with a bachelor’s degree and above). But more recent research suggests that it is more important to measure what people do than what they study, and thus occupationally based measures, associated principally with creative class occupations, have been introduced.’

An interesting study, no doubt. However, it does seem to leave out one important point: the necessity of immediate connection-making as facilitated by technology. A successful creative cannot simply be one who is well-educated, lives in a place where other like-minded creatives live, and has the ability to create in the niche s/he finds her/himself. But as Polly also mentioned, a successful creative is one who can clearly see what the nature of thing is and what connections to make and create accordingly.

Being switched on is a good thing, but being switched on and tuned in is better.
graph per blackberry
text per creative classroom


Anita said...

Switched on and tuned it. Yup! You've got to have both. And good move on the berry pic, you neophile, you!

dave said...

i share polly's attitude. nothing can get on my nerves faster than people who are just not on the ball. adding the 'tuned in' part to the 'switched on' bit makes full sense. thx.

becca said...

being around informed folks is good, being around informed folks who don't need 20 versions of the same memo is better!

will said...

mais oui! my sentence of the day:
"Being switched on is a good thing, but being switched on and tuned in is better."
Thx, bri

Nicki said...

Is the creative class something that 'modernity' has made possible? Who is the creative class of the 20th century?

Polly said...

and how will the redistribution of access to the authority to create change the definition of the creative class?