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The definition for creativity that I really like came from abstract artist Makoto Fujimura.  I had the pleasure of meeting him in Assisi at a Jungian retreat and he described creativity as turning your senses to the world with love and giving it a tangible form.  Creativity is the act of perceiving the world and manifesting it in a way that is accessible to others. The most basic form of creativity is self-care.

A logical conclusion would then be that the more connected you are to your authentic nature, the more advanced you are as a creative person.  Many people can dance but some people make you swoon while others are just technically sound.

If creativity is founded on connection to yourself, how do you make creativity a group activity?  You begin by understanding the environment that fosters creativity.  Creative people need to be fed to do their work.  They don’t respond to rewards for productivty, they need the inspiration that comes from interacting with other people, free flowing information, and whatever raw materials sparks their individual interests.

The key is to build a group that welcomes diversity.  All members need to feel safe and appreciated.  People need to see themselves as friends as opposed to allies.  Members of the group need to hold an intention to support each member as being all they are each capable of being.  Allies test each other and focus on the goal over the relationships bewtween the people.

There is also a need to recognize the importance of two types of people in the group.  Some people will be best at generating new, unexpected combinations of things.  The big idea.  Others will be skillful at discerning a good idea from a bad one.  These people are also good at making the container for the creative space.  They keep the creativity from spinning out of control and becoming chaotic.  Csikszentmihay, a renowned psychologist, noted in his book Creativity that new ideas are not manifest until they find a place to live within the existing structure.  Groups need to have these two types of people and recognize each for their important contribution.