“The significant problems we have cannot be solved by the same level of thinking with which we created them.” - Albert Einstein

This picture gently exemplifies creativity at its purest; the sharing of ideas, a collaborative effort to solve a problem that for one person was “unreachable.” The father of these young ladies told me that this innovative strategy was the result of them watching an episode of Dora the Explorer on Teamwork. Together, these little gals created a way to find the chocolate syrup that was on the highest shelf. Stephen Covey phrases it in The 3rd Alternative as “coming together with an idea bigger than ourselves to achieve a common goal.”

I hadn’t really given it much thought.  When I heard the word “creativity” I only thought of an individual’s inspired talent relative to the arts: the accomplished musician that writes, plays or sings a song, the painter, the sculptor, the dancer, the author, the woodcarver. Any uniquely inspired individual ability that resulted in a work of art.  

Today my definition has expanded. I now consider creativity to be a voice within, an innovative idea that won’t leave you alone. I also realize more and more each day, that our creative voices urgently need to be shared and responded to, not just for the sake of creating art, but equally if not more important, to create solutions. In fact, in a study done in 2010 by IBM, when over 1,500 corporate heads and public sector leaders were asked what they considered the most important leadership quality for success in business, the number one answer was creativity.   

"Negativity is the enemy of creativity." - David Lynch

As Einstein’s quote implies, significant problems have been created. We are living in a time when we are  confronted with numerous world issues all at once. Terrorism, overpopulation, hunger, climate change, disparate conditions between rich and poor, all sit on our global doorstep. But if significant problems can be created, significant solutions can be created as well. The choice is ours.

Muhammed Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2006, concurred with Einstein when he said, “We must set aside our differences, including our boundaries, languages, economics, politics, and cultures, and work hand in hand together to create solutions that are greater than the problems we now face.”

The media shares stories daily about individuals, including many young people, who act on unique ideas that tackle problems of the world in small and large ways, one step and one individual at a time. This is creativity.

We each need to listen to our honorable, creative, “crazy” ideas, respect them, act on them, share them and utilize that innovation in ways that result in peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable solutions. I dare not say the survival of our world depends on it, as surviving means just getting through and settling. But rather, creativity and collaboration are required for excelling and creating sustainable solutions for all.  


Pam Pech recently retired from Connecting Resources, committing to making it her way of life rather than her business. Trading in a desk for a pen, a large dining room table, a fire pit and a coffee shop, she plans on having many conversations with folks willing to share their ideas and souls. She is a connector. She loves to create community and solutions by connecting people and ideas through Soul Chats™–conversations igniting awareness, understanding, action, and compassion. For further information, she can be reached through Linkedin.

Photo by Chad Wahlquist.

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This article is part of our series on the theme of Creativity.

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