Where and When is Creativity Cultivated?

For those of you who haven’t yet taken up the hobby of listening to podcasts, you might be missing out on a valuable channel of education and entertainment. After a long day of staring at a computer monitor or smart phone screen, it’s refreshing to experience something that doesn’t require visual attention. Unlike radio, it’s completely on-demand and tailored to your interests. And for entrepreneurs, specifically, there is a wealth of information and inspiration.

There are a number of podcasts aimed at entrepreneurship – Forbes recommended twelve in this article, including StartUp and the Pitch – but we’ve also found career inspiration in other programming that’s not specifically geared toward business. For example, one of our writers just began subscribing to the podcast “Here’s The Thing,” hosted by Alec Baldwin, who interviews artists, policy makers and performers.

One episode, in particular, has inspired us at EO for the upcoming year. Baldwin interviewed Lorne Michaels, the famed producer of the television show Saturday Night Live (SNL). For those who aren’t familiar, SNL is a comedy variety show that first aired in October 1975 and has continued to entertain millions through poignant, humorous sketches. It’s actors, writers and producer speak directly to the contemporary social landscape, and regardless of your political positioning, the scripts speak powerfully to an ever-building dialogue.

While Lorne Michaels isn’t a CEO or business owner, his name has become synonymous with SNL, as it was essentially his creative concept, and he’s been its producer since 1975 (minus a five-year hiatus). Michaels began his career in radio in Canada, and when the opportunity arose to work permanently in the United States for the fast-paced world of network television, he took it. Michaels speaks a lot about taking risks to build his career and overseeing the careers of many famous writers and performers. And he frames creativity as the byproduct of rules and regulations: “[T]o me, there’s no creativity without boundaries.” His success, and the success of many performers and their work, is attributed to the creativity that came from boundaries of time, money and regulations set by network television.

In the latest edition of Octane magazine, EO members Tim Hamilton and Gaurav Agarwala tell stories of overcoming obstacles and becoming creative in the face of turmoil. EO Vancouver member David MacLaren writes about acting under pressure and deadlines, knowing when to go for it and when to “brake” for reason. When you think about your own entrepreneurial journey, have you viewed boundaries, sticking points and regulations as obstacles to fight against, or have you embraced challenges as opportunities in disguise? When your company is faced with a difficult project or customer, how have you taken on the challenge with creativity and intelligence? As you resume business in this new year, we hope you find inspiration in tough situations and let your ingenuity conquer any difficulties you face.

What have been your biggest challenges, and how have you overcome them? What boundaries or guidelines make you work harder? Let us know in the comments section below, and your response could be featured on EO’s social media channels!

#EOlooksforward to the new calendar year, with posts, pictures and videos citing upcoming technologies and inspiration for entrepreneurs in 2016. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for daily posts!


Categories: Best Practices Entrepreneurial Journey general Inspirational Lessons Learned


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