Business and the Creative Thinker

Many years ago, I decided I would pursue the life of an artist. I believed that through creativity, I could influence people and make the world a better place.

At some point on this journey, I became a business person; quite by accident. I didn’t intend to sit at this desk nor carry around a constant connection to the work I’m doing (my phone). I didn’t intend to sit across the table from people and invite them into a company or expel them from the company. I was hopeful never to have to look at a spreadsheet nor learn the term “deck” as a regular way of talking about how I might communicate to a group of people.

I fully intended to inspire people by creating abstract works of art which beckoned to one’s heart and imagination. I hoped to hear acclimates proclaiming my genius with a pen or a piano. When I’d write, I’d write about worlds yet unknown to the reader and of characters who would perform amazing feats; I would sing intricate melodies interlaced with haunting counter melodies and dissonant harmonies.

Yet here I am. Yesterday, I had to let someone go and tomorrow I’ll be making an offer to a brilliant young lady from India. I write policies and create decks while preparing meeting after meeting to help bring a product into the world.

I’ve deeply struggled with, what has felt like, the betrayal of who I was created to be.

But a year ago, a friend and client told me that he valued me for my “contrarian ways”. He told me that I saw problems in a unique way and approached them with an equally creative resolve.

When building the safety and support teams at Club Penguin, we hired bohemians rather than call-center employees. At Two Hat, we found cultural ambassadors to man the task of building the world's most comprehensive list of bad words. Within the various businesses I’ve had the honour to consult for, we’ve stripped the problem down to the problem which had previously been unknown and reimagined what it would look like if we built something completely different.

We’ve created artful culture; developing a theology of how people sustain an economy while helping humanity find it’s relationship to God.

I’ve decided this week that I will be pursuing my MBA, a sure sign that I’m accepting my fate as a business person. I’ve also decided though that I will not hang up my hat as a creative, but rather I’ll commit to a newly discovered canvas to paint on.