Conversations and Contemplations on Creative Leadership: Scarcity versus Abundance: Does Scarcity Kill Creativity?
Of course, if you have read enough business, leadership, or management books over the years the idea of “scarcity versus abundance” is bound to be in your vocabulary. If not, think of it as an attitude on one hand that says there is more than enough of “whatever” to go around. The opposing attitude is that there is a zero sum, a finite amount of, or limited opportunity of “whatever” our “it” happens to be.
Many creatives would say, myself included, that if I had the budget, the time, or the people I could do amazing things. With what I am given, I am not able barring a miracle. That list, by the way is a scarcity of “whatevers” that says I am limited. The irony is that in the mind of many of us creatives say we want abundance, but it seems we are capped because we have finite “resource” and may often view our work this way.
Abundance says that the “whatever” of my vision, talent, and passion can achieve something of value, even with limitations. And, It means I can celebrate others attempting to do the same. There is room for many of us to create and even if someone does it better, I am enriched because it is the kind of enriching I am hoping to accomplish for people, clients, or parishioners.
It is possible that having too much of the wrong “whatevers” inhibits our vision of the actual abundance of the right “whatevers” in our grasp. Case in point, I have wanted to record some of my music for years. I used to actually have a studio, tools, and people to accomplish this. Having all those things kept me from seeing the lack of space, freedom, and purpose to record. When I had an abundance of those “whatevers” recently, with little resource, no studio of my own, and new people I met I was able to actually do far more than I had envisioned recording in the first place.
Creativity is an activity of abundance, but lives best in the realm of scarcity.
Do you agree?