Da Vinci creativity: A generational solution
We are facing a new concept that dates back centuries.
Those of us from the 10,000 hours generation, which believed that you had to have 10,000 hours experience in a specific field if you wanted to be successful (as stated by Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Outliers”), are in a state of shock.
We’re now witness to a new pseudo-concept which is proving us wrong. The younger generations are multidisciplinary and they don’t really care what area it’s applied in; the important thing is to have a solid range of skills rather than being a specialist. Let’s examine the context to better understand it.
“Fail early to succeed quicker”
Technology has had a transformative effect which is characterised by ever-greater speeds. Everything is quick, everything is immediate. As immediate as it is fleeting. At this breakneck speed there is no analysis, just trial and error. This is one of a number of generation-defining features. Theory plays an almost testimonial role, value lies in testing. Start-ups only increase the rate of change. They act as evangelists for lean processes under the mantra of “fail early to succeed quicker”.
Crisis and neoliberalism. The value of experience for younger generations is merely a dream. It is simply not possible to gain enough verifiable experience when you’re competing on hourly rates. When you compete on hourly rates you accept that your hour of work lacks value. Those who stick to the mantra soon find out that a day still lasts 24 hours and that tiredness soon catches up.
Better to say yes and try it out than miss out on an opportunity
But in a time of crisis what other choice did you have? It was either that or nothing. Neoliberalism has termed this “labour market flexibility”.
Creativity is all we’re left with if we don’t have anything else. Open source technology means that experimentation has become a universal “Do it yourself” resource.
Da Vinci creativity knows no limits. Better to say yes and try it out than miss out on an opportunity. It is the triumph of the one-man band, “I’ll take your photos, your modelling, your website and I’ll manage your social media, the complete package”. We can either question the result or hope that luck is on our side.
But it is also the triumph of bravery in the face of the abyss. Faced with a lack of opportunities, small projects come to be the only answer. When the price of failure is low, making an opportunity for yourself seems like a good prospect. If there isn’t an opportunity then we’ll just have to make one for ourselves.
But incomprehensibly, in my apparently outdated eyes, we see that those who survive manage to produce excellent results, whilst others are simply destined for the hall of shame. Let’s not expect our Da Vinci man to be efficient. He is the product of his own self-exploitation, forced to act as both boss and worker, the complete package. He alone is the value of the work and initiative. He is the epitome of Leonardo.
Creativity as the only way out
The challenge for companies lies in choosing a specific talent since he is a multidisciplinary beast and thinking of it more as a collaborative rather than manager-employee relationship.
His market value is creativity itself. The more fields I try my hand at the more creative I become, the more I try the more I learn. The sum of the parts and his boldness is primarily creative.
Da Vinci creativity has found the perfect framework in easily available technology and enough speed to take experience out of the equation. A crisis which devalues work, which doesn’t set parameters for efficiency, in which the price of failure is virtually non-existent and opportunities are few and far between.
The Da Vinci man is the consequence, we’ll have to wait and see what the end result is.