It’s the sad truth that unless people work in an industry labeled “creative,” such as advertising or product design, most don’t view themselves as creative. And even within “creative” industries, there are walls (both real and imagined) between “the creatives” and other employees, such as account managers. However, I strongly agree with David Kelley of @ideo, that each of us has the potential to be creative in the work we do – no matter what that work is. (Kelley has a Ted Talk on this subject).
Yesterday Jason Gay presented a fine example of this. Gay is a sports writer for the Wall Street Journal, and was asked by his boss to write about the profane F-word meltdown by Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price. As you can imagine, Gay wasn’t the only one to receive this assignment. There were many examples of fine reporting from the LA Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post and ESPN. Even if you’ve read the others, you MUST read Jason Gay’s report of the incident. Of course he never uses the actual f-word in his story, and admits that in reporting the incident, most mainstream newspapers use an F dash and leave it up to the reader’s imagination to fill in the blank. However, in his article, 77 F– Words You Can’t Say in Baseball, he uses 77 F- words to mimic Price’s rant … but there’s a twist. In the hard copy version of the paper he offers a key to those 77 F–words, and in the online version, you scroll over them to have the dashes replaced with the intended F–words. Go read it for yourself; it will be sure to put a smile on your face. And for me, it reaffirmed that the best work being done is by those that practice creativity in their profession – no matter what that profession is.
PS If you think you know what the title of the post was, please see my note below.