Building Success with Creative Adaptation

Creative AdaptationImagine you just acquired a dilapidated old house on 5 acres of prime property.

Let’s say that it was an inheritance from an unknown rich relative.

She heard what a wonderful person you are through the family grapevine, and wanted to leave you something.

The house itself is in poor condition, but the structure and plumbing are in pretty good shape. As part of the inheritance, she also left you with $500,000 to fix up the place. The restrictions are that you:

  • Must work off the existing structure (no leveling the place and starting from scratch)
  • Should try to stay as close to the original footprint as possible
  • Can’t sell the house and/or land
  • Can only use the money for the renovations and restoration.

What would you do?

Take a few minutes, and let your mind construct a dream house within the constraints provided. To make it more of a challenge, imagine that the original structure is of a style that is the complete opposite of your own tastes.

Welcome to Creative Adaptation Mode

As your mind begins to construct a beautiful dream house within the limits given, it kicks in to what I call Creative Adaptation Mode. It’s something we all have, and is a great way to prove that we are all creative — regardless of what you might think.

As a student of the creative process, and a former creativity coach, I found this to be the most intriguing form of creativity. It’s the “creating something from something else” form of creativity, as opposed to the “creating something from nothing” form. (I should note that there is some debate as to whether the second form even exists, since almost everything is created based on something else, even if it’s only loosely based).

Creative Adaptation Mode provides two valuable elements of creativity:

  • Inspiration
  • Constraints

In this series I’ll look at how these work together, and how creative adaptation is used in a variety of ways. It’s one of the key tools in the entrepreneur’s toolbox, and can help you make your own ventures more diverse and successful.

In part two we’ll begin by taking a look at the inspiration that creative adaptation provides.


Creative Adaptation Series