It’s always fun when there is a perspective from Dilbert on creativity. I’ll admit my surprise though the first time I read through the Sunday Dilbert as the boss looks for an employee who is creative.  This particular Dilbert comic seems ripe for being viewed as insensitive.


The more I thought about this Dilbert comic (and trust me this is not a perspective based on schooled psychology) though, it illustrates a point at the heart of so many messages about creativity and innovation on this blog.

This potential employee claims his particular combination of ADHD, dyslexia, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia definitely makes him creative, with Dilbert checking the Internet to find each of them does indeed correlate highly with creativity.

Who Is Creative and Who Is Not?

When you think about it, those conditions and other genetic or developmental issues people have that are considered outside the “norm” cause them to experience, process, and respond to life in very different ways than most of society does. Those differences may be more frequently perceived as “creative” specifically because they aren’t the typical responses of most people.

We see creativity in unique, or at least unusual, responses we wouldn’t have imagined. If everyone had been able to come up with comparable responses, they’d be run of the mill and not creative.

Learning from Dilbert on Creativity

That’s why it’s vital, if you want to be more consistently creative, to mine the perspectives you have or can manufacture that place you outside the norm. These atypical perspectives can cause you to experience, process, and respond in very different ways than everyone else might, thus enhancing your creativity.

Where do those atypical views come from in your life?

They can emerge from a variety of places, including these:

Go find the perspectives where you aren’t “a normal” (in the words of the Dilbert comic) and create away with your atypical self! – Mike Brown


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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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3 Responses to “Dilbert on Creativity – Who Is Creative and Who Is Not?”

  1. Mike Brown says:

    From reader Bill Mullins:

    Speaking of Dilbert; I agree with your sense that:
    * Everyone has experiences that are diverse from those that define their work track
    * Thinking outside the box of one track can liberate the analogy of helpful experiences from a different frame of reference
    * Such analogies can trigger novel responses to cognitive stiffness in the work place

    But, I’m going to suggest that there is a subtle but important distinction between Innovation and Creativity. The largest fraction of “fresh thinking” about an existing system proceeds by analogy to the external experience of someone inside the system of interest.

    Creativity is a bit rarer – for example, to be found in the guy who heroically blogs away at the crowd of folks who don’t have the needed spark of self-organization to look for those relevant analogies and then brave the slings and arrows of outrageous slander (“he’s a weirdo”) to bring them out into the open. It starts in the genes and its rare because evolution by and large is a conservative process.

    Of course we end up working for ourselves or strongly medicated!!!


  1. Dilbert on Creativity - Who Is Creative and Who... - May 14, 2013

    […] It’s always fun when there is a perspective from Dilbert on creativity. I’ll admit my surprise though the first time I read through the Sunday Dilbert as the boss looks for an employee who is creat…  […]