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The Truth Is You​ Are Creative
All internal auditors have the capacity for creative thinking — the secret is how to tap into it.

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Let’s start this off with one important premise: Creativity is necessary for any person, organization, or profession to move forward and succeed. The past is littered with the wreckage of those whose best intentions resulted in no more than just maintaining the status quo.

But the problem is that far too many people believe creativity is a special gift bestowed from on high to a select few. And many, many, many (add as many “manys” as you would like) internal auditors have bought into that belief. They seem to think that living in the realm of facts and figures and documents and support and checks and cross-checks and tics and ties and reviews and re-reviews and re-re-reviews and details of the ad nauseam variety means they must shy away from creativity like a grammatically incorrect audit report. They believe their own press clippings, living under the misapprehension that creativity is not in their bailiwick and should remain an aperitif used occasionally to cleanse the palate before going back to the things they know how to do.

A relevant quote from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs suggests otherwise: “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.”

People who run from creativity have to keep in mind one important truth: It’s really not that big a deal. Fundamentally, creativity involves just keeping your eyes, ears, and mind open to new concepts. It is a function of keeping the inputs flowing and then finding ways to bring those inputs together in different ways. After practicing that for a while, the next thing you know you’re being creative without really knowing it.

Here’s your tip for today: Pretend to be creative. I know of people who shy away from creativity because of fear, because they think they can’t do it, and because of a whole host of excuses. But ultimately, they think that if they act creatively they are somehow not being true to themselves and to their profession. They believe that by acting creatively they are lying.

As cartoonist and author Lynda Barry once aptly said, “There is no lie in pretending.” You don’t have to lie; you just have to pretend you’re creative. And the more you pretend, the more it will become a reality.

By the way, did you notice what I just did? I’ve had the Steve Jobs quote for a while. I stumbled across the Lynda Barry quote last week. As I taped Barry’s quote to the wall, I noticed the Jobs quote and made a connection. I didn’t really do anything; I just saw something.

Honest, it is that simple. Pretend and you will see that it is not lying.

The truth is that you are creative.

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