Answer: Watch the video below and you’ll see why it’s not important to have an immediate answer to this question.
Though times have certainly changed from 1991, when Microsoft’s MS-DOS 5.0 was a new release, basic principles of creativity have not. That year also saw John Cleese giving a talk about his understanding of creativity which is definitely worth a watch today. He approaches this topic in the way you’d expect – with intelligence, insight, and of course enough lightbulb jokes to drain your iPhone battery.
Cleese argues that creativity is not a talent, but a way of operating. This understanding of the creative process is based upon work conducted by academics as well as Cleese’s own experience. To operate creatively, you need to simply tap into the same mood that creative geniuses cultivate: Playful. But not necessarily the same kind of playfulness required to get a high score in his newly-released, ‘The Ministry of Silly Walks’ Mobile Game (yes, it exists).
Cleese’s recipe for the right kind of play involves a designated space, a specific timeframe, confidence and humour. Besides providing plenty of reasons to play more at work, if you’re ever admonished by a boss for being indecisive, he provides a gem of an excuse at 21m, 45s.
So the answer to the question posed above could be: Six; one to design the new bespoke lightbulb, one to screw it in, one to direct the process, one to photograph the change, and two interns to get coffee and hashtag the good news on social media. Or, I’m sure we could come up with a much more creative punchline after some well-structured play.