Mar
23

Creative Infidelity Introduced

By

So, what's creative infidelity?
     Popular topic these days, infidelity; and no, I’m not going to give you ’50 Creative Ways to Leave Your Spouse’.  What I’m referring to here is a dynamic based on a new niche in psychology referred to as memetics, as popularized in Richard Brodie’s book Virus of the Mind. He defines a ‘meme’ as an idea, or unit of information, in one person’s mind that self-replicates, or spreads to other minds virally. They are internal representations of knowledge, or views on how we see the world, that result in outward effects on the world.
     In any culture, be it national, ethnic or corporate, there is a rigorous survival dance between the forces of tradition and change. Tradition exemplifies stability and therefore asks fidelity, or faithfulness, to ways steeped in the history or past experience of that environment. The rituals, practices and processes that are carved out by way of either ‘the proper way it’s done’, habit or so-called ‘best-practice’ allows the identity of that group to be perpetuated and recognized by practitioners and outsiders alike. Torch bearers, card carriers and brand consistency are all terms associated with the ‘memes’ that beat the drum of belonging and  keepin’ on keepin’ on.
     Meanwhile, we’re all bombarded with reminders that change is the new paradigm and only those who can keep up with- or even better- become change agents, will survive.  This new meme of the urgent imperative to embrace, foster and even champion change requires we engage in ‘creative infidelity’.  We have to challenge old norms and previous ways of ‘business as usual’. We have to become unfaithful to and divorced from old, cozy habits which may have served us well in the past and we must come up with novel ways to perpetuate our cultural or corporate lineage. This requires courting new ideas, seducing untapped talent and value from existing resources, making new connections in the name of progress and engaging all parties involved to go along with the new ways of performing.  And we assume it is progress.