Creativity is as simple as seeing an opportunity or making a connection that turns into something greater than itself.
Consider this fantastic story on Larry James' Urban Daily, a blog about "ideas, resources, commentary and opinions concerning the issues facing low-income residents of the inner cities of the United States".
...a very poor woman came to one of our Resource Centers seeking assistance to pay a past due utility bill. Serving over 50,000 people annually makes it impossible for us to pay utility bills except on rare occasions.
The interviewer/case worker who visited with this woman was herself a very low-income person, as are most of our volunteers. She knew the ropes of poverty herself and came up with a great idea for the woman with the overdue light bill.
On this particular day our Thrift Store had a special sale on clothing going on--all the clothing you could stuff into a large trash bag for $1.00!
Our counselor handed the woman $2.00 out of her own pocket with the suggestion that she go to the store, purchase two large bags of clothing, return home and prepare them for sale in a yard sale to see how much money she could earn toward the payment of the overdue bill.
The woman took her advice.
About a week later, the woman returned. She located the volunteer and reported with great excitement that she had turned the $2.00 investment in clothing into more than enough to pay her bill!
She proudly repaid the $2.00 loan and went back to the Thrift Store to purchase more used clothing for another sale! ...
In this instance, the counselor saw an opportunity.
She knew that the ministry couldn't afford to give away money, but she also knew about the thrift center sale (something the woman in need did not). Connecting the two gave her the ability to help in an urgent situation.
It's said that if you "Give someone a fish; you have fed them for today. Teach someone to fish; and you have fed them for a lifetime."
It's the same with opportunities. Once people have seen new possibilities, they are able to take advantage of them.
Making that first creative connection (no matter how small it is) is the hard part.