The volcano as a metaphor of creativity

I recently visited the  Villarica Volcano in Pucon in Chile. Awesome!

Villlarica Volcano view

Villlarica Volcano view

One of the facts that puzzled me was to understand why people aren’t afraid to live so close of danger?

The Villarica Volcano is in continuous activity. According to the people that live there, the constant dropping of some type of smoke or remains is a sign of its volcanic health.

So while there are signs of fire… there is no disaster.

That made me think about how we deal with the creative process.

From my personal point of view, we are able to spend years feeling that our creative power is underutilised and do nothing about it.

“When I retire… when I get more money… when I have a comprehensive boss…” At last, we cover our personal crater and blame the inadequate present conditions. Inside us, the effervescence continues because life is intense and every person has a unique capacity of production.

How stressed can we get in this situation?

Suddenly, a vulcanic burst will wake us and we’ll question our profession, marriage, our way of building relationships and many other places of achievement that are part of our lives.

In organizations it often happens. People are immersed in their daily activities and suddenly innovation teams are assembled to produce major eruptions in a few days.

Of course, eruptions play their part. They may be signs of nature putting everything in its due place or may simply be power is showing it most amazing face. But the people of Pucón teach that constantly expelling some smoke may be much healthier.

Hence the importance of being always connected to our power, hence the importance of self achievement. At the organizational level, the existence of open processes of innovation in which everyone can contribute a little at a time could be a sign of  “volcanic health”.

It´s been known for a long time that the majority of historical cases of great instant discoveries are myths constructed by its own authors. Indeed, they’re results of years of research and the authors were in permanent activity.

Climbing up to the edge of Villarica´s crater to see the yellow patches of súlfur, the 360 degrees view and to hear the incredible noise of the lave, is only possible in these conditions. We may want to get away from eruptions.


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