As a creative professional, I have struggled to find a place to work where my creativity is supported. If I had seen myself as a creative when I started my career, it might not have been so challenging. But I knew that I was not an artist, nor a writer, nor even a software developer, so the right career path was elusive. I have never fit into any pigeonhole.
The turning point for my self-image was the birth of Fast Company magazine, which profiles professionals like myself who develop business ideas, not artistic ideas. In the 1990's I ran a local readers' club for Fast Company magazine, and through that club I met Durwin Sharp and Rolf Smith of the Virtual Thinking Expedition. They helped me understand my creative process and how I could work with other people to realize my ideas.
Over the last fifteen years I've gone back and forth trying to figure out if I can found my own company or find a place where I can contribute from my strengths. I still haven't figured it out but I am discovering more about what makes an environment that supports creativity.
NoahBrier's Creativity Requires Networks points to this old Kevin Kelley article that I missed: Scenius, of Communal Genius, which reminds me of John Hagel's Creation Spaces. (The last one is a Harvard Business Review article, and in case you missed it they have a great new free membership program.)
All these articles point out that creativity flourishes where people can share and support each others ideas, while friendly competition ensues and the outsiders (non-creatives) tolerate unusual behavior (like job-hopping). I hope we can build a "creation space" in Houston. We have a few companies, like Blinds.com, which make it happen for their employees, but we have a lot more companies wielding non-compete agreements and enforcing corporate conformity. The preference of Houstonians for doing business with buddies and scratching each other's backs is also a hindrance. But we have a core of wild-and-crazy types who are finding it easier and easier to get together.