DEFINITION OF CREATIVITY

A Definition of Creativity and Innovation

You might be forgiven that there is a single and absolute definition of creativity. Alas, that is not the case.

But we can join the dots to form an idea of what is involved in being creative and take some inspiration from some greats.

Do you believe you are creative?

According to the Adobe State of Create Report in 2012, only 1 in 4 people believe they live up to their creative potential. Yet 8 in 10 people believe that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth. 

In 2019 the emphasis is heavily on creative problem-solving.

definition of creativity in education

Why Creativity is important

New technologies, sustainability challenges and the pace of change present just a few of the many challenges organisations face. The world we live in has become more complex.

Increasingly we need diverse sets of skills and knowledge to tackle problems.

As a result, creative problem-solving has risen to be on the most sought after skills of the 21st century and into the future.

At an individual level it fuels our growth.

From a competitive standpoint and business success or career success standpoint, it’s one of the most important tools you can have. It’s the way you can distinguish yourself and the way you can innovate.

Now, more than ever, creativity is the competitive tool that’s going to make a difference. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a large company, or a solo creative person, it’s what makes you stand out.

Creativity has this amazing power to give you renewed enthusiasm and energy—even in the most difficult circumstances.

warren berger

Creativity is about making change on a personal level as well as at a wider level.

Source: Skills 4.0 Report
Source: The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030

Other reports echo the same finding – creativity is a vital skill to develop for your career: The future of work: jobs and skills in 2030, UK Government Report.

The benefits of creativity

Creativity has permeated every aspect of society and has become vital to financial and economic success.

  • A large majority of U.S. respondents agrees that being creative is valuable to the economy (77 per cent) and society (82 per cent).
  • Being creative drives self-worth. Creators are more likely than non-creators to identify themselves as innovative (+27 percentage points), confident (+21 percentage points), problem solvers (+11 percentage points) and happy (+15 percentage points).
  • Being creative pays: Based on their reported household income, U.S. creators earn 17 per cent more than non-creators.

Creativity is the spark of inspiration that ignites invention. It is the place where imagination gives birth to new ideas.

For society, organisations and entrepreneurship it is the fuel of progress.

Common Creativity myths

  • You are born with it.
  • You have to be right-brained.
  • It falls into your lap.
  • You’ve got to be a little mad.

But what is it? What do we know about it?

A Definition of Creativity

definition of creativity

The Oxford Dictionary Definition of Creativity

The use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.

Oxford English dictionary

In order to be creative then you need to be able to view things in new ways or from a different perspective.

The Definition of Creativity In Science

Creativity is an ability and process of producing something new and useful.

Among other things, you need to be able to generate new possibilities or new alternatives.

But creativity is not just about the number of alternatives that you generate but the uniqueness of those alternatives and how useful it is.

The process of having original ideas that have value.

Sir Ken Robinson

We now have two elements related to creativity that connects creativity to innovation – useful and value.

When we create things that are useful and of value people normally pay for them and they become economically valuable.

So, creative ideas must represent something different, new, or innovative. They must be ideas of high quality. Last, creative ideas must also be appropriate for the task at hand or problem.

Creativity is a creative response to a problem that is novel, good, and relevant.

Creativity and Innovation

Creativity is an important ingredient for growth and competitiveness.

Creativity is about generating novel ideas and innovation concerns harnessing those ideas.

Levels of Creativity

Creativity, however, is not simply a matter of idea production—although this may be an important influence on creativity.

Creativity is defined as the production of high quality, original, and elegant solutions to problems.

Besemer & O’Quin, 1999; Christaans, 2002; Ghiselin, 1963; Mumford & Gustafson, 1988

The reason this is an important definition is it expands creativity to cover:

  • creativity is a form of performance—something the individual or group does
  • as an outcome a problem is solved.
  • creative problem-solving is a form of thinking
  • creativity can occur at the individual, group or organization levels

Organisational Creativity

Organizational creativity is ideas or innovations attributed to a group of people that all work for the same organization. That could be a team developing, creating and marketing a new product.

So in other words, organizational creativity is a result of individual creativity – but not all individual creativity is organizational. The two are similar, but they have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Factors that affect organisational creativity are organisational climate, organisational culture, organisational structure and systems, leadership style and resources and skills.

Simple way to improve improve organisational creativity include using a good idea management system. Often, the biggest problem with creativity in organisations are that ideas are not even captured.

Team Creativity

As a result of changes in technology, increased globalization and competition, and a knowledge-based economy, the problems facing organizations are so complex that a single individual does not possess all the knowledge necessary to solve these problems.

Teams provide the social“glue” in organizations that meld together people, processes, and technologies to creatively solve problems and innovate. 

Organizations need teams to produce creative products, services and business models.

However, as Morten Hansen asserts in his book, Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Create Unity, and Reap Big Results asserts: “The goal of the collaboration is not collaboration, but far better results.

The reason to collaborate is to add or create value; to achieve things collectively that you cannot achieve individually.

Individual Creativity

Allowing people time and space to be individually creative increases an employee’s energy and motivation to be inventive. After all, who doesn’t like coming up with ideas?

However, too many companies don’t see creativity as a benefit and focus heavily on task and productive measures of employees. Subsequently that has a knock on affect at a team level.

Individuals need to develop their ideas and learn to hone their creative problem-solving skills. If they don’t then the team and wider organisational creativity levels suffer.

Creativity is not solely a matter of divergent thinking, it also requires convergent thinking abilities such as evaluation skills.

Creative Leadership

Collaborative creative leadership is the future of business.

Collaborative leadership is a philosophy of leadership where the leader becomes a facilitator instead of an authority figure and allows the team or a group of people to collectively discuss problems, make decisions and innovate solutions.

It addresses innovation needs at the corporate and individual level and offers solutions that can result in increased business opportunities, personal and professional satisfaction for employees and innovation leading to the growth of the bottom-line.

Inspiring Creativity Quotes

Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up

Pablo Picasso
quote The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones. - John Maynard Keynes

Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people

Leo burnett
Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see. #quote #creativity @garyedwardfox

Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity

Charles Mingus
You can’t use up creativity the more you use the more you have.

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, the just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while

STEVE JOBS

For more creativity quotes follow the link.

Stay Curious

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