What is Creativity?“ Do not go where a path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.• Creativity / Creative Thinking / Inventive Thinking is thinking up new things.• According to Oxford English Dictionary – Creativity means - to use / involve one’s own thought or imagination to create something new as work of art, an invention.• Many definitions of Creativity .
What is Creativity?• According to Boden (1998), there are three main types of creativity, involving different ways of generating the novel ideas:• a) The “combinational” creativity that involves new combinations of familiar ideas.• b) The “exploratory” creativity that involves the generation of new ideas by the exploration of structured concepts.• c) The “transformational” creativity that involves the transformation of some dimension of the structure, so that new structures can be generated.
What is Creativity?According to Porter, Creativity has following five elements:• Fluency – Fluency means the ability to provide ideas in volumes. It means having lots of ideas, but the ideas may not be necessarily unusual. Example: ??• Flexibility- Flexiblity means the ability to convert familiar concepts into new shapes or jump from old concepts to new ones. Example: ??• Originality- Originality means the ability to create unusual ideas. It must lead to something novel or unique.
What is Creativity?Porter, contd:• Awareness- Imagination to perceive connections & possibilities beyond obvious.• Drive or Motivation - to think up new ideasFew other elements of Creativity are:• Value or appropriateness or usefulness - It should have some value according to some external criteria. It should have some useful application.• Capable of being reduced to practice – It must be more than just an idea and feasible of being reduced into prcatice
Features of Creativity• Creativity is not the product but the process• Creativity involves both conscious and subconscious thinking• Creative thinking can be stimulated at individual as well as group level.• Creative thinking can be both systematic and unsystematic.• Creativity is about thinking something new and whenever this new idea is implemented it brings change.
Features of Creativity• Creativity is not a one-time / isolated activity. Creativity is somewhat regular activity. Chance / accidental discovery of new idea does not mean creativity.• Creativity requires high degree of awareness.• Creativity involves pattern breaking.• Creative thinking involves seeking answers to questions or problems. Open-ended questions are very helpful for idea generation as these elicit a wide range of answers. Some of these open – ended questions are: – Why questions to discover the roots of the problem – How questions to discover different routes to significant improvement
Role of Creativity in Organizational Growth• Generation of ideas for new technologies• Generation of ideas for improvement in Product / Service Design like – for more value addition – for simplification, – for adding more features, – for standardization – for ergonomic considerations (enhancing human convenience in use) – for improving product reliabilty – for increasing product life cycle
Role of Creativity in Organizational Growth• Generation of ideas for improvement in Process Design like – for smooth flow of materials – for increasing ease in manufacturing – for reducing work-in-process inventories – for reducing wastages – for improving quality – for improving process efficiency – for improving safety
Role of Creativity in Organizational Growth• Generation of ideas for improvement in machines, tools etc.• Generation of ideas for converting process waste into useful byproduct• Generation of ideas for improvement in productive capacity• Generation of ideas for improvement in Human Resources
Role of Creativity in Organizational Growth• Generation of ideas for finding new uses / applications• Geneartion of ideas for new marketing strategies• Generation of ideas for tapping new markets / market segments• Generation of ideas for solving problems• Genration of ideas for tapping business opportunities
Role of Creativity in Organizational Growth• Creative thinking in a disciplined manner can play a real role in innovation. “Creativity and innovation are normally complementary activities, since creativity generates the basis of innovation, which, in its development, raises difficulties that must be solved once again, with creativity…It is not possible to conceive innovation without creative ideas, as these are the starting point.” (European Commission 1998).
Features of Creative peopleAccording to Porter …. Creative people possess following characteristics : high degree of …• a). Fluency b). Flexibility• c). Originality d). Awareness &• e). Drive or MotivationAs per Torrance … Creative people possess following characteristics : high degree of …• a). Fluency b). Flexibility• c). Originality d). Elaboration – adding details• e). Resistance to premature closure of thinking process• f). Abstract – summary formulation
Features of Creative people• Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of America’s greatest thinkers, was sickly and dull as a child. Rabindranath Tagore, Bengal’s bard and Nobel Laureate, was a miserable misfit at school. Vincent van Gogh, Dutch impressionist painter, lived a life of abject poverty, developed schizophrenia and cut off one of his ears for his beloved. All these people were unique in their own ways.• If we scan the life and times of most creative people, we would find a varied range of idiosyncrasies, habits and tendencies that characterize them.
Features of Creative people• Misfits: Tagore was not alone in being a misfit at school. Many children have problems fitting in the school framework because of their curiosity, their tendency to question more. Creative misfits can be differentiated from dull mischief-mongers by their basic liveliness, awareness and individuality.
Features of Creative people• Loners: Creative individuals often prefer being alone for various reasons. They also have a strong tendency of doing things in their own, slightly offbeat, way. Henry David Thoreau, an American philosopher and writer who spent some time in complete solitude, wrote: “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him keep step with the music which he hears, however measured or far away…”
Features of Creative people• Non-conformists: The innate originality of a creative person’s thoughts and ideas often make him swim against the current of the world. Shelley was thrown out of Oxford University for writing a pamphlet on the necessity of atheism, Copernicus was excommunicated form the Church for declaring that the earth revolved round the sun, Bernard Shaw raged against blind patriotism.
Features of Creative people• Original and imaginative: There is something golden within the creative person. The creative spark, when it files, inevitably shines in the darkness of ignorance. Creativity is often characterized by original thinking, sometimes laced with a sense of humor, even when things are not going well.• Sensitive: Sensitivity fuels the creative power. Of course, creative people are not always sensitive in the same way, nor do they react similarly. But the quality of awareness makes them notice things. The flutter of wings, the sound of falling raindrops or children playing… nothing escapes the sensitive individual.
Features of Creative people• Adventurous: A desire to explore the unknown, both externally and internally within the mind, is also an important ingredient of creativity. This quality is present more in creative-minded scientists who leave no stone unturned in their desire for knowledge. Take the example of B.P. Sen, a chemical technologist formerly with Hindustan Lever. According to Sen, one of his best achievements had been building an “unsinkable” boat as a child, using plastic pipes and wooden poles.
Identifying Creative People• How to Measure Creativity? Or What is Creativity Quotient?? – Guilfords Psychometric approach – Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking – Torrances characteristics can be used to measure creativity
Factors Hindering / Blocking CreativityA variety of factors hinder / block creativity.• National and social conditions like lack of freedom of expression and movement, fear of dissent and contradiction, high degree of orthodox, adherence to traditions with unwillingness to break from customs, etc adversely affect degree of the creativity in a nation or a society.• Above is equally true at the organizational / enterprise level as well. Autocratic functioning of the top management, lack of respect for individual initiatives, intolerance for honest mistakes, etc adversely affect degree of the creativity in the organization / enterprise.
Factors Hindering / Blocking CreativityAt individual level, one’s own thought process, attitudes and approaches become a great barrier to individual creativity as discussed below:• We become less creative as we gradually learn / become older. – Between 0 to 5 years of the age – we focus on learning "why" – From 6 years of age to teenage– we try to find out "why not" i.e. why not pursue alternate / diffrent course of action? – From adulthood to 75 + years of the age - we are guided by "because" i.e. by our past experiences which leads to stifling of creativity
Factors Hindering / Blocking CreativityContd…• We gradually develop habits / routines in our actions and thinking i.e. we become stereotyped as we grow older.• Many a times, we are too anxious to get the "right" answer and in the process we restrict our vision.• Sometimes, we are too willing to reject “so called bad" ideas because of our risk- averse attitude.• Sometimes, we do not have the positive attitude to believe that a better / alternate solution exists.• As we grow older, we stop exploring discovery questions -- what if, why not, how etc.
Factors Hindering / Blocking CreativityContd…• Many a times, we do not try to seek alternate solutions because of fear of uncertainty and because we are bound by routine.• We find it difficult to suspend logic to look for unlikely solutions.• Our mind captures the inputs according to existing pattern of perceptions and mind is generally not willing to go beyond set pattern of perceptions• High IQ of the individual may act as a barrier to creativity, as the person / thinker may be trapped in a particular way of thinking.
Creative Process• Creative Process deals with the internal & external frameworks & processes which facilitate creativity i.e. generation of new ideasMany theories / models to explain the creative process• 1. Creative Process as Incubation - Incubation is a temporary break from creative problem solving that can result in insight. A period of interruption or rest from a problem may aid creative problem-solving. Incubation aids creative problem-solving as it enables "forgetting" of misleading clues. Absence of incubation may lead the problem solver to become fixated on inappropriate strategies of solving the problem
Creative Process• 2. Creative Process as Convergent and Divergent thinking - J. P. Guilford - Convergent thinking involves aiming for a single, correct solution to a problem, whereas divergent thinking involves creative generation of multiple answers to a set problem. Through convergent & divergent thinking, creativity is facilitated.
Creative Process• 3. Creative Cognition Approach - Finke et al. - "Geneplore" model- creativity takes place in two phases: a generative phase, where an individual constructs mental representations called pre-inventive structures, and an exploratory phase where those structures are used to come up with creative ideas.
Creative Process• 4. Conceptual blending - Arthur Koestler introduced the concept of bisociation—that is creativity arises as a result of the intersection of two quite different frames of reference. Thus creativity is facilitated through their conceptual blending.
Creative Process• 5. The Explicit-Implicit Interaction (EII) theory – by Helie & Sun –• The EII theory relies mainly on five basic principles, namely i) The co-existence of and the difference between explicit and implicit knowledge; ii) The simultaneous involvement of implicit and explicit processes in most tasks; iii) The redundant representation of explicit and implicit knowledge; iv) The integration of the results of explicit and implicit processing; and v) The iterative (and possibly bidirectional) processing.• Thus creativity is facilitated through interaction & blending of explicit and implicit knowledge & processes.
Creative Process• All the above theories / models suggest that creative process occurs when we apply multi dimensional perspectives ; which is possible when we have high degree of awareness and when we develop cross functional expertise.