What is Creativity?

Jan 7, 2021

What is Creativity?


When people are asked for creativity, the mind of many of them turns to magnificent works of art and literature; whether a unique painting, an influential piece of music, or a famous book. It is true that these works are a mirror of all human genius and creativity to create a novel work, but creativity is not only linked to these specific areas, but it could refer to all disciplines and areas of application, including technical matters.

For example, following the principles of mass production and simplifying and imitations was the main key to business success after the Industrial Revolution. This led to the development of large factories and enhancing production on a very large scale. This lasting until the arrival of new innovations and the increasing influence of knowledge and technology in the economy. The mass production was no longer responsible for leading the industry for being competitive and surpassing competitors. Therefore, it turned to a knowledge-based economy, where successful businesses recognize the importance of capitalization on creativity and innovation and put creativity at the forefront of their activities;  seeks new ideas and inventions every day, and finds a creative way to reduce costs and enter new markets.

But what creativity means? Is creativity inherent or acquired? Who can be considered creative and what type of companies are creative? How could creativity be developed by companies?

In this article, we will try to address these questions and give an overview of the most important concepts of creativity.


Innovation and creativity; Two sides of a success coin

Among the general public, creativity and innovation are used in the same sense. Innovation can include new ideas, dissimilar ways of looking at new things and products; an innovative idea for producing or doing something different that can lead to a unique and distinct output from what has ever existed.

In the entrepreneurial context, innovation is any new idea, process, or product, or a change to an existing product or process that adds value to the current assets. In fact, many apparently good ideas fail to come into existence. So one of the most important characteristics for success in transferring a good idea to innovation and introducing creative products is sustainability in realize and practicing ideas to reach goals which can be defined as "commitment to innovation."

What do you think is the difference between creativity and innovation? Is creativity the same as innovation? Are all people creative or should the related skills be acquired in different ways?

Creativity is about to allow to run free of the mind to conceive new ideas. Creativity is subjective and making it hard to measure. Innovation on the other hand is the process of turning a new concept into commercial success or widespread use.

From this perspective, creativity can be considered an element involved in the innovation process and one of its essential parts. Creative processes are at the heart of innovation, and without creativity, no innovation will come about!

Creative thinking helps people to create new ideas and to refine, replace, and evaluate their ideas by constantly implementing the "question/hypothesis/experiment" process. Since success in innovation depends on commitment and sustainability, being creative requires liability, engagement, close collaboration, and responsibility. Under these circumstances, people's potential ability to overcome physical and mental obstacles increases, and in practice the chances of success increase.

It is very important to know that people's understanding of innovation and creativity develops over time.

Many people debate over if creativity is inherited or acquired, but it’s actually both. Creativity is “in principle” inherited, but by everyone. It’s more of a common human characteristic than a gift. But creativity can be molded and re-learned.

Describing creativity and its role in individual and team success, one of the experts in the field of creativity and innovation says: "Creativity is a combined power; The ability to be immersed in a pool of internal resources, counting knowledge, insights, experience and thinking, to find a new solution to address an issue or respond to a potential demand, inspired by the environment and external information."


Incentives for creativity

We all know that innovation and creativity could bring exciting results, but creative thinking, especially the implementation and accomplishment of ideas, is not so simple. Regarding many influential factors such as mental and environmental barriers, our creativity is impressed. Some people believe that creativity is inherent and exists only in some successful entrepreneurs and innovators, and not to be learned.

The good news is that everyone is inherently creative, but some use this potential more and some people less. Creativity can be learned and therefore it can be acquired. Do not worry at all, you just need to shake yourself to grow your creativity and enjoy it. Brian Tracy gives a very interesting quote about creativity and stimulation: "Imagine pouring a cup of coffee for yourself and adding a little sugar to it. Taste the coffee and you will feel that it is not sweet yet. Do you still need to add sugar? “Creativity is like sugar in the bottom of a coffee cup. You need to stir it up

Many great and successful people confirmed this fact in their own way. For example, Steve Jobs says of the miracle of creativity: "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, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things." So we need to change the way we look at things and keep in mind that creativity is not a strange and inaccessible phenomenon.

Scott Adam, a successful American animator, and writer introduced creativity from a simpler angle: “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep". According to this quote if you do not get creative due to fear of making a mistake, then you won’t come up with new ideas, it means that in case of you,  yourself have become a serious obstacle to creativity.

There are many ways to stimulate creativity, the most important of which are as follows:


1. Exalted and stimulating goals:

By the well-defined and more exciting goals, you will be the more eager to achieve them and therefore more creativity you will have to reach them. There is no uncreative person unless the desire to achieve the goal is dead. "The only limitation to what you want to do is the limitation you create on your thoughts," Brian Tracy said. So if you believe that you are not creative, know that you have put this limitation by yourself.

To practice more, set a goal that will have the most positive impact on your life. Write it clearly and think about how to achieve it. You will witness a miracle: until a moment ago, you considered yourself free from any creativity, and now after writing your goals, a flood of ideas and actions is flowing into your mind. The result is that you have removed the barrier you have created against your thoughts.


۲. Problems and challenges:

Big problems and challenges can be the best stimulus for more creativity. Remind your self your ultimate goal; what are the obstacles in your way? Think about these problems and obstacles. It is best to list all the reasons for not achieving the goal and then prioritize them based on the importance of each. Identifying the biggest obstacle will mean starting the mental process of creating and overcoming creative ideas.

It is enough to see the opportunities in facing the challenges. According to Brian Tracy Fear, problems and crises must be viewed positively, because in many cases, the biggest problem is the best opportunity. Your creativity is behind these big problems and you have an opportunity to use it in an extraordinary way.


3. Continuing Focused questions:

One of the important things that can stimulate your creativity is the ability to ask questions (both to yourself and to others). Curiosity and striving to know can strengthen your creative thinking, which depends on asking everything you do not know. The harder and more complex your questions are, the more mental ability you need, and looking at the problem from another side is inevitable sometimes (a symbol of creativity), and the easier it is to solve questions.


4. Testing mental assumptions:

One of the most powerful ways to speed up creativity is to constantly test assumptions. Set a goal, list obstacles to achievement, and identify the most important ones. Start asking yourself and others to find the answer, and at the end, try to test your mental assumptions to achieve the goal.

Keep in mind that many of your mental assumptions are from the unconscious mind, and if they are wrong, they cause your failures. Therefore, observe your assumptions and correct them if it is necessary, they may be wrong. Avoid prejudice and look at all of them with doubt.

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