The nature of creativity is the capability and capacity to step away from the status quo – to not only identify opportunities for improvement, problems and new solutions but also to envisage and shape a range of solutions.
More than blind variation or divergent thinking, the Investment Theory of creativity considers the central component to creativity is the “decision” by and individual or organisation to generate a new idea or opportunity, to analyse it and to “sell” it to others. Intellectual ability, knowledge, thinking styles, personality, motivation (intrinsic versus extrinsic) and environment each impact on the level of creativity at any particular time or place.
Four tools help to apply and build creativity: faith in your creative capacity and capability, an open mind without judgement or presumptions, detailed investigation and observation and the ability to formulate penetrating questions and analyse the answers to those questions.
Individuals who are considered creative and innovative exhibit a range of traits, including;
- A tendency to challenge the status quo;
- Naturally curious and highly engaged in their particular fields of interest; and
- A healthy awareness of and appetite for risk.
From a design-thinking perspective organisations that are creative may include the following elements:
- Speed and agility
- Adaptable and flexible
- Connected and flat
- Fun and playful
- High energy
The following three elements should be recognised as core to successful creativity and innovation (Drucker P 1985, p 138):
- Innovation is hard work requiring a combination of content knowledge and ingenuity;
- Innovators must build on their strengths;
- Innovation is an effect in economy and society.