Creative People, Innovative People
The title implies that some people are and others not.
This is a myth.
First, creativity can be described as problem identification and the generation of a quantity of ideas, a number of novel ideas and a number of diverse ideas. Innovation can be described as idea selection, development and commercialisation. Therefore creative people and innovative people are separate and distinct. Apple was founded by two people, the guy who came up with the ideas (few people seem to remember or even note his name) and the guy who marketed them (Steve Jobs). Of course there is cross over ? look at it like a Venn diagram.
Second, whilst there are assertions for creativity traits such as a tolerance for ambiguity and an intolerance for conformity, such traits are hard to identify and are not stable or transferable across situations. Further, motivation is more critical than traits ? this is like possessing high intelligence ? one must be motivated to improve and use it.
Third, it has been shown that most people can come up with a quantity of ideas and a quantity of novel and diverse ideas. The exact numbers depends on a variety of factors such as:
a)The degree of frame breaking allowed
b)The degree of experience with the problem
Fourth, people can learn to quickly increase the number of ideas they produce. This can be accomplished through
c)Engagement in a increased number of diverse and novel behaviours and topics.
So why is it some people just seem to be more creative?
In their comfort zone, people who seem more creative tend to:
a)Have a depth of knowledge
b)Do not get so absorbed in their topic to cause blinkered vision
c)Have access to multiple knowledge resources
d)Are in a position to express their ideas.
e)Are in a position to express themselves more freely and this manifests itself in aspects such as behaviour and outward appearance (clothing etc).
In conclusion, creative and innovative types are separate and distinct. Creativity is a cognitive ability, which all are a capable of. Cognitive activity is more likely to be expressed when the individual is of high status or in a fostering environment. Innovative people are more aware on the process of idea selection, development and commercialisation. But of course this can be learned and developed.
These and other topics are covered in depth in the MBA dissertation on Managing Creativity & Innovation, which can be purchased (along with a Creativity and Innovation DIY Audit, Good Idea Generator Software and Power Point Presentation) from http://www.managing-creativity.com
Kal Bishop, MBA
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About the Author: Kal Bishop is a management consultant based in London, UK. He has consulted in the visual media and software industries and for clients such as Toshiba and Transport for London. He has led Improv, creativity and innovation workshops, exhibited artwork in San Francisco, Los Angeles and London and written a number of screenplays. He is a passionate traveller. He can be reached on http://www.managing-creativity.com.