All businesses need an element of creativity to grow. Increasingly, in a global economy that is complex, ambigous and laden with uncertainty, creativity is also central to solving issues. Unfortunately, creativity is not an abundant commodity - it lies latent in the adult majority.
But for business leaders seeking to access the latent creativity that lies within their organisations, it is important to understand the creative process. Teresa Amabile, Ph.D - a psychologist at the Harvard Business School - writes on four key stages of the Creative Process:
Preparation provides for the immersion of the potentially creative person within an area where creativity is sought. It is, essentially, an information gathering stage. Here, special conditions apply to the concept of boundaries and space. Individuals who are constrained, prematurely, by artificial problem boundaries, are unlikely to be able to give full-reign to their creative thoughts - the creative process can appear to stall.
Incubation suggests the creative mind has the sanctioned-freedom to explore possibilities - initial problems, issues and briefs may appear to be side-lined, even, apparently, neglected. But it is as well to understand, a creative mind is always thinking. This is not logical, linear thought, but thought that is associated with dreams and synthesis. The creative mind conjures new, original connections between seemingly unrelated strands of knowledge.
Illumination can occur without warning. The crystallisation of ideas is not, however, necessarily the provision of a solution: it may only be a partially clear vision or direction in which further work is to be focussed. But it is the seed of a creative solution.
Execution requires that the creative seed be developed. Execution separates mere creativity from successful innovation. It is the application of action - frequently craft skills, often with stubborn determination. The execution of the creative idea is also where individual creativity is socialised. It is critical that organisational management understands this process, and fulfils its role in facilitating business creativity.
Being creative with the information available to us, to aid the development of our client businesses, or the realisation of their assets, is the high value-added proposition we can deliver.
Innovation & Creativity
in Management & Organisations
Market Analysis ♠ Strategic Response ♠ Communications