4.1.1 What is creativity (or generating ideas)?

Creativity and stabile self-esteem are the skills that enables us to use the tools and opportunities offered for organizations or individuals  to be innovative. Creativity is a complex field of study; that is why this concept still does not have a clear-cut definition, which is reflected in the great number of definitions for creativity. In this component we will use the definition that makes the distinction that several management authors make between creativity and innovation; therefore:

Creativity Creativity is a process of developing and expressing novel ideas that are likely to be useful.1

An innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process idea, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations.2

Creativity involves divergent thinking, a break-away from familiar, established ways of seeing and doing. Divergent thinking produces ideas that are novel. To “think outside the box”, one needs to allow him or herself to freely be as they are, set the mind free, and to know the existing frames and limits of the box in order to exceed it. Convergent thinking will be needed to select the best options for a potential innovation.

To exploit these unique possibilities of creativity in a product, we will need to go through a so called creative process described hereby:


1 Leonard D.; Swap W. (1999): When sparks Fly. Igniting Creativity in groups
2
For further reading see Chapter 1 of this guide.