4.1.2 Creative process and creative product

Go back for a minute to the definition of creativity. Have you realised that it is not defined as a skill, but a process?

The creative process is extended in time and characterised by originality, adaptiveness and realization. This process is the generation of something novel and unusual, and the outcome is a useful product1. It does not matter, if it is an individual (Figure 1) or a group (Figure 2.) who carries it out: the creative process will be similar in either case.

Here are the similarities of all creative processes:

  1. The first step is a preparation time, when the information and data is collected. It is substantial to understand what is already known in the field. Deep relevant knowledge and experience precede creative ideas to appear. Groups have a potential advantage over individuals at this point, as groups can have a much wider background and information base as the knowledge of each individual adds up; participants should have generally easy access to the required information.
  2. It is followed by making space for brainstorming, collection of ideas. We are much more creative if there is a chance that our ideas will be implemented as well later, thus when we see that our ideas can be useful. This feeling of usefulness can be reinforced by clarifying the goals: what will we regard useful, what do we want to achieve. During the brainstorming session it is extremely important not to judge but provide space for every idea, allow setting the mind free and forming unusual associations.2
  3. After listing the ideas at once, we should give some time for incubation, when we can rest. This is when spontaneously new, unique connections can be formed in the mind.
  4. As a result, novel ideas emerge. Sometimes we have the “AHA experience”, when we find the missing puzzle as the answer for a question. Other times we go through the previously listed ideas, and complete it with a new or complex solution.
  5. The final step is the selecting options for implementation and elaboration of the selected ideas. Implementing new ideas for the benefit of the organisation is every bit as important as creating new ideas. At this time we can start evaluating implementation potentials of the ideas and integrating the better ones in a common solution.3

Figure 1. Uccello’s model for creative process for individuals4

Figure 2.: Creative Process in Groups5


1 Leonard D.; Swap W. (1999): When sparks Fly. Igniting Creativity in groups
For further information, see Chapter 4.2 Brainstorming and 4.3 635 Method (Brainwriting) of this guide
3 Csikszentmihályi (1996): Creativity. Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention
4 hubpages.com/hub/UccelloTM-Process-as-a-tool-for-New-Product-Development
5 Leonard D.; Swap W. (1999): When sparks Fly. Igniting Creativity in groups