Management Concepts & Organisational Behaviour - Creativity And Innovation

The Creativity Process

   Posted On :  19.05.2018 11:16 pm

Creative people, in general, are few and far between in any society.

The Creativity Process
 
Creative people, in general, are few and far between in any society. Many products and services that we take for granted these days are the result of their creative thinking. It was J.P.Guildford, a noted psychologist who coined the phrases ‘divergent’ and ‘convergent’ to describe different thinking styles in the early 1950s. Accordingly, Convergent thinking is the sort of thinking most of us are trained to do. Divergent thinking is quite different from convergent thinking. It is intuitive thinking and is quite different from convergent thinking. It is intuitive thinking useful to deal with problems permitting several possible solutions where novel, unexpected answers emerge.
 
Physiologically, our brain has two distinct hemispheres: one on the left side, and the other on the right side. Psychologists have long back established that these two halves have totally different jobs. The function of the left side of the brain is linear thought process- the type of thinking involved when you solve a mathematical problem. The right side of the brain acts or behaves in a different way. Its functions are connected with imagery, and with intuition or ‘gut-feel’.

There is an obvious parallel between convergence/divergence and the left brain/right brain model. In other words, convergent thinking takes place in the left brain while, divergent thinking in the right brain. Having understood the two spheres of the human brain, let us acquaint with the process of creativity:
 
Idea generation: The individual selects a problem to work on or more likely become aware that a problem or need exists. This is the starting point for the new product development indeed. This refers to the awareness about the ‘gaps’ in the market.
 
Preparation: The individual becomes obsessed with the idea/ problem, recalling and collecting information that seems relevant and dreaming up hypothesis without evaluating them. Openness to experience, tolerance for ambiguity and willingness and courage to redefine the existing concepts, beliefs are the important psychological attributes required at the stage.
 
Incubation: After assembling the available information, the individual relaxes and the subconscious mind becomes active. In this not much understood but crucial step, the individual often appears to be idle or day dreaming, but the subconscious is in fact trying to arrange the facts into a pattern. Psychological freedom and safety are important at this stage.
 
Illumination: This is something which we experience quite often. Often, when least expected – while eating, falling asleep or walking- the new integrative idea will flash into the individual’s mind. Such insights must be recorded quickly, because the conscious mind may forget them in the course of other activities.
 
Verification and Application: The individual sets out to prove by logic or experiment that the idea can solve the problem and can be implemented. Tenacity may be required at this point. It is at this state the individual switches over to the logical, analytical or convergent thinking. The practical implications are examined what is known as feasibility assessment- both technical and economic for commercialization of the idea/concept. This is also known as assessing the scalability.

 

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