Process of creativity

Creativity is a process to develop and express new ideas which might come useful later on (Leonard D.; Swap W. (1999): When sparks Fly. Igniting Creativity in groups).

The most widely acknowledged definition of creativity comes from Guilford (1950), who defined creativity as divergent thinking. Creativity includes a multiple approach to solving a problem and linking elements that may be independent otherwise. Divergent thinking gives rise to novel ideas. To be able to think outside the box, we have to set our mind free but we should also be aware of existing solutions and limitations so that we can challenge them.

Increasing/promoting creativity is a complex process. Creativity is essentially promoted in three ways:

  • Increase individual creativity by improving organisational features
  • Create an optimum environment for the exchange of ideas
  • Create an opportunity for innovation by means of actual tasks

The creative process is characterised by the following features:

The first phase is preparation, when data and information are collected. We can only create something new when we understand and are familiar with the old. The second phase is brainstorming, where ideas are collected and organised. The third phase is incubation. In this period, thoughts may organise themselves in novel ways or may be seen from unique angles. New, unusual ideas are born, often accompanied by the “AHA” experience. In the last phase, we have to select the ideas for implementation and develop a complex solution. This process is described by the Uccello model.

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