One of the most used words by people in the area of business and education is CREATIVITY. A lot has been said and written yet it is very difficult to get hold of the crux of the matter CREATIVITY. So what is it? Is it just related to arts and fine arts or is it something that is very basic and common? In this article we would try and explore the word CREATIVITY, and get the real meaning of it. I understand we know the synonym of the word CREATIVITY, but do we know what the word means?
The most common myth about CREATIVITY is it is related to arts, and arts alone. If we ask persons to point out people who are creative, they more often than not point out painters, play writes and Novelists. When said creativity is a very integral part of science, the point is not well taken. Even if people agree that science has an essential part of creativity, if we ask them how they have remained silent. Physicists like Albert Einstein, David Bohm; Biologist like Rupert Sheldrake, were all very creative and thus paved a new path in their respective field for their peers and followers to move ahead.
Another popular myth is if one successful Idea is taken and implemented in another field it is Creativity. Unfortunately that too is not the case. For example in London there is a company called Autonomy and they have designed a program for CCTV cameras to detect any unwanted happenings like suicide by observing the body postures, movements and sweat. They took the basic idea for this program from a theorem developed by a Presbyterian father Thomas Bayes. It can be termed as Brilliance and Business acumen but not as Creativity. It cannot be even called as Innovation.
The first myth is more common and to clarify that a quote from German Poet Goethe is sufficient. “When Ideas fail, words are of immense help”. So what makes the poet or a play write or a novelist a creative person? Is the language he uses or the content which is displayed in a language? If we try and ask this question we can come to a near conclusion of the main question “What is creativity”? People would say the main source of creativity is Imagination. But it cannot be the base source as imagination needs some kind of data. Let me give a map of how I think the process works
When this map is slightly altered we can get a map for creativity.
The process flowchart (1) is tried, tested and proved by various people in various fields. Now for the second flowchart I shall produce my proofs one by one. But before that the commonality between two flowcharts are Knowledge, Thinking and Intelligence. Here as far as I am concerned the key word is Intelligence. In this step alone any theory leaps into application.
“You can’t do much carpentry with bare hands and you cannot do much thinking with bare brain” – Bo Dahlbom. So for Intelligence you need data, and that data is called Knowledge. So the base for creativity is having more data and to convert that to intelligence. Now let me go towards the proofs for the second flowchart
Newton’s model of force, mass and time was unquestioned for 250 years, until a Jewish clerk named Albert Einstein provided a different version. But before that Einstein was well versed in science as he invented Brownian movement that was the base of so many things in particle physics. So it is evident that Einstein was able to create a new theory on time as he had the areas of Knowledge and Intelligence covered. As in the case of Newton who created so many things including Gravity, he himself has said that he stands in the shoulders of Giants, which means he had well-versed data.
Second proof is any student who is into psychology cannot complete and get graduation unless he does analysis on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Hamlet and Prospero and Goethe’s Dr.Froust. These poets and play writes did not just write stories and poems, but went deep into the Human psychology and represented it by various characters. Shakespeare had read John Dee in depth to create a character of Prospero.
Dostoevsky read Nietzsche, and gave his thoughts on the theory of Nietzsche in his novella the “notes for the underground”.
Finally there are tests to measure the psychological aspects and are conducted for various purposes based on various models. One popular model is the Big Five factor model. There are five essential traits considered in this model. Agreeableness, Extroversion, Neuroticism, Openness and Conscientiousness are those five traits. Each stands for one or two particular behaviors
Agreeableness – Amicability and content
Extroversion – out going and easy approaching
Neuroticism – Ability to handle stress, and negative emotion
Openness – Open to new atmosphere, learning and People
Conscientiousness – Orderliness and Industriousness
Based on these traits a hunt for the most creative lawyers took place in Toronto, Canada, for five years. The top 100 most creative lawyers had high Conscientiousness score. The test givers were shocked to an extent, as Creativity has always been till then associated with openness. So after this, a new finding emerged.
With all these proofs I rest my case. My final point is Creativity is very subjective and it is all about knowing more and more about that subject in all the dimensions and then asking interesting questions about it. Going to a level where one understands why it is like this and then moving to the next phase of asking why not like this, is creativity.