Creativity: Do we Really Mean?


By

Amit Shrivastava
Astt. Professor
Bhuwan Shrivastava
Astt. Professor
Shivalik Institute of Management Education & Research
Durg, Chhattisgarh
 


Creativity over the years has gained importance specifically when we talk of managerial decision making process. Undoubtedly there has been lot of work done on this aspect be it literature or research. Many researchers have devoted considerable time and words for the same. After all these efforts almost everyone has consented themselves to come up with one common definition of Creativity, with little deviations in the word, that creativity is something abstract or something which is beyond the wall or which is out of the box. Also Creativity is the process of thinking something new. In the managerial context the definition of creativity has taken modified version i.e. creative decision making process is the process of taking the decision from the newer perspective. The result these "Creative Managers" have got is undoubtly the positive and encouraging one. These definition are very correct and there is no scope left for the criticism for the definition and the nature of the same; for e.g.: when audio system market was flooded with the number of companies, it was Sony who thought in a abstract way or in a creative way to create its own niche in the market by launching Walkman (a mobile and handy stereo cassette player), which was something new in the market during those years. Here in this case the stance of Sony is known as Creative decision. If we have to take it that there is no scope left for criticism for the above said definition of creativity at the same time we should also take this fact that there is scope left of the modification or improvement in defining the concept of creativity. Yes it can be, if we closely analyze the definition of creativity closely we will find some incompleteness or precisely speaking some incomplete word or not properly defined word. Let us consider the definition of Creativity again- "Creativity is the process of thinking something abstract, something new, and something which is out of box, which is beyond the wall. If it is something new then what is that "something" which is new? And if we are calling it as something beyond the wall, or again, something which is new do we really mean it? In the coming paragraphs we will be analyzing the above said points thereby modifying the definition of the word "Creativity".

Now let us get into the detail of process of creativity, because our new approach is based on the understanding of the process of creativity only. Creativity is the concept that totally relies on concept of "Perception" of the individual. Consider the process of formation of perception below:


The above diagramme clearly depicts the formation of perception and at the end the formation of attitude and behavior. Actually the process starts with information from the external environment; the information so collected leads to our experiences and thus saw the seed for our learning. It is this learning of ours that forms the basis of Perception. The perception thus shapes our Attitude and behavior. From this Perception one basic concept stems out is the Creativity. It is this perception only that lays the foundation of Creativity. Keeping this process of formation of perception, creativity, attitude and behavior as the base, ask any number of persons to draw the sketch of, say a Martian. They will definitely come out with varied faces of a Martian. Some of them will draw only one eye, some will three eyes; some of them will draw only one leg and three hands and variety of such forms. Keeping the current definition they are creative to the greatest of their extent in their approach. They are very correct, because they have come out with something which is new and which is abstract and not common to the normal world. But there one thing which is demanding our attention in all these process is the source from where they all got their intuition to draw such type of face to a Martian. They all are guided by their learning and the past experiences or in turn through the external environment. Through their external environment they have learnt over the years that if is to be living organism it has to be with legs, eyes, hands or sometimes without all these things. Mean to say that they are not creating any thing new or something which not there in the present earth, they are just modifying the information available to them through various sources and thus coming out with the modified version of the information. Because the creation of thing altogether is impossible as we are bounded or limited by our learning. It is this learning only that is stopping us to think beyond the wall or out of the box. Even if are asked to think about the life in Jupiter we will first all look out for, and actually what we are doing, presence of Oxygen and Water because again we are bounded by learning that any living organism requires oxygen and water for there survival. We cannot think that for them it may be the H2So4 which is serving the growth of development of the life there in that planet. Now if talk in the managerial perspective if we are taking the decision which is creative according to the current definition, after the close observation we can find that the decision which is creative according to the current standard is not in fact the creative one; that means the manager is taking the decision which is knowingly or unknowingly utilizing the pas experiences or the learning. Putting it much simpler way, if a person is involve in creative activity it does mean that he is creating anything. What he is doing is the modification of the current available information or the innovation of the information. As we move through the literal meaning of "creativity", is to create something which was haven't got any presence in the material world. And if a person is doing that then that process is to be called as the Creative one and not the Innovation. But in general we tend to denote Innovation as creativity, actually that process should be known as "Innovativity" (derived from the word Innovation).

Actually what ever we see around us we record it somewhere inside the brain and that recorded piece of information remains stored as it is until it is called for some task. When it is called for some task the modification, addition and deletion starts according to the nature and purpose of the task to be performed. It is same like the fonts which is already stored in the hard disk of CPU and whenever asked, these fonts combined together to form a word or paragraph according to the need. Human brain is receptive to many number of information; the source of information can be through his own effort or through family, peers, and colleagues. And gives the appropriate outcome when asked for by combining various stored pieces of information. Thus a creative and successful manager will be that manager who utilizes and modified the information in needful way.

Thus it is the "Innovativity" and not the "Creativity" that calls for abstract decision.
 


Amit Shrivastava
Astt. Professor
Bhuwan Shrivastava
Astt. Professor
Shivalik Institute of Management Education & Research
Durg, Chhattisgarh
 

Source: E-mail July 4, 2007

        

Back to Articles 1-99 / Back to Articles 100-199 / Back to Articles 200-299 / Back to Articles 300-399
Back to Articles 400-499 / Back to Articles 500-599 / Back to Articles 600 Onward
Faculty Column Main Page