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Creativity in Science

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    CREATIVITY Creativity is the ability to generate innovative ideas and manifest them from thought into reality. The process involves original thinking and then producing. The process of creation was historically reserved for deities creating “from nothing” in creationism and other creation myths. Over time, the term creativity came to include human innovation, especially in art and science and led to the emergence of the creative class. Etymology Creativity comes from the Latin term creo “to create, make”.

    The ways in which societies have perceived the concept of creativity have changed throughout history, as has the term itself. Originally in the Christian period: “creatio” came to designate God’s act of Ex nihilo, “creation from nothing. ” “Creatio” thus had a different meaning than “facere” (“to make”) and did not apply to human functions. The ancient view that art is not a domain of creativity persisted in this period. History of the term and the concept A shift occurred in modern times.

    Renaissance men had a sense of their own independence, freedom and creativity, and sought to give voice to this sense. The first to actually apply the word “creativity” was the Polish poet Maciej Kazimierz Sarbiewski, who applied it exclusively to poetry. For over a century and a half, the idea of human creativity met with resistance, due to the fact that the term “creation” was reserved for creation “from nothing. ” Baltasar Gracian (1601–58) would only venture to write: “Art is the completion of nature, as if it were a second Creator… [2] The ancient Greek concept of art (in Greek, ????? , techne—the root of “technique” and “technology”), with the exception of poetry, involved not freedom of action but subjection to rules. In Rome, this Greek concept was partly shaken, and visual artists were viewed as sharing, with poets, imagination and inspiration. [3] Although neither the Greeks nor the Romans had a word that directly corresponded to the word “creativity,” their art, architecture, music, inventions and discoveries provide numerous examples of what today would be described as creative works.

    The Greek scientist of Syracuse, Archimedes experienced the creative moment in his Eureka experience, finding the answer to a problem he had been wrestling with for a long time. At the time, the concept of “genius” probably came closest to describing the creative talents that brought forth such works. [4] By the 18th century and the Age of Enlightenment, the concept of creativity was appearing more often in art theory, and was linked with the concept of imagination. [1] The Western view of creativity can be contrasted with the Eastern view.

    For Hindus, Confucianists, Taoists and Buddhists, creation was at most a kind of discovery or mimicry, and the idea of creation “from nothing” had no place in these philosophies and religions. [4] In the West, by the 19th century, not only had art come to be regarded as creativity, but it alone was so regarded. When later, at the turn of the 20th century, there began to be discussion of creativity in the sciences (e. g. , Jan Lukasiewicz, 1878–1956) and in nature (e. g. Henri Bergson), this was generally taken as the transference, to the sciences, of concepts that were proper to art. [1] Creative process In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, leading mathematicians and scientists such as Hermann von Helmholtz (1896) and Henri Poincare (1908) began to reflect on and publicly discuss their creative processes, and these insights were built on in early accounts of the creative process by pioneering theorists such as Graham Wallas (1926) and Max Wertheimer (1945).

    However, the formal starting point for the scientific study of creativity, from the standpoint of orthodox psychological literature, is generally considered to have been J. P. Guilford’s 1950 address to the American Psychological Association, which helped popularize the topic[5] and focus attention on a scientific approach to conceptualizing creativity and measuring it psychometrically. In parallel with these developments, other investigators have taken a more pragmatic approach, teaching practical creativity techniques.

    Three of the best-known are: Alex Osborn’s “brainstorming” (1950s to present), Genrikh Altshuller’s Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ, 1950s to present), and Edward de Bono’s “lateral thinking” (1960s to present). Creative thought Creative thought is a mental process involving creative problem solving and the discovery of new ideas or concepts, or new associations of the existing ideas or concepts, fueled by the process of either conscious or unconscious insight.

    From a scientific point of view, the products of creative thought (sometimes referred to as divergent thought) are usually considered to have both originality and appropriateness. Although intuitively a simple phenomenon, it is in fact quite complex. It has been studied from the perspectives of behavioral psychology, social psychology, psychometrics, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, philosophy, aesthetics, history, economics, design research, business, and management, among others.

    The studies have covered everyday creativity, exceptional creativity and even artificial creativity. Unlike many phenomena in science, there is no single, authoritative perspective or definition of creativity. And unlike many phenomena in psychology, there is no standardized measurement technique. Creativity has been attributed variously to divine intervention, cognitive processes, the social environment, personality traits, and chance (“accident”, “serendipity”). It has been associated with genius, mental illness, humor and REM sleep. 6] Some say it is a trait we are born with; others say it can be taught with the application of simple techniques. Creativity has also been viewed as a beneficence of a muse or muses. Although popularly associated with art and literature, it is also an essential part of innovation and invention and is important in professions such as business, economics, architecture, industrial design, graphic design, advertising, mathematics, music, science and engineering, and teaching.

    Despite, or perhaps because of, the ambiguity and multi-dimensional nature of creativity, entire industries have been spawned from the pursuit of creative ideas and the development of creativity techniques. Leonardo da Vinci is well known for his creative works. Creativity has been associated with right or forehead brain activity or even specifically with lateral thinking. Some students of creativity have emphasized an element of chance in the creative process. Linus Pauling, asked at a public lecture how one creates scientific theories, replied that ne must endeavor to come up with many ideas, then discard the useless ones. Another adequate definition of creativity, according to Otto Rank, is that it is an “assumptions-breaking process. ” Creative ideas are often generated when one discards preconceived assumptions and attempts a new approach or method that might seem to others unthinkable. Creativity and affect Some theories suggest that creativity may be particularly susceptible to affective influence. Creativity and positive affect relations

    According to Isen, positive affect has three primary effects on cognitive activity: * Positive affect makes additional cognitive material available for processing, increasing the number of cognitive elements available for association; * Positive affect leads to defocused attention and a more complex cognitive context, increasing the breadth of those elements that are treated as relevant to the problem; * Positive affect increases cognitive flexibility, increasing the probability that diverse cognitive elements will in fact become associated.

    Together, these processes lead positive affect to have a positive influence on creativity. * Fredrickson in her Broaden and Build Model suggests that positive emotions such as joy and love broaden a person’s available repertoire of cognitions and actions, thus enhancing creativity. According to these researchers, positive emotions increase the number of cognitive elements available for association (attention scope) and the number of elements that are relevant to the problem (cognitive scope). Creativity and negative affect relations On the other hand, some theorists have suggested that negative affect leads to greater creativity.

    A cornerstone of this perspective is empirical evidence of a relationship between affective illness and creativity. In a study of 1,005 prominent 20th century individuals from over 45 different professions, the University of Kentucky’s Arnold Ludwig found a slight but significant correlation between depression and level of creative achievement. In addition, several systematic studies of highly creative individuals and their relatives have uncovered a higher incidence of affective disorders (primarily bipolar disorder and depression) than that found in the general population.

    Creativity and affect at work Three patterns may exist between affect and creativity at work: positive (or negative) mood, or change in mood, predictably precedes creativity; creativity predictably precedes mood; and whether affect and creativity occur simultaneously. It was found that not only might affect precede creativity, but creative outcomes might provoke affect as well. At its simplest level, the experience of creativity is itself a work event, and like other events in the organizational context, it could evoke emotion.

    Qualitative research and anecdotal accounts of creative achievement in the arts and sciences suggest that creative insight is often followed by feelings of elation. For example, Albert Einstein called his 1907 general theory of relativity “the happiest thought of my life. ” Empirical evidence on this matter is still very tentative. In contrast to the possible incubation effects of affective state on subsequent creativity, the affective consequences of creativity are likely to be more direct and immediate. In general, affective events provoke immediate and relatively-fleeting emotional reactions.

    Thus, if creative performance at work is an affective event for the individual doing the creative work, such an effect would likely be evident only in same-day data. Another longitudinal research found several insights regarding the relations between creativity and emotion at work. First, a positive relationship between positive affect and creativity, and no evidence of a negative relationship. The more positive a person’s affect on a given day, the more creative thinking they evidenced that day and the next day—even controlling for that next day’s mood. There was even some evidence of an effect two days later.

    In addition, the researchers found no evidence that people were more creative when they experienced both positive and negative affect on the same day. The weight of evidence supports a purely linear form of the affect-creativity relationship, at least over the range of affect and creativity covered in our study: the more positive a person’s affect, the higher their creativity in a work setting. Finally, they found four patterns of affect and creativity affect can operate as an antecedent to creativity; as a direct consequence of creativity; as an indirect consequence of creativity; and affect can occur simultaneously with creative activity.

    Thus, it appears that people’s feelings and creative cognitions are interwoven in several distinct ways within the complex fabric of their daily work lives. INNOVATION Innovation is a change in the thought process for doing something or “new stuff that is made useful” It may refer to an incremental emergent or radical and revolutionary changes in thinking, products, processes, or organizations. Following Schumpeter (1934), contributors to the scholarly literature on innovation typically distinguish between invention, an idea made manifest, and innovation, ideas applied successfully in practice.

    In many fields, such as the arts economics and government policy, something new must be substantially different to be innovative. In economics the change must increase value, customer value, or producer value. The goal of innovation is positive change, to make someone or something better. Innovation leading to increased productivity is the fundamental source of increasing wealth in an economy. Innovation is an important topic in the study of economics, business, entrepreneurship, design, technology, sociology, and engineering. Colloquially, the word “innovation” is often synonymous with the output of the process.

    However, economists tend to focus on the process itself, from the origination of an idea to its transformation into something useful, to its implementation; and on the system within which the process of innovation unfolds. Since innovation is also considered a major driver of the economy, especially when it leads to new product categories or increasing productivity, the factors that lead to innovation are also considered to be critical to policy makers. In particular, followers of innovation economics stress using public policy to spur innovation and growth.

    Those who are directly responsible for application of the innovation are often called pioneers in their field, whether they are individuals or organizations. Introduction In the organizational context, innovation may be linked to performance and growth through improvements in efficiency, productivity, quality, competitive positioning etc. All organizations can innovate, including for example hospitals, universities, and local governments. While innovation typically adds value, innovation may also have a negative or destructive ffect as new developments clear away or change old organizational forms and practices. Organizations that do not innovate effectively may be destroyed by those that do. Hence innovation typically involves risk. A key challenge in innovation is maintaining a balance between process and product innovations where process innovations tend to involve a business model which may develop shareholder satisfaction through improved efficiencies while product innovations develop customer support however at the risk of costly R that can erode shareholder return.

    Innovation can be described as the result of some amount of time and effort into researching an idea, plus some larger amount of time and effort into developing this idea, plus some very large amount of time and effort into commercializing this idea into a market place with customers. Innovation has been studied in a variety of contexts, including in relation to technology, commerce, social systems, economic development, and policy construction. There are, therefore, naturally a wide range of approaches to conceptualizing innovation in the scholarly literature.

    Sources of innovation There are several sources of innovation. In the linear model of innovation the traditionally recognized source is manufacturer innovation. This is where an agent (person or business) innovates in order to sell the innovation. Another source of innovation, only now becoming widely recognized, is end-user innovation. This is where an agent (person or company) develops an innovation for their own (personal or in-house) use because existing products do not meet their needs.

    Eric Von Hippel has identified end-user innovation as, by far, the most important and critical in his classic book on the subject, Sources of Innovation. Joseph F. Engelberger, paraphrasing the conclusion of the 1967 US DoD program “Project Hindsight”, says that innovations require only three things: 1. A recognized need, 2. Competent people with relevant technology, and 3. Financial support. Innovation by businesses is achieved in many ways, with much attention now given to formal R for “breakthrough innovations. But innovations may be developed by less formal on-the-job modifications of practice, through exchange and combination of professional experience and by many other routes. The more radical and revolutionary innovations tend to emerge from R&D, while more incremental innovations may emerge from practice – but there are many exceptions to each of these trends. Regarding user innovation, a great deal of innovation is done by those actually implementing and using technologies and products as part of their normal activities.

    Sometimes user-innovators may become enterpreneurs, selling their product, they may choose to trade their innovation in exchange for other innovations, or they may be adopted by their suppliers. Nowadays, they may also choose to freely reveal their innovations, using methods like open source. In such networks of innovation the users or communities of users can further develop technologies and reinvent their social meaning. Whether innovation is mainly supply pushed (based on new technological possibilities) or demand-led (based on social needs and market requirements) has been a hotly debated topic.

    Similarly, what exactly drives innovation in organizations and economies remains an open question. More recent theoretical work moves beyond this simple dualistic problem, and through empirical work shows that innovation does not just happen within the industrial supply-side, or as a result of the articulation of user demand, but through a complex set of processes that links many different players together – not only developers and users, but a wide variety of intermediary organizations such as consultancies, standards bodies etc.

    Work on social networks suggests that much of the most successful innovation occurs at the boundaries of organizations and industries where the problems and needs of users, and the potential of technologies can be linked together in a creative process that challenges both. Goals Programs of organizational innovation are typically tightly linked to organizational goals and objectives, to the business plan, and to market competitive positioning. One driver for innovation programs in corporations is to achieve growth objectives. As Davila et al. (2006) note, “Companies cannot grow through cost reduction and reengineering alone…

    Innovation is the key element in providing aggressive top-line growth and for increasing bottom-line results”. In general, business organizations spend a significant amount of their turnover on innovation, such as making changes to their established products, processes and services. The amount of investment can vary from as low as a half a percent of turnover for organizations with a low rate of change to anything over twenty percent of turnover for organizations with a high rate of change. The average investment across all types of organizations is four percent.

    For an organization with a turnover of one billion currency units, this would represent an investment of forty million units. This budget will typically be spread across various functions including marketing, product design, information systems, manufacturing systems and quality assurance. The investment may vary by industry and by market positioning. One survey across a large number of manufacturing and services organizations found, ranked in decreasing order of popularity that systematic programs of organizational innovation are most frequently driven by: 1.

    Improved quality 2. Creation of new markets 3. Extension of the product range 4. Reduced labor costs 5. Improved production processes 6. Reduced materials 7. Reduced environmental damage 8. Replacement of products/services 9. Reduced energy consumption 10. Conformance to regulations These goals vary between improvements to products, processes and services and dispel a popular myth that innovation deals mainly with new product development. Most of the goals could apply to any organization be it a manufacturing facility, marketing firm, hospital or local government.

    Whether innovation goals are successfully achieved or otherwise depend greatly on the environment prevailing in the firm. Failure Research findings vary, ranging from fifty to ninety percent of innovation projects judged to have made little or no contribution to organizational goals. One survey regarding product innovation quotes that out of three thousand ideas for new products; only one becomes a success in the marketplace. Failure is an inevitable part of the innovation process, and most successful organizations factor in an appropriate level of risk.

    Perhaps it is because all organizations experience failure that many choose not to monitor the level of failure very closely. The impact of failure goes beyond the simple loss of investment. Failure can also lead to loss of morale among employees, an increase in cynicism and even higher resistance to change in the future. Innovations that fail are often potentially good ideas but have been rejected or postponed due to budgetary constraints, lack of skills or poor fit with current goals. Failures should be identified and screened out as early in the process as possible.

    Early screening avoids unsuitable ideas devouring scarce resources that are needed to progress more beneficial ones. Organizations can learn how to avoid failure when it is openly discussed and debated. The lessons learned from failure often reside longer in the organizational consciousness than lessons learned from success. While learning is important, high failure rates throughout the innovation process are wasteful and a threat to the organization’s future. The causes of failure have been widely researched and can vary considerably.

    Some causes will be external to the organization and outside its influence of control. Others will be internal and ultimately within the control of the organization. Internal causes of failure can be divided into causes associated with the cultural infrastructure and causes associated with the innovation process itself. Failure in the cultural infrastructure varies between organizations but the following are common across all organizations at some stage in their life cycle (O’Sullivan, 2002): 1. Poor Leadership 2. Poor Organization 3. Poor Communication . Poor Empowerment 5. Poor Knowledge Management Common causes of failure within the innovation process in most organizations can be distilled into five types: 1. Poor goal definition 2. Poor alignment of actions to goals 3. Poor participation in teams 4. Poor monitoring of results 5. Poor communication and access to information Effective goal definition requires that organizations state explicitly what their goals are in terms understandable to everyone involved in the innovation process. This often involves stating goals in a number of ways.

    Effective alignment of actions to goals should link explicit actions such as ideas and projects to specific goals. It also implies effective management of action portfolios. Participation in teams refers to the behavior of individuals in and of teams, and each individual should have an explicitly allocated responsibility regarding their role in goals and actions and the payment and rewards systems that link them to goal attainment. Finally, effective monitoring of results requires the monitoring of all goals, actions and teams involved in the innovation process.

    Innovation can fail if seen as an organizational process whose success stems from a mechanistic approach i. e. ‘pull lever obtain result’. While ‘driving’ change has an emphasis on control, enforcement and structures it is only a partial truth in achieving innovation. Organizational gatekeepers frame the organizational environment that “Enables” innovation; however innovation is “Enacted” – recognized, developed, applied and adopted – through individuals. Individuals are the ‘atom’ of the organization close to the minutiae of daily activities.

    Within individuals gritty appreciation of the small detail combines with a sense of desired organizational objectives to deliver (and innovate for) a product/service offer. From this perspective innovation succeeds from strategic structures that engage the individual to the organization’s benefit. Innovation pivots on intrinsically motivated individuals, within a supportive culture, informed by a broad sense of the future. Innovation, implies change, and can be counter to an organization’s orthodoxy.

    Space for fair hearing of innovative ideas is required to balance the potential autoimmune exclusion that quells an infant innovative culture. In organizations A convenient definition of innovation from an organizational perspective is given by Luecke and Katz (2003), who wrote: “Innovation . . . is generally understood as the successful introduction of a new thing or method . . . Innovation is the embodiment, combination, or synthesis of knowledge in original, relevant, valued new products, processes, or services. A content analysis on the term “innovation” carried out by Baregheh et al. 2009) within the organizational context, defines innovation as: “Innovation is the multi-stage process whereby organizations transform ideas into new/improved products, service or processes, in order to advance, compete and differentiate themselves successfully in their marketplace. “[3] Innovation typically involves creativity, but is not identical to it: innovation involves acting on the creative ideas to make some specific and tangible difference in the domain in which the innovation occurs. For example, Amabile et al. (1996) propose: “All innovation begins with creative ideas . . We define innovation as the successful implementation of creative ideas within an organization. In this view, creativity by individuals and teams is a starting point for innovation; the first is necessary but not sufficient condition for the second”. For innovation to occur, something more than the generation of a creative idea or insight is required: the insight must be put into action to make a genuine difference, resulting for example in new or altered business processes within the organization, or changes in the products and services provided. Innovation, like many business functions, is a management process that requires specific tools, rules, and discipline. ” Through these varieties of viewpoints, creativity is typically seen as the basis for innovation, and innovation as the successful implementation of creative ideas within an organization. It should be noted, however, that the term ‘innovation’ is used by many authors rather interchangeably with the term ‘creativity’ when discussing individual and organizational creative activity. Distinguishing between creativity and innovation It is often useful to explicitly distinguish between creativity and innovation.

    Creativity is typically used to refer to the act of producing new ideas, approaches or actions, while innovation is the process of both generating and applying such creative ideas in some specific context. In the context of an organization, therefore, the term innovation is often used to refer to the entire process by which an organization generates creative new ideas and converts them into novel, useful and viable commercial products, services, and business practices, while the term creativity is reserved to apply specifically to the generation of novel ideas by individuals or groups, as a necessary step within the innovation process.

    For example, Amabile et al. (1996) suggest that while innovation “begins with creative ideas, “… creativity by individuals and teams is a starting point for innovation; the first is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the second. ” Although the two words are novel, they go hand in hand. In order to be innovative, employees have to be creative to stay competitive.

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