Creativity and Innovation
Reportof the Interview
Threeindividuals were interviewed on their understanding of creativity.The interviewees were aged twenty-six, thirty-two, and thirty-five.Two of them were males named Andrew and Nick, and one was a femalenamed Adriana. The three were picked randomly without considering anysignificant factor, but their willingness to participate. Andrew andAdriana were students at the University taking courses in informationtechnology and business management respectively. Wayne, on the otherhand, was an employee working for a technology company.
Accordingto Wayne, creative people are those who turn imaginative ideas intoreal projects. He suggested that these are the kinds of individualswho have a high power to think widely concerning a particularproblem, then develop a solution that can be implemented or created.Concerning the question on the availability of creative people, Wayneprovided that there are many creative individuals in the currenttimes compared to the past. He argued that today, creativity isdiverse and that it takes place in different fields such as scienceand technology, business and organisational management, media andart, and in the construction industry. His suggestion was that peoplefrom various parts of the world develop many creative ideas each day,and that the impact of each can be seen and felt by the changes thatoccur in the different sectors. He described a creative idea as thatwhich is original to an individual, and that it is developed for thepurpose of solving a particular problem. Wayne believes that thechances of success for a creative idea are high provided that theidea is focused on solving a problem that is current. He alsosuggested that the creative idea is more likely to succeed if it hasa stable and reliable proof for solving a particular challenge. Thesources of creativity according to Wayne are individuals. Heelaborated that individuals are the ones who realise a problem thendevelop a creative solution to it, and that the process ofimplementing the idea may involve other people. The intervieweeshared that he is a creative individual since his work involvescoming up with unique programs that aim at solving problems in theuse of smartphone technology.
Adrianasuggested that people could be referred as being creative if they areable to come up with ideas that aim at solving some of the problemspresented to them, or those that occur in an organisation. Shesuggested that creative individuals are just ordinary people blessedwith a mind that has a greater analytic capability, which can view aproblem, analyse it, and develop a unique working solution to theproblem. She suggested that the current world is made up of manycreative individuals due to the complexity of processes inorganisations, and the changes that occur in life such astechnological improvements. The interviewee went ahead to explainthat as the times are changing, the types and number of problemsincrease and that these lead to the change in man’s creativecapacity. Like Wayne, Adriana elaborated that creativity takesdifferent forms, and that the number of creative things done bypeople is unlimited. Her description of an original idea focused onthe uniqueness of the design and its ability to sort out issues thatpresent themselves in various situations of life. According to her,creativity is mostly seen in business and technology. She alsosuggested that creative ideas have high chances of succeeding sincepeople are always looking for ideas whose implementation will have animpact in the current world. She asserted that the current world isvery competitive and as such, the generation of a suitable idea tostay ahead of the competition grants it a success. Concerning thesource of creativity, Adriana suggested that individuals areresponsible for the generation of creative ideas. People are the oneswho discover a problem and formulate methods of solving them. Shesuggested that she considers herself as being creative since she hasthe ability to develop models of solving problems that may beexperienced at different levels of management in an organisation. Herexplanations of creativity and the answers she generated match mythoughts on the topic. I also believe that there are numerousimaginative people in the world and that a person’s ability todevelop a solution to a given problem displays his or her level ofcreativity.
Andrewalso suggested that the current world is made up of an enormouspopulation of creative people. He argued that different generationsare made of different numbers of creative people, and that thecurrent generation has the highest population of this kind ofindividuals. To support his claim, he pointed out to the drasticchanges in technology, architecture, design, leadership styles, andthe operations in different organisations. He even argued that everyindividual in the current world is creative, but the level and typeof creativity varies. Andrew suggested that creative people are thosewho have a strong urge to change a particular situation intosomething that is more attractive and beneficial to themselves and alarge population. He went on to add that creative people are drivenby the need to create an impact on the lives of others by convertinguseful ideas into reality. Like the other interviewees, he explainedthat creativity is unlimited. He described a creative idea as thatwhich is new to a particular context and that it is developed withthe aim of meeting a specific purpose such as problem solving,aesthetics, or entertainment. Andrew went on to add that creativityis diverse and that one can look at it depending on where it isapplied for example in arts and performance, in the field oftechnology, or in business processes. The interviewee emphasised thatthe world offers great opportunities for the success of creativeideas. He even gave an example of how organisations struggle toemploy creative individuals who can transform the state of the firminto one that achieves significant performances in its practice. Ifind Andrew’s reasoning to be sound and full of meaning. I mostlylike his presentation on the diversity of creativity. He does notonly focus on creativity in technology and business as the otherinterviewees, but broadens his thought and definition to cover areassuch as art.
PersonalView of Creativity
Beforeundertaking the course and reading Kirton’s view, I believed thatcreativity is the ability to develop new ideas that are unique in agiven field. Creativity may take different forms depending on thefield in which the term is being applied. It focuses on solving aparticular problem, thus making creative ideas to have greaterchances of attaining success. I believed that the original idea isthat which is unique, and whose creation was meant to meet a specificneed. Individuals are the primary sources of creativity since theyare the ones who face the challenges in different scenarios such asat the workplace. Such problems lead to the creation of solutions,hence the origin of creativity. According to Kirton’s book,creativity is linked to being a genius. He suggests that creativitycan be viewed on two levels, with the higher level being the creationof something from a non-existent form. This type of creativity isassociated with God’s work of creation. The lesser form ofcreativity is the making of new things out of the things that alreadyexist. The creativity of this kind is always aimed at meeting someneeds, and that the people who develop the new things are alwaysextraordinary. Kirton’s presentation is similar to my descriptionof creativity in the sense that in both descriptions, a new productis created in the process, and it aims at meeting a specific need.The difference between my idea of creativity and the descriptionprovided in the book is that in my version, creativity is evident inthe actions of different people, whereas Kirton suggests that it onlyoccurs in extraordinary people.
Fromthe interviews and the analysis of creativity as presented inKirton’s book, I have learned that creativity is always aimed atsolving a problem. The process entails the generation of an idea andits conversion into a model or a visible thing that can be applied inmeeting a need. Creativity can be applied in different fieldsincluding business, art, and technology. I believe that it isimportant to study creativity and problem-solving in a technicaldegree program since most of the developments in the field are aimedat solving different problems that man encounters in his daily life.It also enables one to understand what it means by being creative,thus helping in the generation and implementation of models that areuseful in meeting some of the needs presented by people.
Guilfordestablished that divergent and convergent thinking were part of thethinking process, which occur within an individual. Divergentthinking is the thinking process in an unstructured, free-flowingmanner. In this type of thinking, Guilford suggested that a number ofideas are generated and evaluated at the same time. Divergentthinking entails searching for new ideas for solving the problemsthat occur in different situations. This cognitive operation ishighly associated with the ability to innovate. Convergent thinking,on the other hand, is the thinking that is aimed at deriving thesingle most useful answer to a specific question at a given moment.The theorist described the individuals under this cognitive operationas disciplined but narrowed to a particular line of thought.
Guilfordbelieved that divergent thinkers have a creative mind and that theymight not score nicely in the intelligence tests such as IQ test dueto their different approach to a number of problems. He ruled out IQas a necessary tool for determining a person’s level of creativity,and that other methods should be incorporated to ensure that theresults are reliable and valid. Basing on divergent thinkers,Guilford suggested that creativity rests on an individual’s abilityand behavior as opposed to previous versions where such was based onintellect. The original presentation of Guilford on the twoapproaches to the thought process differs from the popular view inthat the two were initially considered as separate but part of theprocess of thinking. The presentation by Guilford has, however, beenadjusted to fit in different situations apart from the thoughtprocess. In a later address, he suggested that the ability of anindividual to express creative behavior in a striking degree wasdependent on the person’s creative abilities. The originaldefinition by Guilford focused on different cognitive levels anddescribed divergent thinking and convergent thinking as they occur ineach of the cognitive levels. The simplified view gives a lesserelaboration of how the two cognitive approaches are divided intodifferent cognitive levels. The popular version has also beenmodified to fit in various fields by focusing on the behaviors ofindividuals in these areas.
Cognitivestyle is developed through the mastery of a given technique, whereascognitive level is initiated by the use of the technique in differentprocesses. The distinction between cognitive level and cognitivestyle is based on their description and applications. The cognitivelevel is presented as a unipolar process that is linked to a person’smental capacity in both the possible form and manifest. On the otherhand, cognitive style is considered a bipolar construct in whichpeople think and develop ways of effecting change. Cognitive leveltakes different dimensions, especially when focusing on engineering.It ranges from a simple stage that is very easy to master to acomplex stage, which is very hard to learn.
Thestages have greater impacts on the convergent and the divergentthinkers. The convergent thinking of a high level, moderate adapteris meant to focus on a particular problem. Due to the situation ofthe cognitive level individuals at this stage may tend to explorefewer options. On the other hand, the convergent thinker at the lowlevel, high innovator face less challenging tasks, and therefore,have enough room and time for experimenting with new ideas. For aconvergent thinker, I believe that the low level, high innovator isdisadvantaged since this is not the option that suits his character.The convergent thinker is, however, more suited to the adaptive A-Istyle primarily due to their narrow focus on a particular problem,which is presented to them at a given moment. The low level, highinnovators, tend to think in broader terms and can explore otheroptions for problem-solving. The adaptive style is dominant in theconvergent thinking, which involves individuals who are characterizedby working better in a stable environment, and one that is wellstructured. Changing them to the innovator style may alter theirbehavior and their approach towards particular problems that arepresented to them since such does not suit their personality andbehavior.
Divergentthinkers are highly associated with the innovative style. They applya holistic approach when tackling a particular problem and tend toproduce better results at the lowest cognitive level that does notrequire too much formality. The low cognitive level makes thedivergent thinkers more innovative since they have the opportunity offocusing on a problem in an all-round manner and developing workingsolutions towards solving the problem. They tend to have more timewhen the task is much simpler, as compared to the divergent thinkersat the high level who have harder jobs hence limiting their abilityto explore alternative methods of solving different issues. Divergentthinkers are associated with the innovative style since they tend tothink from a broader perspective and have a tendency of exploringdifferent ideas to generate a solution that they think is mostsuitable for solving particular problems. The high cognitive levelmay tend to alter the innovative nature of the divergent thinkers,since it is more engaging and may result in limited time for thedevelopment of innovative ideas.
Throughthe study, I have been able to learn about the process of ideageneration as one that entails a complex procedure, which leads tothe creation of different ideas. The current ideas are then evaluatedto determine their efficacy if implemented. I have also understoodthat the process of idea generation entails cognitive thinking. Thetwo ways of idea generation and problem-solving as gained from thestudy include divergent thinking and convergent thinking. Convergentthinking depends on typical intelligence for the generation of ideaswhereas divergent thinking relies on creativity. The two were notpresented as being uncommon or with any form of conflict orcompetition among them. I have also understood that there are twoadaptive-innovation styles namely adaptive thinkers and innovativethinkers. The adaptive thinkers focus much on improving an existingidea whereas the innovative thinkers generate new ideas in developingmethods solving problems that were initially not available.
Thecognitive levels, on the other hand, are divided based on thecomplexity of the tasks, and such have effects on the divergent andconvergent thinkers. Based on the teachings, I have learned that whenthe cognitive level is the center of concern, the initial assumptiongained is that the concept is linked to the individual’s capacity,capability, potential, or the degree of competence. The creativelevel determines the manner in which an individual utilizes hiscreative capacity in the process of generating working solutions to aproblem. In cases where style is the main subject, greater emphasisis based on preference, propensity, modality, form, or manner. Styleinfluences a person’s use of intellect, talent, and innovativeability in the generation of ideas that aim at meeting particularwants.
Toconclude, the process of idea generation and idea selection dependsheavily on the adaptation-innovation concept that was developed byKirton. The concept stipulates that the level of creativity in theconception and selection of an idea does not depend on intelligenceor the measure of an individual’s IQ. From the teachings, I alsolearned that ideas are generated due to the presentation of aparticular need and that creativity is not limited to certain people. The insights shared in the readings are essential in the provisionof knowledge on creativity and how it can be applied in the field. Ihave been able to learn about the different levels of cognitiveprocesses, their degree of difficulty, and how convergent thinkingand divergent thinking applies to the levels. The teachings can beused in categorizing individuals in the profession as convergent ordivergent thinkers, and developing suitable approaches of making themunderstand how they can contribute to the problem-solving process.
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