Monday 14 October 2019

Creativity is a process

Creativity is a process

We often struggle with innovation and creativity in organisations; assuming you need a sprinkling of lone creative geniuses - a few "Steve Jobs-type" people - to make new breakthroughs.

This is not true. What you need is a deliberate creative process, as described in the embedded PBS video. I list some of the key points from the video later in this post.


  • You need "negative capability" - suspension of judgment until you have chased down a number of ideas
  • The creative impulse is one piece of the process, but at some point you need to sit down and do the work
  • Creativity is a spiral of excitement and despair and you have to keep working at it
  • "Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just get to work"
  • Creativity proceeds through cognitive stages. There is a preparation stage, an incubation stage (where you let the task go for a while), an insight stage, and a verification stage.
  • Collaboration makes a creative process better. There is no "lone creator" - the members of the group makes up a single meta-creator. The conversations create more than the sum of the individual viewpoints
  • You have to believe that criticism of your ideas is not criticism of you, and you have to be willing to let go of your ideas as well
  • You have to work with people who are very different to you
  • When you work in a group, what you create is much grander
  • Additional perspectives make the result better, 
  • Nothing is original. There is no creation without being influenced. 
  • We create new ideas by remixing. You innovate by transforming on top of platforms that already exist. 
  • Anyone can be creative in the domain that best works for them. It could be a work of art, it could be making dinner. It could even be making process or product improvements in your own organisation.
In Knoco, the creative process we offer is the Deep Dive process, based on the principles of business-driven action learning. This is a structured collaborative process, put together to address a big audacious challenge by working through the cognitive stages mentioned above, using a disparate team with a mix of personality types. Contact us for more detail.

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