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Creativity and a Human Dichotomy: Individual or Part of a Team?

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Multidisciplinary Contributions to the Science of Creative Thinking

Part of the book series: Creativity in the Twenty First Century ((CTFC))

Abstract

Despite the increasing realization of the importance of creativity and innovation , there is little in the way of practical guidance regards their implementation into an organizational environment. This lack of guidance, stems in part at least, from a lack of understanding of the core processes that stimulate or undermine people’s motivation to be creative. This, in turn, may be caused by a traditional view of creativity being viewed as an attribute of ‘special’ people with less consideration for the social and environmental aspects of the structure within which innovation occurs. The individual versus the group model of creative behavior outlined in this chapter attempts to go some way to redressing this imbalance, and outlines creativity as a fundamental human attribute that represents our need to be distinct and individual. Watching my five year-old granddaughter growing up, I am struck by the fact that every day she has a thought that leads to an action that is a little bit different than before. That is to say, every day she thinks something or generates an idea that changes her world in some small way. This seemingly rather trivial observation has fundamental implications for the role of creativity in our development, our organizations, our lives, and ultimately, the evolution of the human race. In other words, the process of growing up, observing, learning and making choices is intimately linked to the creative process, and one that we all go through. Whether organizations or children are our focus, when studying creativity maybe we should be studying it as a social phenomenon first, and understand that, before we increase the magnification of our research microscopes down to the individual level. Secondly, since my granddaughter’s creative curiosity is a natural, frequent, and possibly universal, phenomenon, perhaps we might find it more profitable to study creativity from the perspective: What is it about our socialization processes that, in some cases, suppresses our motivation to be creative as we mature? Indeed, there is increasing research interest in examining our organisations in the same way and asking: What is it within them that enhances or undermines individuals’ motivation to be creative?

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

Albert von Szent-Györgyi

[Irving Good (Ed.), The Scientist Speculates]

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Walton, A.P. (2016). Creativity and a Human Dichotomy: Individual or Part of a Team?. In: Corazza, G., Agnoli, S. (eds) Multidisciplinary Contributions to the Science of Creative Thinking. Creativity in the Twenty First Century. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-618-8_6

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