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As creatives, we are hired to for a special ability to approach problems. Businesses have embraced this, and they are expanding their investment in people, culture, and practices that bring more creativity into the workplace. How can defining creativity help us with better understanding this much-needed skill?

Defining creativity

Creativity is the act of bringing an idea into reality. We label certain activities such as illustration and design as creative. In truth, we can apply the same type of thinking to other ideas. To be creative, we need to be able to view problem-solving in new ways. We need to generate new possibilities.

By science

Albert Georgyi offers this view of creativity, “It is seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.”

According to Robert Epstein Ph.D. of Psychology Today, we all have creative abilities. We are capable of coming up with ideas. Some of us feel empowered to generate many ideas. This is a basic process that drives a lot of our behavior. We only call it creative when we find an idea that is truly innovative.

By other creatives

“Starting with nothing and ending up with something. Interpreting something you saw or experienced and processing it so it comes out different than how it went in.” – Henry Rollins

“Taking what’s in front of you and everybody else and making something new out of it.” – Austin Kleon

“Copying smarter.” – Lisa Barone

Importance of creativity

Defining creativity the difference between ideas and creativity is action

The difference between an idea and creativity is actually doing stuff to bring that idea to life.

For innovation

Daniel Pink, the author of, “A Whole New Mind,” believes that we are living in an age of creativity. As we move from further into the Information Age, we need to find a way to consciously connect the technology and data to people. Right-brain thinkers with skills in empath, inventiveness, as well as business will connect the two.

For business

In 2010, IBM conducted a global CEO study that stated CEOs and their teams must lead their businesses with creativity. The survey also showed that creativity ranked as the number one factor for business success above integrity and even vision.

One possible reason why creative ranked above traditional business attributes is that companies are dealing with more ambiguity as technology shifts paradigms.

Read more about creativity here.

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Matt Eng

Matt Eng

DesignOps Manager. Based in Austin,TX. Worked with clients such as Alcatel-Lucent, Ogilvy, RBC, Deloitte, Whirlpool, Polycom, Symantec, and Pebble. Matt teaches, mentors, and speaks about design, creativity, and fostering stronger connections within teams.