Creativity is an intangible characteristic that most organizations aim to cultivate. So much of what makes an organization succeed — the ability to foster innovation, developing exceptional talent and leadership, and a high degree of brand recognition — is influenced by its creative people, perspective, practices, and culture.
Theories of creativity have focused on a variety of factors. The dominant factors are identified as the 4Ps — Person, Process, Product and Press.
In this post, we will discuss each factor in more details. Furthermore, we will discuss various tools and research-based assessments that are available for immediate use by any organization.
PERSON: The person is the entrepreneur or the intrapreneur. The person is at the center of any creative endeavor. They use their skills, the environment (or press), their creative abilities and their motivation, to create the product. Creative abilities of an individual are not easy to measure. But they are measureable. SparcIt has devised a method based on Divergent Thinking (DT) model to measure one’s creative abilities. SparcIt’s unique feature is the use of open-ended exercises and automated scoring. Kirton Adaptive Index (KAI) is another assessment that uses a set of questionnaires to gauge one’s preference. One’s preferences are measured from adaptor to an innovator.
PROCESS: The Process refers to the procedure used by the Person to develop the Product. Please note that, the Process refers to the thought process rather than the methodology. It is the way the person thinks when s/he is attempting to solve a problem or create a new solution. An ideal assessment for understanding your thinking profile is Foursight Thinking Profile where one’s preferences are shown to be a Clarifier, Ideator, Developer and Implementer. Of course, one can be in more than one group.
PRODUCT: Product is built by the Person and is the result of the creative Process. It is the new innovation. Product is probably the least studied factor in the field of creativity. They are generally looked at as the outcome of the Process and the Person. There is also a debate on the exact definition of the creative product. Current consensus dictates that the Product has to be both novel and useful. In order to determine that, each organization sets up their own consensual model approach where judgements are passed based on a group of experts.
PRESS: Press represents the environment and the climate in which the Person operates and functions in, to create the Product. It refers to conditions conducive/prohibitive for creativity. The Press includes (but not limited to): organizational culture, resources and best practices. Teresa Amabile’s KEYS currently owned by Center for Creative Leadership is an ideal assessment for gauging your organization’s inner creativity and innovativeness. This assessment can also be used for organizational restructuring if needed.
In the end, it is important to realize that creativity is all things to all people, but still needs an integrative research paradigm.