The Bold Faced Blog™

September 01, 2015

How Do You Define Creativity?

Posted 3 years 172 days ago by Sheila Ellian Lewis

How many times have you heard people describe themselves as creative? How many times have you asked them to explain what that means? Is it because they are artists or musicians? Writers or dancers? Maybe they design buildings or gardens. Is it possible we’re all creative but some of us know and live it better than others?


When does creativity start? Is it the process of creating something that makes someone creative or the initial thought that gets things going? Or both? As one whose life seems to depend on generating new things, it seems that my creative engine is always running. The thought that there is another idea just waiting to be discovered gets me excited. While none of my ideas will ever save a life, they have yielded some pretty big things.


In an article titled The Angel in the Marble: Fostering Creativity at Ohio Wesleyanthat appeared in the Fall 2011 edition of the Ohio Wesleyan University Magazine, Ashton Associate Gretchen Hirsch shared insights on creativity gleaned from interviews with noted professors at the university. The interviews began with a question: Does creativity require a product?


Dr. Richard Leavy, professor and former chair of the Department of Psychology responded, “I think so. Like many others, I believe the creative product must be both novel—that is, unique, unexpected, or original—and appropriate. Someone who’s psychotic might come up with novel ideas, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to try them out. He went on to say, “Creative people are strong in both divergent and convergent thinking. They can envision lots of solutions to a problem and come up with inventive, original ideas, and they can apply logic and reason to narrow the field to a lesser number of possible solutions.”


Dr. Edward H. “Jed” Burtt, former Cincinnati Conference Professor of Zoology, former co-director of the OWU Honors Program, and 2011 Ohio Professor of the Year, added, “To be creative, people have to be willing to think hard and to be self-disciplined. Projects can take years to fully develop, and those who are creative are committed to the long term.”


20 Hallmarks of Creativity from Fast Company

In June of this year, Fast Company magazine named its 100 Most Creative People in Business. Every year the magazine generates a new list of people who previously have not been profiled. As the editor explained, “It’s a daunting mission…and yet our team digs in and inspiration quickly follows.”


In recognition of its 20th anniversary, Fast Company shared 20 aspects of creativity inspired by the magazine’s honorees.

1.       Creativity doesn’t discriminate.

2.       Creativity defies expectations.

3.       Creativity is improvisational.

4.       Creativity starts from scratch.

5.       Fear can’t trump imagination.

6.       Aggravation is inspiration.

7.       The bigger you are, the faster you can move.

8.       Creativity turns bad into good.

9.       Creativity happens in 3-D.

10.     Creativity is ambidextrous.

11.     Creativity can trump partisanship.

12.     Commerce and art are this close.

13.     Comic books can be cultural markers.

14.     Science can remake our assumptions.

15.     Games can remake education—and cybersecurity.

16.     Bureaucracy is under assault.

17.     Data can shape society …

18.     … and so can conversation.

19.     Creativity can bloom early …

20.     … and it’s just plain fun.


Now that you’re inspired, share how you live creatively!

Tags: creative Creativity Fast Company Gretchen Hirsch Ohio Weselyan OWU

Categories: categoryManagement categoryMarketing

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