THE CREATIVE PROCESS
Everyone has the capacity to be creative. Although creativity is important for work, some circumstances and environments are more conducive than others, such as traditional arts occupations. Even people who do not view themselves as creative can apply new skills to enhance creative thinking. A creative thought process is one that does not rely solely on past experience or known facts. It is the ability to envision new possibilities, and an organization that encourages the creative process must also develop the appropriate attitudes, skills, and techniques to be successful.
Once teams become more comfortable with the idea of creativity as an ongoing process, they can begin to use this creativity regularly for idea generation and problem solving. Company meetings can start with some of divergent suggestions, such as Mind Maps, and end with convergent ones that can be more closely examined with a critical perspective.
The creation process can be remembered using the acronym CREATE:
The Check Goal piece is used in discussion times when ideas are written on a flipchart. Once participants hone in on what they would like to do, they move to Research Facts, where they research the facts and focus on the problems. In the next step, Examine Issues, groups may want to ask what would happen if they took no action. This ensures the problem ultimately selected will truly have an impact if solved. Once the problem is agreed upon, the group then moves to Acquire Ideas, where they stay in a brainstorm mode with a focus on quantity over quality. After choosing the idea, it is time to Test Solutions with a critical and analytical thought process. Even with extreme ideas, there could be a piece that is useful, so wild ideas should not be totally discounted. In the final step of Enable Actions, the focus is on the who, what, when, and where, and people are held accountable for actions.