The Importance of Creativity

Pablo Picasso said:

“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up”.

Vicent Van Gogh:

“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced”

Nowadays, we are witnessing frequent launches of new products or services that arouse our interest. Behind all this, there is a clear reality: the unstoppable rapidity with which changes in our society take place, and the need to perceive change as an opportunity for the development of new products and services.

The mobile phone is one of the products of the twentieth century that has evolved the most, and whose use, in developed societies, has spread to virtually the entire population.

Thus, since the end of the 20th century, we can say that in most developed countries, societies are subject to such a rapid change that they constantly challenge their imagination. The products and services that nowadays are successful become obsolete every time in a shorter period of time, and the problems that arise in the present world have nothing to do with those that it had in the past. Hence, in all areas of life we ​​have to deal with situations where there are no recipes directly applicable, and in which everything depends on the capacity we have to imagine new solutions. All this means that creativity has, at this time, extraordinarily important, not only in the business field in relation to new products, services and production processes, but also in the social and labor fields. For this reason, it is essential to stimulate the creative process. Specifically, the European Union has recognized its importance, which is why it has decided that 2009 will be declared European year of creativity and innovation.

Current Importance of creativity 

Europe wants to contribute to the strengthening of its capacity for creativity and innovation, which it deems necessary for social and economic reasons, as well as for the development of the information society. According to this decision, the capacity for innovation is closely related to creativity as a personal characteristic, and in order to take full advantage of it, it must have a wide dissemination among the population, which This requires an approach based on lifelong learning.

The Creative Process

The first thing we must do in our approach to the creative process is to forget the traditional analytical logic that we tend to adopt in most of our behaviors. That is to say, as we have indicated previously, to abandon the habit of applying to our problem our particular recipe for solutions, in which we always find the correct answer for each situation. On the contrary, in all creative process, the normal thing is that in front of a given problem we arrive at different alternative answers. This implies the use of divergent or lateral thinking processes.

With lateral thinking, information is not used for its value in it, but as a means to provoke a disintegration of the models and their persuasive restructuring in creative ideas. For example, if we are analyzing a problem related to sales of a product, the idea would be to use the words and information related to this problem, such as declining customers, so that the usual meaning attributed to it would be broken, that is, product failure. Instead, we should bring about alternative ideas, such as home-based clients, new situations in the lives of customers, which would lead us to original solutions. On the contrary, the verbal thinking we use normally uses information for its intrinsic value, in order to achieve a solution within existing traditional models. Notwithstanding this, the creative process is an intellectual and affective process which includes both types of thinking, the rational and the imaginative. In general, it is usually admitted that this process is developed throughout five stages.

Side thinking is the set of thought methods that allow modifying concepts and perceptions, as well as increasing creativity. Thus, in order to solve problems, it applies non-orthodox and apparently illogical methods.

Stages of the creative process

Assuming that we have a problem that we want to face for the first time and to which we must apply certain doses of creativity to solve it, the first stage of the creative process that we must do is preparation or immersion. At this stage of the process, we have to synthesize and look for materials related to the problem. All the information that can be useful to us should be collected during this first phase, which creates the right conditions to develop creativity.

During the second stage, which we will call incubation, we will analyze all the information compiled in the previous phase. Therefore, it is a stage of fixation and absorbent mentality in which trials are made to look for alternative possibilities that respond to our problem.

Then, when the incubation phase is completed, lighting is taking place. It is the proper creative phase. The end of this stage comes at the moment in which all the pieces of the problem fit and give rise to a viable solution. It’s the eureka moment !, in which we are fully aware of having found the solution we were looking for. To facilitate this stage of the process there are several creative techniques that we will talk about more closely in other nearby sections.

After enlightenment, there is verification of the whole process, that is, proof of the validity of the solution adopted. It is the critical phase of analysis in which, if necessary, we will have to correct or outline some of the ideas generated.

Every problem must be understood as an opportunity to apply the creative process. In the entrepreneurial context, the initial problem lies in the search for a business idea, an aspect that will be discussed more closely later on.

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