Creativity in Entrepreneurship
Meaning and Definitions of Creativity
Creativity refers to the ability to combine ideas in a unique way or to make unusual associations between ideas. It is the ability to develop unique ways to work or novel solutions to problems. It is a function of knowledge, imagination, and evaluation. It is man’s thinking to generate new patterns, new ideas, new insights and new approaches in order to solve problems or make decisions.
According to Paul E. Pisek, “Creativity is the connecting and rearranging of knowledge in the minds of people who will allow them to think flexibly- to generate new, often surprising ideas that others judge to the useful.”
Herbert Fax defines, “The creative process is any thinking process which solves a problems in an original and useful way.
In the words of Viktor Lowenfield, “Creativity is uncommon responses the questions and unusual solutions to problems.
Various steps of Creative Process
David Holt has described the models or stages of the creativity process as follows:
The germination stage is a seeding process. It is like flower seeds, scattered by the wind, find fertile ground to take root. Holt says, “Exactly how an idea is germinated is a mystery; it is not something that can be examined under a microscope. However, most creative ideas can be traced to an individual’s “intercast” in or “curiosity about a specific problem or area of study. For most entrepreneurs, ideas begin when they try to find a solution to a particular problem. Bell’s “idea” for a hearing aid was evidently seeded years before he invented the telephone, and it evolved through his interest in helping others.
Once a seed of curiosity has taken form as a focused idea, creative people begin a conscious search for answers. It is a problem they are trying to solve, then they begin an intellectual journey. They seek information about the problem. They also try to know how others have tried to resolve it. If it is an idea for a new product, they start a market research about it. At this stage inventors will set up laboratory experiments, product designers will prepare engineering prototype for new product idea, and marketers will study consumer likings and habits. Any individual with an idea will consequently thing about it. He will concentrate his energies on rational exceptions of the idea and how it might become a reality. At this stage, results are not produced. More often, conscious deliberation will only overload the mind. However, it becomes important to gather information, facts, opinions and knowledge that are important to an eventual solution.
This is stage during which no conscious thought is given to the problem Here the ideas collected in the period of preparation are somehow stored below the conscious level of psyche. It is the stage of implanting by insistent repetition.
Here, the entrepreneur simply allows ideas time to grow without intentional effort. Few great ideas come from thunderbolts of insights. Most evolve in the minds of creative people while they go about other activities. At this stage, the subconscious mind is allowed time to assimilate information and to learn and understand thoroughly the information and facts already gathered.
Incubation is a stage of considering ideas long and carefully, that is “mulling it over”, while the subconscious intellect assumes control of the creative process. Here, the subconscious mind is not bound by rationality. Rather it winders and pursues fantasies, and it is therefore open to unusual information and knowledge that one cannot assimilate in a conscious state. This subconscious mind joins together the different and often unrelated ideas. Thus, when a person has consciously worked to resolve a problem without success, allowing it to incubate in the subconscious will often lead to a resolution.
Illumination occurs when a feeling of creation like Oh, I see !” is suddenly experienced often unexpectedly. It may follow in sleep, during a walk, or in a bath. It occurs when the idea resurfaces as a realistic creation. Generally, it happens when long and frustrating years of preparation and incubation have been forgotten.
Illumination may be triggered by an opportune incident. It should be noted that creative people go through many cycles of preparation and incubation, searching for that favourable incident which will act as a catalyst to give their idea full meaning. When a cycle of creative behaviour does not result in a catalytic event, the cycle is repeated until the idea blossoms or dies. This stage is critical of entrepreneurs because ideas, by themselves, have little meaning. As opposed to day-dreamers, creative people find a way to transmute values.
An idea once illuminated in the mind of an individual still has little meaning until verified as realistic and useful. New ideas are evaluated on the basis of creator’s standards. The entrepreneur has to translate this illuminated idea into a useful application. This is the development stage of refining knowledge into application. It consists of those steps that brings a solution to the marketplace. For manufactured product, these steps include engineering, tooling, test marketing, and promotion. This is tedious stage and often requires perseverance. It is finding a way to “harvest” the practical results of his creation.
During this stage, many ideas may prove to be useless or of little value or impossible. Sometimes, the aspiring entrepreneur may find that competitors already exist or his good idea has already been developed by others. Hence, this is a tedious stage.
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