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B822 wk1 Notes Creative People and Places

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 18 Apr 2012, 06:24

B822 WK 1 CREATIVITY (pp13-29)


Chapter 1 Creativity

Guildford (1959)

  • Originality
  • Flexibility
  • Idea fluency
  • Problem sensitivity
  • Redefinition skills

Perkins (1981)

  • Intrinsic motivation
  • A personal aesthetic
  • Sensitivity to form
  • A capacity for objectivity
  • The ability to take risks
  • Mental mobility
  • Tolerance for ambiguity
  • Problem FINDING skills

i.e. The art of problem-finding.

Kirton (1994) -an innovative approach to solving a problem by reframing the problem and coming up with something new. - an adaptive approach, building on what has gone before.


Thinking in metaphors. Don't we all, it's a human condition, a mutation of a gene (Ramanchandran 2011) De Bono (1984)

Is creativity a transferable skill? Can it be taught?

The year I spent at the School of Communication Arts would suggest that it can.


How many hours had the Beatles put in playing together in Hamburg?

How many hours was Mozart made to practice by his father?

Think of the Renaissance studios were boys shadowed great artists mastering fine skills as a result of putting in the hours. Even sports people, think of or watch the extraordinary power and dolphin-like swimmers as they flip-turn.

Genius (and creativity) is the product of nurture, hard work, endurance and context.

The sophisticated 'chunking' of knowledge? I can relate to this from trunks, post-office boxes and really useful boxes of research, even using relational database tools such as FileMaker Pro. Look at JKRowling when she discusses writing Harry Potter with all her folders and files on characterisation, places and events.

Edward Land took three years to develop the Polaroid camera (Westley and Mintzberg, 1991).

What about Eddison, Dyson or Steve Jobs? Obsessive and relentless?

Weisberg (1986) talks of ten years, something picked up by Malcolm Bradbury in 'The Tipping Point' based on research done at the Berlin Conservatoire on violinists: 10,000 hours (ten years) delivers a concert soloist; 8,000 lands you in an orchestra while at 4,000 you'll be lucky to teach. i.e creative competencies are a matter of expert recognition.

P22 Amabile (1983, 1998) talks of the need for intrinsic motivation, to love what you do.

P22 Perseverance A capacity for risk taking 'Find the inventors and do not get in their way' they say at 3M, reportedly.

P22 CLIMATE And the need to work in an exploratory way.

P23 Do I feel safe and valued? VS Total Quality

’Creativity ... tends to emerge naturally where people are motivated and in a climate that encourages exploration, rather than rewarding exhibition'.

P23 It can be uncomfortable from time to time. Away from the individual to communities of practice.

P24 What are the systems that nurture and sustain creative endeavour?

ACTIVITY 1.5  Compare your organisation as a competitor. Answer a set of six questions:

Towards the self-regulation of complex systems.

P25  Like Wikipedia.

Creativity is more likely in organisations that are neither too stable and ordered (for example bureaucracies) nor totally disordered, the suggestion is that creativity is likely is more likely to emerge at 'the edge of chaos'.


Table 1.4 on the changing meaning of creativity is telling.


  • Positivity (opportunistic and tolerant)
  • Playfulness (mental flexibility, risk taker)
  • Passion (motivation, commitment)
  • Persistence (experience, problem-sensitivity)
  • And Persuasion (creativity invariably involves interesting others in your ideas).


  • Personality
  • Mental flexibility
  • Experience
  • Motivation
  • Organisational climate
  • Context


Amabile (1983, 1988)

De Bono (1984)

Guildford (1959)

Kirton (1994)

Perkins (1981)

Ramanchandran (2011)

Westley and Mintzberg (1991)

Weisberg (1986)

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