November 02, 2017
The Best Definition of Creativity?

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If you google the phrase definitions of creativity, guess how many definitions show up? 135 million! That's right, 135 million. And so, if you are looking for THE definition, give up now. You won't find it. It doesn't exist. What does exist is mucho people's attempts to define creativity -- definitions, by the way, that are influenced by their particular world view, expertise, profession, assumptions, mindset, nationality, and language skills.

That being said, it is still a useful exercise to zero in on a definition that floats your boat -- especially if you are charged with the responsibility of helping your team, department, organization, or own lone-wolf self become more creative.

Towards that end, what follows are 15 definitions I have curated on your behalf. Some are culled from the work of people whose names you will recognize. Some are from complete unknowns. It doesn't matter in the least. What matters is your willingness to think more deeply than usual about this fascinating topic and that you find (or create) a working definition for yourself to get the party started. Ready?

Dictionary.com: "The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, and relationships."

Rollo May: The process of bringing something new into being -- something that brings to our awareness what was previously hidden and points to new life."

Maria Popova: "The ability to connect the seemingly unconnected."

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Roger van Oech: "Imagining familiar things in a new light. Digging below the surface to find previously undetected patterns and find new connections between unrelated phenomena."

Daniel Pink: "Giving the world something it didn't know it needed."

Elizabeth Gilbert: "The strange partnership between a human being's labor and the mystery of inspiration."

Henry Miller: "The occurrence of a composition which is both new and valuable."

Carl Rogers: "The emergence of a novel, relational product growing out of the uniqueness of the individual."

Mihaly Csikszentmhalyi: "An idea, act, or product which changes an existing domain or transforms an existing domain in a new way."

Bernadette: Jiwa: "Tapping into your soul and your intuition and allowing them to guide you what to make."

Michael Grybko: "An idea that is novel, good, and useful. Making connections between different ideas to solve a new problem."

Danny Sullivan: "Building universes out of nothing."

David Merman Scott: Seeing patterns that others don't and effectively communicating them.

Scott Godin: "This might not work."

God: "Let there be light."

The commonalities above? Bringing something new into existence. Transcending existing norms. Going beyond the status quo. Making new connections. Seeing unseen patterns. Tapping into inspiration and intuition. Using your imagination in fresh ways. Adding value to the lives of others.

For the moment, think of creativity as a two-sided coin. One side of the coin is all about the WHAT -- as in the product, service, or deliverable you are birthing. The other side of the coin is all about the HOW -- as in what you need to do in order to birth something new and brilliant in the world.

25 awesome quotes on creativity
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at November 2, 2017 06:11 PM

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