chapter  1
9 Pages

Defining creativity

When you think about the word ‘creativity’, what thoughts does it spark? Perhaps famous creative people such as Picasso, Einstein or Mozart. Maybe you see creativity as particularly related to the work of composers, writers and artists. You may feel that creativity is something that only some talented people have, or that it is something that we all have. Maybe you see an important role for creativity in areas like business, innovation and enterprise. Even in the first few sentences of this book, we have covered a wide range of concepts that arguably are part of what creativity is. However, for a book that is all about creativity, if possible we need to establish a definition. Here’s the one from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED): ‘Creative power or faculty; ability to create’. This definition begs the question, how do we define creative? When ‘creative’ is used as an adjective, the first definition from the OED is ‘Having the quality of creating, given to creating; of or pertaining to creation; originative’, which naturally is closely linked to the definition for ‘creativity’. When ‘creative’ is used as a noun, one of the definitions states that a ‘creative’ is a person whose job involves creative work. Another noun definition refers rather technically to creative material produced for advertising campaigns – for example, ‘the creative was designed by agency Saatchi and Saatchi’. ‘Creative’ in this context refers to the materials used.