Creativity is a term that has become very popular in recent decades. Creativity is the key to success in almost all aspects of life, personal and professional. Being creative is a necessity in today's rapidly changing and challenging world. In addition, creativity is one of the most important qualities that every employer wants when hiring an employee. Creativity is important to society and it exerts a powerful influence on all aspects of society. It changes culture, knowledge, communication, leisure - and production and consumption (Westlund, Andersson and Karlsson, 2014).
There are countless definitions of creativity and it is difficult to settle on a single one. There is no clear consensus on how to define creativity. However, Helfand et al. (2017) state that there is a broad consensus on the definition of creativity, with most researchers agreeing that creativity is the combination of two core elements:
(1) novelty, newness, or originality, and
(2) task appropriateness, usefulness, or meaningfulness.
Similarly, Kaufman and Sternberg (2010) note that creativity involves the production by individuals of ideas that are novel, surprising, and compelling. Sternberg (2019) highlights that the most important variable in creativity is the willingness to think in novel, surprising, and persuasive ways.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines creativity as "the ability to produce or use original and unusual ideas", while the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the term as "the ability to create" and "the quality of being creative".
Sternberg and Lubart (1999, p. 3) define creativity as "the ability to produce work that is both novel (i.e., original, unexpected) and appropriate (i.e., useful, adaptive concerning task constraints)".
According to Rothenberg (1990, p. 5), "creativity is the production of something that is both new and truly valuable". In this sense, creativity consists of:
(a) being open and flexible and arriving at useful or new solutions to work or life problems,
(b) recognizing and expressing the uniqueness of one's personality, style, goals, and ways of interacting with others, and
(c) the ability to grow and change in relation to internal goals and external reality. Finally, Rothenberg acknowledges that creativity is present in everyone regardless of definition.
Chaudhary (2018, p. 171) asserts that "creativity is the process of developing an original, novel, yet appropriate response to a problem". In this context, an original response refers to a response that is not normally given; novel is a response that is new or has no precedent, while an appropriate response is one that is deemed appropriate in the given situation.
Sternberg and Lubart (1991, 1992) have proposed the Investment Theory of Creativity, which states that creativity is in large part a decision. Specifically, it is a decision to buy low and sell high in the world of ideas. Creative people, like good investors, develop ideas that are considered novel and perhaps even a little ridiculous at the time. Creatives, figuratively speaking, "buy low." Once their ideas have gained some acceptance, creatives "sell high," reap the profits from their good idea, and move on to the next unpopular idea.
Sternberg and Lubart (1999) point out that creativity is important at both the individual and societal levels. At an individual level, creativity is relevant when it comes to solving problems at work and in daily life. At the societal level, creativity can lead to new scientific knowledge, new movements in the arts, new inventions, and social programs. The economic importance of creativity is obvious, because new products and services create jobs.
Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. It is characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to develop solutions. Creativity involves two processes: thinking and then producing (https://www.creativityatwork.com/what-is-creativity/).
Moreover, to be creative, one should develop ideas that have high potential effectiveness in the field that interests one, and the potential can be transformed into a success or an inadequacy, depending on the sociocultural conditions. Creativity requires potential originality, a basic requirement that includes novelty, authenticity and surprise (Corazza et al., 2021).
In general, there are two main components of creativity:
- Originality – novelty and uniqueness of the idea or method
- Functionality - a creative idea must work and produce results.
Creative work requires the application and balance of three abilities, all of which can be developed (Sternberg and Williams, 1996):
- Synthetic ability - the ability to generate new and interesting ideas or creativity,
- Analytical ability - the ability to think critically,
- Practical ability - the ability to put theory into practice and turn abstract ideas into practical achievements.
In each individual, creativity is a function of several components. According to Sternberg and Lubart (1992), there are five components of creativity:
- Expertise - a well-developed knowledge base that provides the ideas, images, and expressions,
- Imaginative thinking skills - the ability to see things in new ways, recognize patterns, and make connections,
- A venturesome personality - seeks out new experiences, tolerates ambiguity and risk, and persistently overcomes obstacles,
- Intrinsic motivation - the quality of being driven by interest, satisfaction, and challenge,
- Creative environment - an innovative/interactive environment stimulates, supports and refines creative ideas.
Sternberg and Lubart (1995) suggest that the person capable of creative production must possess several resources, some of which are as follows:
- A set of intellectual skills, three of which are particularly important: the ability to see problems in new ways and to go beyond ordinary ideas; the ability to identify which ideas are worth pursuing; and the ability to convince others of the value of one's ideas
- Knowledge of the field, although too much knowledge can hinder the generation of new ideas
- A personality that allows you to think independently, which is necessary if you are going to buck the crowd and advocate ideas that most others disagree with
- An environment that supports and rewards creative ideas.
According to Cloninger and Mengert (2010), creative people are characterised by the following traits:
- Cognitive characteristics (metaphorical thinking, flexibility in skill and decision-making, independence in judgement, coping well with novelty, logical thinking skills, visualization, finding order in chaos, escaping entrenchment),
- Personality characteristics (willingness to take risks, i.e. novelty-seeking, perseverance, drive, commitment, curiosity, openness to experience, tolerance for ambiguity, broad interests, valuing originality, intuition and deep emotions, introspective),
- Domain-related characteristics (e.g. young writers - playfulness with words, high conceptual verbal intelligence, early readers, use of figures of speech: metaphorical/rhetorical ability, ear for sound of language, non-conforming and like to be alone, value self-expression, productive, driven and can take rejection, like to work alone).