Managing Creativity and Innovation – Part 1


The terms “Creativity” and “Innovation” are gradually becoming indispensable in modern times. They encompass a full range of sectors comprising economic, social, and environmental as well as pursue a creator’s personal objectives in today’s dynamically developing world. This report examines the concept of managing creativity and innovation to the transition of creativity to innovation through analysing three specific theories; Wallas Model of Creative Process, Divergent and Convergent Thinking as well as the Conditions of Creative Thinking.

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Concept of Managing Creativity and Innovation

Although these two concepts underlie two different areas, their definitions intersect in the literature of many researchers. This paper contributes for the clarification of these concepts (Fernando Cardoso de Sousa, 2012).

Starting with Creativity, the question ‘What is Creativity?’ should be asked. Creativity plays a vital role in innovation as it is a component in the process of producing great innovations in ideas, products or process. Theorists Newell and Shaw put a sense of producing original, modern and unfamiliar ideas for problem solution. Another group supports theorist Higgins, thinking that creative solution, both new and reintegrated, must bear a value. A novel idea is not a creative idea, as long as it has a value or brings positive effect. So, combining a various interpretation of creativity, it contains origination of new ideas or mixture of familiar and known components into something new, bringing valuable decisions to a problem (Sefertzi, 2000).

Innovation is not able to be realised without creative ideas, as it is the beginning. Innovation is developed when creativity appears under the correct organisational culture. The correct organisational culture is one that takes over creative techniques, the capabilities for an advancement of single and collective creativity competencies (Sefertzi, 2000).



Whether a worker is attempting to figure out a difficult problem or commence a business and raise awareness for that business, creative thinking plays a huge role (Hernandez, 2007).

During the process of creation, searching for ways to let creativity thrive should be considered as the presence of “creativity killers” that can appear and suffocate the ability to generate new and excellent ideas (Ciotti, 2013). It is crucial to recognise roadblocks that hamper ideas creation in an organisation because these hurdles jeopardise the creative thinking that further transforms into innovation (Harris, 2008).

There are four potential blockages: perceptual, cultural and environmental, emotional and personal blocks.


Perceptual blocks

Perceptual blocks mainly refer to the hindrance of creativity of an individual. There are four potential perceptual blocks:

  1. multitasking
  2. the proclivity to define the problem too narrowly
  3. incapability to see the problem from different angles
  4. stereotyping


Leonardo da Vinci, a great painter and inventor, challenged plenty of problems by multitasking. When preparing an extravagant meal for the Duke of Milan, he was inspired to improve the current state of technology in the kitchen as stated in Table 1. Eventually, neither of those appliances worked in a proper way and he was doomed to fail (Kelley.Iu.Edu, 2002).


1 Conveyor belts To bring food to hasten the cooking process
2 Large oven To cook food at higher temperatures than normal
3 Sprinkler system To ensure safety in the event of a fire

Table 1: Author’s own

Source: Leonardo da Vinci’s Kitchen Nightmares (Sullivan, 2011)


Another issue, stereotyping, harasses all employees. It appears widespread in high-tech firms. Here, staff are so used to seeking technology keys that they ignore the simple, management or procedural ways that quality development can guide to (Godfrey, 2015).


Cultural and environmental blocks

Cultural and environmental blocks can apply to both the individual as well as any organisation.

Cultural factors cause constraints of logical thinking, where one is not able to produce a creative idea due to a perception of the individual or society. Leonardo da Vinci had many ideas and it only remained as sketches because most of his ideas were not considered feasible. Society or organisation are often critical and skeptical about new innovations, in the renaissance era, many of his ideas were not accepted.

Leonardo da Vinci had several students who were assisting him in his works during the 1500’s ( Staff, 2009) and he was haunted by accusations of his sexuality (Anon, n.d.). This caused some disruption as da Vinci was arrested for it.

Without support or confidence from an organisation or employer, one will not be able to thrive in the area of creativity. Without positive reinforcements, ambition for more creative ideas begins drooping and fading away (Ciotti, 2013). Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to work on several architectural paintings but never completed them as he then went on to be an engineer for Sforza. His work was revered highly by Sforza and hence da Vinci was tenured for 17 years ( Editors, n.d.).

Environmental factors also play a role in blockages to creativity. The environment where one works at can be distracting. It impedes staff to think originally. Cleanliness, noise level, room temperature and its preparation are involved in environmental blocks (James, 1999). Resources in an organisation are manpower, funds and assets which can be a blockage too. In addition, the biggest challenge is getting the time to follow their creative enthusiasm (McGuinness, 2011). Also, when employees deal with too many outside limitations they spare more time obtaining more resources than creating (Ciotti, 2013).


Emotional blocks

Some circumstances in employees’ lives make it complicated for them to focus on their task (James, 1999). They favour judging ideas instead of creating them. “Who are you to believe you can make anything?”; “Just surrender already” phrases are commonly used (McGuinness, 2011).

The other emotional block is fear of disappointment and the worry that goes with it (Harris, 2008) as well as fear of conceiving it wrong which can become paralysed for a maker (McGuinness, 2011).

All these overthinking issues can be spotted in Leonardo da Vinci’s works. Referring to “The Last Supper” drawing, it is seen that there are too many details painted and somewhere even unnecessarily. Considering a dozen of tiny details in one’s work makes people think overloaded depriving original and creative thinking as well as imagination (Sullivan, 2012).


Personal blocks

Some personal blocks include the absence of material and emotional wellbeing, an individual crisis, and alcohol or chemical abuse (James, 1999). Complacency in an organisation is dangerous because it risks being surpassed by their competitors. Moreover, it leads their enthusiasm to decrease which affects the whole organisation (Vessella, 2015).

Leonardo Da Vinci is a bright example of deferring things for later. It took him many years to complete “The Last Supper” as well as the painting called “Mona Lisa” since the beginning (Sullivan, 2012). While procrastinating, people lose lots of energy and time thinking about a solution that they would not have to think about if they had finished it by that time (Pychyl, 2013).