Defining what is an idea
This is what the contributors to Wikipedia thought:
An idea is a form (such as a thought) formed by consciousness (including mind) through the process of ideation. Human capability to contemplate ideas is associated with the ability of reasoning, self-reflection, and of the ability to acquire and apply intellect, intuition, inspiration, etc.. Further, ideas give rise to actual concepts, or mind generalisations, which are the basis for any kind of knowledge whether science or philosophy or impulsiveness.
In a popular sense, an idea arises in a reflex, spontaneous manner, even without thinking or serious reflection, for example, when we talk about the idea of a person or a place.
What causes a creative idea to occur?
From what the contributors to Wikipedia have written it would appear that creativity is an idea or insight that grows into a concept or a series of related ideas. Initially From an innovation and organizational point of view this can lead to innovation. It is from innovation that new or changes to existing products, policies and procedures will evolve that may lead to a clear economic benefit to society. However, this does explain what initiates a creative idea or whether creativity can in fact be taught. Eric Baum in his book “What is Thought” “proposes a computational explanation of thought” according to his Amazon reviewer. I suspect that the chemistry that leads to creative ideas is more complex as creativity in occupations is highly influenced by the culture of organizations where people work. This is what the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creativity reference states:
Creativity is a mental and social process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations of the creative mind between existing ideas or concepts, creativity is fueled by the process of either conscious or unconscious insight. An alternative conception of creativeness is that it is simply the act of making something new.
From a scientific point of view, the products of creative thought (sometimes referred to as divergent thought) are usually considered to have both originality and appropriateness.
Although intuitively a simple phenomenon, it is in fact quite complex. It has been studied from the perspectives of behavioural psychology, social psychology, psychometrics, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, philosophy, history, economics, design research, business, and management, among others. The studies have covered everyday creativity, exceptional creativity and even artificial creativity. Unlike many phenomena in science, there is no single, authoritative perspective or definition of creativity. And unlike many phenomena in psychology, there is no standardized measurement technique.
Creativity has been attributed variously to divine intervention, cognitive processes, the social environment, personality traits, and chance (“accident”, “serendipity“). It has been associated with genius, mental illness and humour. Some say it is a trait we are born with; others say it can be taught with the application of simple techniques. Creativity has also been viewed as a beneficence of a muse or Muses.
Although popularly associated with art and literature, it is also an essential part of innovation and invention and is important in professions such as business, economics, architecture, industrial design, music, science and engineering.
Despite, or perhaps because of, the ambiguity and multi-dimensional nature of creativity, entire industries have been spawned from the pursuit of creative ideas and the development of creativity techniques.
What do you think? Are ideas for improvement accepted in your organization?