11 May 2006

Types of creativity

One of the great observations that came out of a recent "thinking expedition" goes something like this: The question is not 'Are you creative?' but rather, 'How are you creative?'"

The point is there are many types of creativity. One way to describe / divide / understand these types is using a scale called the Kirton Adaption-Innovation (KAI) Inventory.

In Kirton's framework, adaptors tend to accept the problem definition, while innovators tend to challenge the problem definition. Adaptors tend to focus on resolving problems; innovators tend to focus on discovering problems and avenues to their solutions.

Me? I'm w-a-y at the innovator side of the scale. That doesn't mean I'm more creative than anyone else - it just means the way I approach problem solving tends to have certain characteristics.

And despite my tendency to think of the innovative way as being better, I must admit Thomas Edison is a great example of a strong Adaptor who was VERY creative.

And as that famous guy named Anonymous once said, "I'm not sure I understand everything I know about this."

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