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What is Creativity? (perspectives from the Far East)

June 30th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

This week, I begin a relationship with University of International Business & Economics (UIBE), a fast-growing university in Beijing, China that is training MBA-level students, primarily in Asia (Russian, China and Far East).  In our class, we’ll have students from Mainland China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Russia,  Uzbek (and Germany thrown in for good luck!).

Our first class together will explore the nature of creativity on an individual level – what makes a person creative? – as well theories on entrepreneurship and relationship to creativity.  I’ve seen this first hand, working with dozens of Silicon Valley start-ups ,but it’s always interesting to tear it apart and try to explain it to students/practioners who are 9525 kilometers away from the Silicon Valley.

I’m anxious to hear the students’ initial thoughts, from their perches in Asia Major and Minor, as to what their views on Creativity and Innovation are.  Coming into our class, what do they think Creativity is? How is it different from Innovation?

I’ve asked them to respond here to this question…let’s see what they have to say.



  1. Steve says:

    In my (regarding this issue still uneducated) understanding, creativity basically means creating something, which wasn’t there before or putting things in a new context, which didn’t exist before. This could mean inventing something (a product, a process …) or finding a new perspective to look at something. Being creative involves learning, twisting ideas, imagination, certain creativity instruments and methods and of course having fun and being unconventional. Also, creativity is not always something deliberate and can commonly happen accidentally.

    I hope this is a good enough answer for now which can turn into a more structured one during your class. :)

  2. Wisnu says:

    In my opinion, creativity is needed for ideas or the way how we think about anything, including for solving scientific and social researches, tasks or assignments, and even the daily life problems. In the olden days, people were creative in term of inventing or creating something new. However in these few decades, people are being creative in doing innovation to what have been created or made.

    How is creativity different from innovation? I think creativity is the core or most important thing for innovation. There will be no innovation without being creative. So, being creative is the action and innovation is the result.

  3. Yenny Widjojo says:

    For me creativity is an ability to invent or innovate something. Creativity does not necessarily mean producing something new but also looking at something with new perspectives. Each person has a different level of creativity, some people are born with high creativity level and some are not. However, people with low creativity level can practice their brains so that they can have high level of creativity by reading news, watching television, or maybe doing something that can give them knowledge about the world. By doing these things, we can learn how to develop our creativity and use others’ innovations as basic to our innovations. In summary, creativity without action is nothing.

  4. Cynric says:

    Creativity basically means creating, innovating something new that proves to be useful for the world. It truly involves research and development, and constant trial and error procedures.

  5. Devina says:

    In my perspective, creativity is strongly related with innovative idea and how to turn this idea into reality.

    For me personally, to become a creative person, is not a simple thing. It takes process to learn. Also put hard work, passion and consistency together with the process.

  6. Hendry Christian says:

    In my opinion, creativity starts from thinking something beyond other people thought. It can be something really new or bring some changes to an existing model. Creativity = create + active. it has to be creating something which means “new” and need an active action which means an “effort” to bring it alive. while creativity refers only to creating something new, innovation is one step further. Creativity can be anything which is new while innovation is something new and useful.
    Welcome to Beijing and UIBE professor Heykin!

  7. Joko says:

    Creativity is an ability to invent a new thing or develop the current things to become a more favorable and useful ones in the future. Innovation comes along with the creativity. Innovation use creativity to make a more effective and efficient products, services or processes. Both of them work together to simply generate new ideas which have values in the insight of everyone who can appreciate it.

  8. Neville says:

    To me creativity is some ideas that is new that is in our mind. we will need some learning and imagination to implement and develop those ideas that is already in our mind. Being creative is also very important in this new world that is fast and competitive.
    I hope after taking this class I would be able to be a creative person and can implement those creative ideas into reality.

  9. Ricky Chairunas says:

    In my opinion, creativity is the way to think outside the box, the discovery of a solution other than the obvious. Different perspective could be what we need to solve a problem as it will generate different ideas along the process. It is an important sector of human’s way of thinking as many ideas can come out to the surface. They may not all work, but it can be the basis of another idea in the future. Therefore, it is important to freely jot down ideas that we have and furthermore, develop the skill that we need to choose the best solutions among the different ideas.

    Innovation is based on the ideas that we discover through our creativity, which we implement with just the right mix of ingredients (HR, R&D, technology, etc.) to make it work at the right moment and time. It will be interesting to see how we can develop our thought further than what we can even imagine. looking forward to have some fun in the class :)

  10. Maxim says:

    Creativity – one’s thinking on solving a particular problem or making something new or old not in the way anybody else would do it. Solve it (do it) better, with more benefits, spending less resources and efforts or just making it look nicer.

  11. Pornchulee R.siri says:

    From my point of view, Creativity is the ability to free your mind and allow yourself to look/think in different perspective and be able to see the connection or relationship between things. Creativity is also an ability to create totally new things or to improve what’s already existed and make them beyond its current utility.
    And creativity is different from Innovation. Creativity is the thoughts and ideas which are still not happen then innovation bring these ideas to reality, in other word, innovation is the output of creativity.
    For me, everyone has creativity but may be in different field, so I’m looking forward to find mine in your class and able to develop it in future :)

  12. Sruti says:

    I believe that everyone one of us have the in-built ability to create something. But the part where we discover ourselves and the field that we are the most creative in is the most herculean task The creativity process within keeps evolving over time and comes across drastic changes during the periods that triggers the creativity part. I’m saying this through the limited experience that I have gone through be it in work place or in university. I never believed that I was a creative person until I worked on my first job where we were made to come up with innovative ideas in a resort company be it promotions, dealings with employees and managers and other various management practices that is apt to our organisation. Like life is a learning curve, so is the creative aspect. You never fail to stop coming up with creative ideas.

  13. Eric Gaither says:

    Truly creative thinking is often spawn with a complete disregard of feasibility. When a creative person is weighed down by execution and parameters, the mind is not empowered to soar. Innovation/Design is elegant problem solving.

    A mullet is a good parallel ;) Creativity is the long hair in the back and innovation is the short hair up front that needs to bring home the bacon and keep that long hair in check.

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