Working Paper: Creativity Models by Paul E. Plsek

Before we begin this review, however, it is important to note that some experts dismiss the notion that creativity can be described as a sequence of steps in a model. For example, Vinacke (1953) is adamant that creative thinking in the arts does not follow a model. In a similar vein, Gestalt philosophers like Wertheimer (1945) assert that the process of creative thinking is a integrated line of thought that does not lend itself to the segmentation implied by the steps of a model. But while such views are strongly held, they are in the minority.

Business people, who have used models for quality improvement, strategic planning, reengineering, and so on, are well-positioned to deal with this apparent controversy. We understand, by experience, that while models are helpful in guiding our efforts, they are not to be used too rigidly. We understand that models are not rote prescriptions. We may deviate substantially from a model in a given situation, but this does not render the model useless. We also understand the concept of flow and realize that one should not be too dogmatic about when one step of the model ends and the next begins. Models are useful, but only a fool follows them blindly.

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