Creativity is critical for all organisations and companies where knowledge creation and use is part of their everyday activities. The quality of the people is the distinguished feature of successful organisations. This is the reason recently emerging management disciplines such as knowledge management, organisational learning are committed to improve the contribution people make to business performance. In contrast, the continuous knowledge acquisition from the individual employee doesn’t imply that the whole department, company or organisation is creative and innovative. This reflects the great need for companies and organisations to develop new practices to systematically manage their potential for creativity and innovation.

The overall aim of the InnCREA training course is to boost one’s creativity on the specific levels: (1) individual, (2) team, (2) leadership, and (4) organisational.

Thus, before boosting creativity, one needs to measure its level. It is a role of creativity audit. The creativity audit has an analytic role and it constitutes one of the first steps an organisation has to follow before launching an approach to supporting creativity. The uniqueness of each academic institution and the peculiarities of its organisational culture impose the needs of customising the knowledge audit to address all these particular characteristics each organisation has.

Then, the training course on creativity needs to be undertaken. Chapter 1 examines the fundamental to creativity, it is first and foremost the introduction to the magical world of creation.

Technical information for the chapter

This crash course on fundamentals on creativity offers content to develop the following five soft skills necessary for creativity in individuals.

Attentiveness – the action of paying close attention to something. This includes traits such as the ability to focus; attention to detail; observation; thoroughness; listening skills; consistency; dedication; patience; and commitment.
Critical Thinking – objective analysis, synthesis and evaluation. This includes making connections and lateral thinking.
Strategic Thinking – forward thinking, planning, and analysing. This includes also confidence in making choices of its own.

Creativity and imagination are the most important ingredients for coping with post-normal times. Philosophical reflection and the imagination of desirable futures can emerge from a creative ethic that stresses the value of generative interactions and contexts that support creativity.

Business today is done in a highly competitive and global environment. Creativity is what powers big ideas, challenges employees’ way of thinking, and opens the door to new business opportunities. “Creativity” and “innovation” are often used interchangeably for that reason, but are two separate concepts.

Creativity is a mechanism for being innovative. It is one skill. Innovation is more complex, there are a lot of competencies that go into realising an innovation. One can have great ideas, but it does not mean that is being innovative.

Thus creativity is a first step towards being innovative.

Benefits for academic staff:

  • Openness to innovativeness in one’s own teaching.
  • Explores new ideas basing on fundamentals of creativity
  • Audit tool gives a concrete measure of creativity at the individual level.

Benefits for students:

  • Introduction to creativity
  • Provision of new skills
  • Valuing creativity in the classroom encourages students’ expression of opinions and ideas.
  • Fosters students’ independence and empowers them to take risks, leaving room for mistakes and improvements.
  1. To investigate a student’s creativity.
  2. To identify the factors and variables influencing the creative potential of the personnel and introduction of ideas for an individual, organisational, leadership and team level.
  3. To boost creativity of academic staff
  4. Finally, to progressively and synthetically propose an initial set of actions which should be followed so as the academic institution begins its first steps in implementing creativity training. (Redirecting to Chapter 2 – Creativity on Individual Level)
  • Audit tool assesses areas for development; implementation of techniques chosen to enhance specific soft skills, thus before implementing it it is right to learn more on the concept of creativity and innovation
  • No exercises for this chapter are needed thus could be undertaken basing on the teacher’s needs
  • Initiate discussions on the thought provoking matters concerning creativity
  • Teach online, blended or off-line.
  • Lecture + thought-provoking ideas
  • Activities completed in the classroom or elsewhere.

Lesson plan

1Introduction to the topic. Concept of creativity10 min.
2Concept of creativity30 min.
3Students examine the concept of the audit tool to assess their starting baseline levels of creativity15 min.
4Open discussion on creativity and how it could be utilised in different work-based environments: business, administration, NGOs45 min.
5Wrap up & Session Evaluation
Handout – Session Evaluation Form
10 min.
TOTAL:120 min.2 hrs 0 mins

Learning content for the chapter

This crash course provides five creativity and pioneering innovation techniques to enhance soft skills at the individual level in:

  1. adaptability
  2. critical thinking
  3. strategic thinking

These skills are particularly important to start with boosting creativity.

Developing these three skills using open discussion will help to bridge the gap between the skills businesses require of individuals in the labour market today and in the future, and the hard skills students learn in their courses of study. Increasing their creative abilities will give students an advantage going forward in work life.

Features of the training:

  • Fundamentals of Creativity is a basic starting point to explore creativity
  • The lesson plan offers an opportunity to try out the techniques in the classroom or online. After implementation, skills may be reassessed with the audit tool.
  • Open discussion helps gain students’ attentiveness and stimulate them to continue with the creativity audit on four levels

A. How to update teaching strategies (including tips; mention audit tool

  • Teaching should focus on students, listening to their emerging ideas.
  • Discussion shall focus on practical aspect creativity, looking for links on how to connect soft skills and their application in the labour market.
  • Focus on real life examples on how creativity helped solve big issues. You can use examples from exercises from Chapter 2, 3, 4, and 5. 

B. How to adjust the levels of the techniques, make them more impactful. – bullet points in CTA (Call to Action)

  • Set clear questions in open discussion.
  • Present case studies to increase understanding of how applications of the techniques work in practice. You can follow examples from Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5. 
  • Check the Best Practices on Creativity.