What Is Creativity And How Does This Create Innovative People?

Africa is in the process of evolving from an emerging economy to a middle class market economy. For this to happen, Africa must have creative and innovative entrepreneurs to build Africa's economy. Creativity is the finding of a solution to a problem that was formerly, seemingly unattainable.

To make Africa into a thriving, market economy would seem to be an insurmountable task. Creative and innovative entrepreneurs that create legitimate jobs can do this.

Let's think about creativity and how it creates innovative people. Creativity is important because it demands innovative people. Innovative people have the ability to connect a group of different things, different groups of information, and then place this information into a logical, understandable whole.

The ability to innovate is the culmination of many experiences. What makes innovators different? Harvard researchers spent 6 years and interviewed three thousand executives to find out. The number one skill that separates innovators from noncreative professional is "associating". Associating is the ability to successfully connect seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas from different fields. The more diverse our experience and knowledge, the more connections the brain can make. Fresh inputs trigger new associations. The new associations lead to new, innovative solutions to problems.

When you ask creative people how they did something they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it; they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things. The reason they were able to do that was that they've had more experiences or they had thought more about their experiences than other people.

Unfortunately, creativity is too rare a commodity. A lot of people haven't had very diverse experiences. So they don't have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very specific solutions to the problem. The broader one understands the human experience, the more creativity they will have.

The ability to create is based on experience from a great many different sources. You draw on those diverse experiences and then you bring the whole together. Highly creative people are skilled at making associations, connecting seemingly unrelated things. Most important very creative people make a conscious decision to do so. They don't always know where the dots will connect, but they are confident that they will.

At the present time, Africa is in the process of evolving from being an emerging market into becoming a middle class economy. How can this be done? It would seem out of the question that a continent such as Africa could even think of joining the family of nations as a legitimate player. Social media has changed all that.

Social media is the creation of engaging content that another group of people would want. What is needed is a platform. We live in a world of the smart phones. In the world that we live in, a creative African fashion designer could very easily create African dresses that are desired by Western audiences. She could place these designs on YouTube, and be an overnight (literally) success. A scenario that I have stated is not out of the question.

Dean Hambleton