Each SOD process is somehow unique. It is therefore not possible to prescribe a method that will lead to creative and innovative solutions by just applying the method. Creative methods at large are limited. Creativity as such remains an enigmatic phenomenon. Most creativity researchers from cognitive psychology agree that it is a composite phenomenon only possible to describe by applying different models and approaches (Sternberg, 1999).
Csikszentmihaly describes creativity as a systemic phenomenon comprised of three different levels:
Csikszentmihaly's model is a bit hard to understand when it comes to the definition of field and domain but translated to everyday sense-making, this means that you need a creative individual in a creative profession and a creative environment to produce creative output. In addition, the issue of field and domain indicate that one need to know what has been done before and build on that. The domain has its gatekeepers who will judge a solution as new or just a reinvention of something somebody else has invented before.
Creativity is a process of deep immersion into a problem or problematique of great complexity.
Such processes are described by Csikszentmihalyi, (1996) and they describe the need of concentration and deep immersion into creative processes. These periods are followed by moments of realization. These are called illuminations according to a pretty old model of the creative process credited to several authors but assumedly Hadarmad was early. (1945)
This model consists of four phases:
These explanations of creativity indicate that being creative is a quite laborious and hard process and that time is needed and that only after a enduring effort something truly new will emerge. And then it needs to be checked with reality.
This process has come organically in SOD projects and there is now way around this. However there are many things that can be done in the surrounding of the core creative process. The SOD creative process framework intends to create a structure to use as a guide for this work.
The framework depicted above can be used from any entrance point and one can follow the arrows in a counter clockwise direction through several rounds or iterations. A central device is the gigamap depicted in the upper half of the diagram. Some of the activities are naturally carried out as part of the gigamapping while others are done outside of the gigamap.
(This article is under development)
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity, Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. New York: HarperCollins.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1999). Implications of a Systems Perspective for the Study of Creativity. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Creativity Handbook. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hadamard, J. (1945). The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field. Princeton University Press.
Simon, H. A. (1969). The sciences of the artificial (Vol. 136). Cambridge, Mass: M.I.T.
Sternberg, R. J. (1999). Handbook of Creativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.