The Creative Advantage (books and program) introduces readers to the Creative Elements Model.
This draws on the work of Professor Teresa Amabile from the Harvard Business School, known for her long-term research on creativity. Her team has created a neat theory that helps us to understand the four elements that when aligned can assist us to take full advantage of creating the best creative outcome.
The Creative Elements Model provides a unifying model that helps makes sense of the various elements involved in building our internal creative capacity, as well as how we might influence the external environment to achieve better creative results. When working together these elements can influence how creative an individual can become. When organisations understand and apply this model, this can support their staff to be their best creative selves.
The Creative Advantage has adapted and deconstructed Professor Amabile’s theory, and simplified the terms, all to emphasise the key areas that we can directly influence. There are four components to the model. They are intrinsic task motivation, domain expertise, creativity relevant processes and, an external component, the social or work environment.
Intrinsic motivation explores one’s passion, willingness to engage, and the desire to solve a problem for the mere challenge and satisfaction of working on it. It’s opposite to extrinsic motivators that arise from rewards, competition, evaluation or a requirement to do something in a certain way.
Domain expertise is the knowledge, technical skills or talent in an individual’s given domain. These are necessary resources, skills and raw materials that individuals will draw upon as they move through the creative process.
The creativity relevant processes are the skills or techniques we use to approach a given problem to generate solutions and examine it from various angles, combine our knowledge from various fields and depart from status quo responses. They may vary depending on personality characteristics that are conducive to independence, risk-taking and taking new perspectives on problems, as well as a disciplined work style and tools to generate ideas.
The fourth element is the social environment, or the work environment. This element exists outside of the individual. We’ll learn that as individuals or organisations, it’s the area we can most influence, either positivity or negativity, to affect our creative expression.