128 Steps Common to How Many Creators Create and Become Creative Combining Recommendations and Recollections of Becoming Creative and Being Creative by Creators in 63 Fields
15 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2013
Date Written: April 1, 2004
Research Questions -- Research Question 1: Capture Pattern in Creator Recommendations: What model of creating comes from all the distinct recommendations creators make about how to create? Research Question 2: Expand Creation Model Granularity: What are 85 steps to becoming a creator and creating organized fractally into levels of scope and detail? Research Question 3: Can Ordinary People Create Or Only Creators: What creates creators?
Goal -- Find Ordering of Steps Shared Across Creators -- Nearly all experts now measuring how various aspects of organizations and their systems and environments support being creative use models of the process of becoming and being creative of extreme generality, typically having 8 to 20 steps, as modern statistical methods of research are not comfortably applied to more detailed, complex, and articulated models. Unfortunately, all creators, not a few, become creative and are creative via dozens of steps, carefully sequenced, not 8 to 20 steps. So experts now measuring how organization systems support becoming creative simply omit whether there are supports or hindrances for the vast majority of steps of actual creators. In not a few cases, this leads to entirely useless or erroneous analysis. This paper reports a model of 128 steps of becoming and being creative, developed from reports by creators in 63 different fields, that is roughly one order of magnitude more detailed and specific than other published models. It thereby invites examination of how environments support 100 steps omitted from all other published models of becoming or being creative.
Research Method -- Method 1: Find Common Ordering of Steps in Creation Processes of Different Creators: The key is realizing that creators can agree on steps that come first then later for they themselves though each creator has some (but not all) steps that are different than others creators use. We need a way to capture step orderings common across diverse creators (found in the method below).
Ask 150 creators in 63 diverse fields what steps they took to become creators and to create particular works and find common steps and common ordering among them. One would suppose that each creator has a different, unique, way of becoming creative in his or her field, especially when fields as different as classic music performing and bioinformatics are compared. One could, however, suppose oppositely, that all creators, whatever their fields, share an approximate ordering of steps even where they do not include exactly the same steps as other creators used. In other words, there might be some sort of “consensus”, not in opinions of creators, but latent in the actual sequences of steps they used to become or be creative. To what extent are “being creative” and “becoming creative” domain dependent in steps versus domain general? This paper attempts a partial answer to that question. Literature in expert systems (Chi et al, 1988; Ericcson and Simon, 1980), suggesting two parts to expertise in general, a domain-specific part of 40% or more of “methods” of work and a domain-general part of 60% or less, clearly implies, to the extent that creating is a sort of expertise (invention, imagination, design), that it has domain-independent content. Two things are involved -- do different creators mention the same steps, do they mention those steps in the same ordering or in reverse ordering.
Method 2: Protocol Analysis And Customer Requirements Methods: Use artificial intelligence and total quality methods to find processes within and outside minds of becoming a creator and creating works.
Method 3: Fractal Concept Model of Creation Steps: Put steps of becoming a creator and of creating into hierarchy of levels, with similar ordering of items across all hierarchy levels, and level revealing point names on each level.
The Sample -- A stratified sample of 150 creative Americans in 63 widely different fields of endeavor were interviewed, using techniques modified from “protocol analysis” techniques of artificial intelligence expert systems building and total quality processware theories of work modeling, to obtain models, explicit or implicit in practices, of how they became creative and how they now create. The interview used had twelve specially designed “doorways” intended to be diverse approaches to getting beyond unthinking, mystifying, automatic, and stereotyped ideas about “creation” to actual key factors in models the creators themselves used.
The Data Analysis -- Content analysis of transcripts produced approximately 4500 two-step sequences to becoming and being creative. Sequences were grouped where independent judges concluded that terminology was masking functional unity, and resulting sequence group names were overlapped to put them into an overall order -- where 20 or more of the 150 respondents agreed on the ordering of a pair of 2-steps, it was included in the final model. Branch factors and item names in the final model were adjusted to make a fractal model of branch factor 4 for becoming creative and another such fractal model of branch factor 4 for being creative.
Where similar models in the research literature on creativity were found, terminology in the model was modified to make such similarities evident. A book was composed summarizing all 128 steps, with Japanese and US examples of each step, specification of blocks on those cultures to doing each step, and a step-by-step method fusing practices from surveyed respondents.
Result -- 8 Steps to Creating a Creator Who Creates: Make yourself into a creator by -- Making interior emotive room, making exterior time/space room, embracing paradox during wide-ranging mental travel; That creator creates by -- creating a creation machine of specially invented tools – subcreations -- for the immense productivity of mundane operations for each part of creating -- thinking, conquering limitations, and managing emergence by pruning noise from signal/discovery. This paper presents this model as one more articulated and specific than usual models, allowing much more precise specification of what it is that organizations, systems, and environments support and hinder in being and becoming creative than less articulated models in prior published research. Furthermore, this paper’s model represents something like a consensus among 63 different fields of what steps in what order creators execute.
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