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The Mental Picture

Bringing your definition of creativity into focus

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This story appears in the February 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you want to build a company with creative agility and a creative culture, you have to know what creativity means. There are several ways to define it, but the most basic idea focuses on the act of bringing something new into existence. It can be a totally new creation or a new combination of existing things and ideas.

Creativity is about generating--not reacting. Evaluating and judging are reactive, and it's easy to stifle our creativity by judging too quickly. To truly let loose and create, you have to let the brain's associative processes do their work. Stay in the generative creative mode long enough to let one idea spark another and another. Even if something is initially unworkable, it could lead you to the very thing that will work brilliantly.

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