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The Mental Picture Bringing your definition of creativity into focus

By Juanita Weaver

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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

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

Every creative act begins in the unknown. Try visualizingcreativity as the zone between the known and what is so far out itscares you. The creative zone begins one step over the line thatseparates the known and the unknown, the comfortable and theunfamiliar. It always takes some courage to make that first step.The zone ends when you get too far out--it's nearly impossibleto be creative when you're overly stressed.

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