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We have never seen creativity. More precisely, we have never seen the creative process; what we have seen is the creative individual (ex ante) and the outcome of creativity (ex post). Therefore we try to understand creativity by examining creative individuals and their creations. In this paper we only consider the creation of new knowledge. We draw on a wide variety of backgrounds. We wander into the area of cognitive psychology to investigate who is talented for creativity. We also draw on arts, history and philosophy of science, stories of mystics, some great novels and essays we have read as well as our experience in both working with creatives and creating new knowledge. Based on this shaky foundation we will describe creativity as illumination, through jokes, as a quest for harmony, as being kissed by the muse.
Understanding Creativity
Viktor Dörfler, Zoltán Baracskai, and Jolán Velencei
AbstractWe have never seen creativity. More
precisely, we have never seen the creative process;
what we have seen is the creative individual (ex
ante) and the outcome of creativity (ex post).
Therefore we try to understand creativity by
examining creative individuals and their creations. In
this paper we only consider the creation of new
knowledge. We draw on a wide variety of
backgrounds. We wander into the area of cognitive
psychology to investigate who is talented for
creativity. We also draw on arts, history and
philosophy of science, stories of mystics, some great
novels and essays we have read as well as our
experience in both working with creatives and
creating new knowledge. Based on this shaky
foundation we will describe creativity as illumination,
through jokes, as a quest for harmony, as being
kissed by the muse.
Index Termscreativity, intuition, tacit knowledge,
talent, harmony
OR this paper we derive the concept of
creativity from creation; i.e. creating some-
thing that did not exist before. In our pre-
vious work (e.g. [1]) we have distinguished be-
tween the creation of ideas and creation of val-
ues. First an idea, new knowledge, is created,
and then this idea can be used to create a new
value. If only the first happens the creative idea
will remain unknown; to spread, the idea needs
to be carried by a value. Thus the creation of
idea is typically associated with creativity and
the creation of value with innovation; but we will
refrain from using the term innovation due to its
widespread overuse and misuse. A similar dis-
tinction has been outlined by Csíkszentmihályi
[2]; he distinguishes between personal creativi-
ty (with no capital letter) and Creativity (with
capital C), which, apart from the personal crea-
tivity, also includes the knowledge domain and
the field represented by the gatekeepers. Simi-
lar to Gardner [3], we use the latter two as the
context for personal creativity; but in the
present paper we exclusively focus on the crea-
tive accomplishment of individuals. The reason
for this is that we believe that any new know-
ledge can exclusively originate in the mind of a
person. Using Einstein’s [4: 8-9] words:
“It is clear that all the valuable things, ma-
terial, spiritual, and moral, which we receive
from society can be traced back through count-
less generations to certain creative individuals.
The use of fire, the cultivation of edible plants,
the steam engine each was discovered by
one man. Only the individual can think, and
thereby create new values for society nay,
even set up new moral standards to which the
life of the community conforms. Without crea-
tive, independently thinking and judging perso-
nalities the upward development of society is
as unthinkable as the development of the indi-
vidual personality without the nourishing soil of
the community.”
By doing this, we do not want to diminish the
importance of the trans-personal dimension of
knowledge, however it is not the topic of this
present paper (we have addressed this topic in
our research on knowledge sharing, see e.g.
[5]). For this paper it is sufficient to note that if
new knowledge is created in such a knowledge-
sharing process, all the participants will ‘pos-
sess’ the new knowledge subsequently, although
their personal pictures on the created new know-
ledge may substantially differ.
We sometimes contrast artists and scientists,
meaning that the artists are those who create
while scientists do what Kuhn [6] describes as
normal science. But if you look at scientists such
as Einstein (e.g. [4]) or Poincaré (see e.g. [7])
we see a world much more like that of the artists
than the world of normal science. We may try
contrasting artists with engineers, and thus divid-
ing scientists into scientists-as-artists and scien-
tists-as-engineers. But then we look at develop-
ment engineers creating all those engineering
beauties (see for instance [8, 9, 10]) and we
have to give up this contrast as well. Perhaps
the best counter-example to both these con-
trasts is the maverick inventor Nikola Tesla. He
is sometimes classified as engineer, sometimes
as scientists; he certainly considered himself as
both [11]. And we seem to owe to him most of
our present technology, at least, in part. He is
definitely never regarded as artist. But, as Hong
[12, 13] showed, his thinking is as that of the
greatest artists. So, for the moment, we suggest
V. Dörfler is with the Department of Management Science,
Strathclyde Business School, United Kingdom
Z. Baracskai is with the Doctus Co., Budapest, Hungary
J. Velencei is with the Department
of Management and
Corporate Economics,
Budapest University of Technology
and Economics, Budapest, Hungary
Manuscript received July 2009.
contrasting arts and crafts when one is creat-
ing something new, we talk about arts, when
(s)he does else, it is crafts.
Trying to understand the essential aspects of
creativity we start from the creative individual
and explore what (s)he has to be talented for.
Along the way we explain the concept of illumi-
nation in terms of cognitive psychology. Then
we describe various aspect of creativity. Name-
ly, we examine how jokes work; we explore the
need for freedom and its consequence, re-
sponsibility; we circle around the role of love
and beauty to bring nearer what it means to be
kissed by the muse. In the conclusion we return
to the creative individual just to attempt to beg
the teachers of the creatives not to educate
their gifted pupils so that would not destroy
their gift!
Of course only creative people can be creative
but if the answer was so simple, we would not
be asking the question. Most would agree that
Dali and Buñuel are creative individuals. But
you probably would not ask them for a creative
way of performing your eye surgery.1
Cognitive schemata are by definition the
fundamental building blocks of knowledge [14:
therefore are they missing? The answer is the
knowledge in eye surgery. So even the most
creative person can only be creative in the do-
main in which (s)he is knowledgeable. To figure
out how much one should know, we need to
understand what this ‘how much’ can mean.
For the present discussion we will express the
levels of knowledge in terms of cognitive sche-
mata. Using this picture we will also offer a re-
presentation of creativity.
“Cognitive schemata are units meaningful in
themselves with independent meanings. They
direct perception and thinking actively, while
also being modified themselves, depending on
the discovered information. Cognitive schemata
have very complex inner structures, various
pieces of information are organized in them by
different relations. The various schemata are
organized in a complex way in our brains; in the
course of their activities they pass on informa-
tion to each other and also modify each other
The complex way in which our schemata are
organized we call an ill-structured multileveled
hierarchy. This means that, apart from the ele-
mentary schemata, we also have meta-
schemata, i.e. schemata that consist of other
schemata. In this sense they are at a higher
1 It is an allusion to a scene from their film “An Andalusian
Dog” when a cloud passes in front of the moon.
level in the hierarchy. However, this hierarchy
being ill-structured allows that these schemata
may overlap. Similarly, a particular schema A
may be in terms of one relation higher in the
hierarchy than a particular schema B but in a
different relation their position may be reversed.
When we complete a task, take a decision or
solve a problem, several schemata become
organized into an ad-hoc structure. [15: 47-51]
If working on the task, the decision, or the prob-
lem results in a deeper understanding, a meta-
schema is formed, which usually dissolves
some of the incorporated schemata though it
can re-create them on other occasions. This is
how a good mathematician, who ‘has forgotten
how to do integrals, can ‘learn’ it in very short
time without any additional input.
The newly formed meta-schema often goes
beyond the constituting schemata. This means
that on such occasions new knowledge is
created. The more schemata we have in a par-
ticular domain, the higher the complexity of our
schemata (higher level meta-schemata), the
‘greater’, more complex, and more surprising
the newly created knowledge can be. The for-
mation of meta-schemata happens in almost
zero time, as if in a flash of ‘recognition’, and
may be accompanied by (sometimes very
strong) emotions and feelings. We usually call it
We can distinguish four levels of knowledge
in terms of cognitive schemata: (1) the novice
may have a few lots of ten schemata, (2) the
advance beginner several hundred, (3) the ex-
pert several thousand, and (4) the master some
tens of thousands schemata. In our work on
knowledge levels [16] we also distinguished a
fifth level, the grandmaster, but the grandmas-
ter has the same number of schemata as the
master. The difference however is that (s)he
also has a super-schema, i.e. a single cognitive
schema that is a meta-level of all the schemata
in the discipline. This we usually call wisdom.
As we do not engage in the relationship of wis-
dom and creativity in this paper (see e.g. [17]
for some views), the four levels are sufficient. It
is easy to guess that the master can create
more complex new ideas than the expert, who,
in turn, will be more creative than the advanced
beginner. Yet this is often true but not always.
Sometimes the advanced beginner may be
more creative than the expert. We will now ex-
plain how this is possible.
Illumination, in which the meta-schema is
born, is a leap into a more complex knowledge
level. Often this will mean that in the creative
insight, for example, the expert gets a sneak-
peak into the master-level knowledge. This will
only happen if the person is talented sufficiently
for the next level. Thus, if we have an ad-
vanced beginner who is talented for the expert
level and an expert who is not talented for the
master level, it happens that the advanced be-
ginner is more creative. The only problem is
that we do not know yet what the talent or gift
is. We can speak of a talent for a particular
discipline when the commonsense knowledge
of the gifted is structured in a similar way to the
knowledge in that discipline. As a secondary
school mathematics teacher beautifully said
about a pupil gifted in mathematics: “It is as if
he already had all the mathematical structures
in his mind and all I had to do was to attach the
appropriate labels.
But does the gift for the discipline always in-
fer also gift at being creative in that discipline?
This question is hard to answer. We have never
seen a master who was not creative in her/his
discipline, at least in some period(s) of her/his
life. But it seems that something else is needed
in addition. Creativity is only one of the many
types of cognitive processes, and it seems that
people are not equally talented in the various
types. Although without much evidence, we
suggest that the creative person needs to be
double-gifted: once for the discipline and once
for creativity. And this only works at a reasona-
bly high level of knowledge. A novice, regard-
less of her/his talent, will almost certainly come
up with creative ideas that are simply wrong.
The advanced beginners creative ideas will,
almost always, be trivial to the master or
wrong. Moreover even at expert level, the ideas
are unlikely to be great; it is still often either
“OK, so what” for the master or wrong. And
even if the germ of the idea is a germ of a great
idea, the expert can rarely pitch it in a way that
it would be well received. Usually these ideas
are further elaborated only when the expert
reaches the master level and becomes able to
see the full picture.
The person’s knowledge, in itself, cannot ac-
count for creativity. The whole personality of the
person is involved in it. Gardner [3] examined
creativity from a cognitive viewpoint and found
numerous factors that may in themselves (or in
some combinations) indicate creativity. For in-
stance, a multicultural background seems to go
along with creativity, and creative individuals
usually also seek to experience different cultur-
al settings. It is not clear, however, whether
there is a causal relationship here. Even a
more or less comprehensive list of the relevant
factors would exceed the length of this paper,
so probably it is better to indicate only that the
whole personality is involved.
We will take another path trying to under-
stand something about those cognitive
processes that we call creativity. Namely, we
will try to understand how jokes work.
Several years ago, starting from Boulding’s [18]
levels of system complexity, we tried to estab-
lish what the specifically human features are in
order to understand the nature of the human-
level system. Then we found that telling jokes is
a uniquely human specialty. Telling and under-
standing jokes is a very complex process; it
requires meta-cognition, abstract thinking, and
historic memory. Essentially, it is the same as
creativity. To understand this better, we will first
have a look at how jokes are, if they are, differ-
ent from logic.
When we present our ideas, even the most
creative ones, we must do this in a logical way,
at least if we want to have them accepted. It
could be argued that there may be more ap-
propriate ways of presenting creative ideas, for
instance by means of metaphors, symbols,
poetry, or pictures. (Cf Hong’s [19] idea on pic-
ture-based reasoning.) The whole idea of aca-
demic publications is based on logical presen-
tations [20: 110]:
“Logic is the way of scientists, or other
people, who have to present their ideas. Even if
a scientific breakthrough came out through
hunch or chance it must be presented as if it
were the result of logic. Otherwise ideas cannot
be accepted.”
But logic, in this sense, is definitely not how
we tell jokes. This corresponds to the ever
hopeless attempt to explain a joke to those who
did not understand it. In a similar vein, every-
one who ever experienced a creative leap
knows that there is no such thing as method for
being creative or a logical way to produce the
creative outcome. (See e.g. [21: 7-9].) The
ideas cannot be produced but they can be re-
produced by means of logic. Therefore Simon,
at least for most of his life, believed (e.g. [22])
that it was possible to build a General Problem
Solver (GPS). Descartesheld a similar idea [23:
“Descartes, René (1596-1650), great ma-
thematician and philosopher, planned to give a
universal method to solve problems but he left
unfinished his Rules for the Direction of the
Descartes and Simon could not do it. The
reason is, we believe, that it cannot be done. It
seems that creative thinking does not obey
rules, cannot be put into an algorithm, and is
desperately anti-methodical in Feyerabend’s
[24] sense. There are no common elements in
different creations [25: 281]:
“… the events and results that constitute
science have no common structure; there are
no elements that occur in every scientific inves-
tigation but are missing elsewhere… Success-
ful research does not obey general standards; it
relies now on one trick, now on another, and
the moves that advance it are not always
known to the movers… scientists will get a feel-
ing for the richness of the historical process
they want to transform, they will be encouraged
to leave behind childish things such as logical
rules and epistemological principles and to start
thinking in more complex ways and this is all
we can do because of the nature of the materi-
al. A theoryof knowledge that intends to do
more loses touch with reality.”
De Bono calls this non-algorithmic part of
thinking, which is responsible for our achieve-
ment in seeing things differently, lateral think-
This is the way of thinking needed to create
something new. There are two important cha-
racteristics. Firstly, the lateral detour is a dis-
continuity [27: 88]:
[27] and sometimes parallel thinking
[28], to contrast it to vertical (or convergent)
thinking. In good jokes there is a conver-
gent/vertical way of thinking along which the
joke-teller takes us. This convergent line, the
mainstream, would lead to the obvious conclu-
sion. This is the essence of convergent think-
ing; there is a single outcome which the think-
ing converges towards. Then, unexpectedly, the
joke-teller leaps out from the convergent main-
stream of thinking, into a lateral branch. The
elements considered are rearranged to form a
new order, and thus to make new sense when
we get to the punch line. If there were to be no
new order it would not be a joke, it would be
something senseless. Nobody would laugh. We
laugh because we understand that there is
another way of thinking according to which the
punch line is perfectly logical. It makes sense
but we would not have thought of it. (Cf also
with [29].)
“A discontinuity is a change which does not
arise as part of the natural development of a
situation. Thus, a sudden kink on a graph sug-
gests that the basic situation has changed, that
some new factor has come in. A discontinuity
also implies that the new factor does not arise
from within the situation but from outside. In its
extreme sense, discontinuity implies that the
factor is not connected at all with the situation
under consideration… The word discontinuity is
often applied when a connection cannot be
Secondly, the lateral thinking is logical but
only with hindsight. While we swim in the main-
2 The term lateral thinking is used here in de Bono’s orig-
inal sense (to make a contrast to convergent thinking, as
described above). Unfortunately the same term is also used
to indicate the techniques developed to stimulate thinking
outside the box (many of them also by de Bono); but while
these may stimulate intuiting by means of diverting atten-
tion from the ‘usual’, they are by no means intuiting or part
of it. [cf 26: C2]
stream, the lateral runway cannot be seen; yet
once we arrive at the end of the runway and we
look back, it can be seen as another main-
stream (ibid):
“In hindsight every single insight solution
must be obvious. And usually it is the very ob-
viousness of the solution that makes it so infu-
However, listing numerous examples, Glad-
well [30] warns that we have no evidence that
the ex post explanation has anything to do with
the way how the intuition got to the novelty. We
completely agree with this but, fortunately, the
role of explanation is not to describe how one
arrived at the creative result but to check
whether the creative outcome makes sense.
Therefore, creativity is about seeing things
differently, but not in any different way! In other
words it must be in a way that makes sense,
except that no one has seen it before. Hada-
mard [31] investigated how new results are
born in the domain of mathematics, which is
usually thought of as being completely logical.
His investigation confirmed both of the previous
characteristics, i.e. that a previous deep know-
ledge is essential, and that the novelty is born
in a flash of intuition. According to Hadamard,
the first phase is the conscious hard work of
trying to solve some problem. Then follows a
forgetting phase, which may mean a continua-
tion of the work unconsciously. Next comes the
sudden insight accompanied by a sense of cer-
tainty. This is followed by another conscious
phase of putting on paper and proving (in ma-
thematics!) the result.
We now have a reasonably solid explanation
why there can be no methods for being crea-
tive: The creative jump cannot be seen ex ante,
only ex post. An algorithm cannot go into a
place that cannot be seen. Only imagination
can. Only intuition. Not a machine, only a hu-
In his various books de Bono brilliantly de-
scribes this non-algorithmic, anti-methodical
nature of creativity and then, quite surprisingly,
he gives a series of methods for lateral think-
ing: the “PO” [32], the “Six Thinking Hats” [33],
the “Aims, Goals and Objectives” (AGO), the
“Consider All Factors” (CAF), the “Other
People’s Views” (OPV), the “Alternatives, Pos-
sibilities and Choices” (APC), the “First Impor-
tant Priorities” (FIP), the “Consequence and
Sequel” (C&S), the “Plus, Minus and Interest-
ing” (PMI). [20: 63-150] Is this not infuriating?
Why would someone who obviously under-
stands the essence of creativity offer methods
for it? We have found the answer for this well
beyond the scope of science:
This leads us to the next aspect of creativity;
the creative must be free to create. Few would
dispute this statement but being free is not as
simple as it sounds.
went to the desert to find his guar-
dian angel and he had a series of steps to per-
form. One of these is called the ritual that de-
stroys rituals. The explanation is that the ma-
gus gradually becomes the slave of his own
rituals; therefore occasionally, he has to under-
go a process of purification to get rid of them.
The purpose of the ritual that destroys rituals is
to help him to step out. De Bono’s methods can
be understood in the same way. He created
methods to help stepping out of our rituals. Me-
thods that destroy methods.
Freedom is the opposite of slavery. Of course,
one may argue that there is no slavery in the
world today but there are other views as well;
e.g. Marcuse [34: 36] asserts that:
“The slaves of developed industrial civiliza-
tion are sublimated slaves, but they are slaves,
for slavery is determined neither by obedience
nor by hardness of labor but by the status of
being a mere instrument, and the reduction of
man to the state of a thing.”
Freedom can be fully understood only if ex-
amined in relation to the complete personality.
[35: viii] Fromm (ibid: 26) distinguishes two
kinds of freedom: the negative, or “freedom
from” as well as the positive or “freedom to”.
We are free from the bonds of the pre-
individualistic society; but we are also left with-
out the safety it guaranteed; we are left in isola-
tion. There are two responses to this situation;
either we seek new dependences and submis-
sions or we advance to a realization of positive
freedom based on uniqueness and individuality.
Which way to chose is answered by Szondi’s
[36] fate-analysis.
According to Szondi we have several possi-
ble fates for ourselves. These are determined
by our genome and instincts (ontogenetic and
philogenetic heritage) on the one hand, and by
our socio-cultural environment on the other.
Nobody can choose a fate that (s)he has not
seen or does not have built-in. The (positively)
free person can choose from the available
ones; but the others live a constraint-fate.
Therefore we also call the positively free people
“self-strong”, the others are “self-weak or “fate-
ill” people. Szondi claims that only people who
can choose their destiny can be happy. So who
can be free? According to Szondi the answer
lies in the children’s room. The children’s room
3 Coelho, Paulo (1995) The Valkyries, Harper Collins,
is not necessarily a separate room but a place
where the child can express herself/himself. To
have a children’s room makes the difference
between being raised for freedom instead of
obedience. The famous Hungarian architect
Imre Makovecz said in an interview that he only
accepts an apprentice who could look up to
her/his father (dominant parent) instead of fear-
ing him. If one was trained for obedience, it
takes hard work to make one free [34: 44]:
“… it must first enable its slaves to learn and
see and think before they know what is going
on and what they themselves can do to change
it. And, to the degree to which the slaves have
been preconditioned to exist as slaves and be
content in that role, their liberation necessarily
appears to come from without and from above.
They must be forced to be free, to see objects
as they are, and sometimes as they ought to
appear, they must be shown the good road
they are in search of.”
We argue that only free people can be crea-
tive. They need both negative freedom, so that
being creative is allowed by the authorities, and
also positive freedom, which means that they
can handle their own creativity [35: 208]:
“We are proud that we are not subject to any
external authority, that we are free to express
our thoughts and feelings… The right to ex-
press our thoughts, however, means something
only if we are able to have thoughts of our own:
freedom from external authority is a lasting gain
only if the inner psychological conditions are
such that we are able to establish our own indi-
Why would one remain a slave if one can be
free? Presumably this is because freedom has
its pricea high price. First, freedom always
goes together with responsibility. If one is told
what to do or how to make one’s choices one
is not responsible. But if one is free to choose
from existing solutions or to create a new one
then one is responsible for one’s choices and
creations [25: 284]:
“… an absence of «objective» standards
does not mean less work; it means that scien-
tists have to check all ingredients of their trade
and not only those which philosophers and es-
tablishment scientists regard as characteristi-
cally scientific. Scientists can thus no longer
say: we already have the correct methods and
standards of research all we need to do is to
apply them. For according to the view of
science that was defended by Mach,
Boltzmann, Einstein and Bohr, and which I res-
tated in AM,4
4 The acronym reads “Against Method” which is another
book of the author.
scientists are not only responsible
for the correct application of standards they
have imported from elsewhere, they are re-
sponsible for the standards themselves.”
Second, being free is scary. Being a slave is
secure, as it is known. Of course, for the one
who is free, being a slave sounds scary but
actually it is pretty simple to realize that slavery
is secure. This makes the tie between freedom
and creativity even more obvious: creating
something that did not exist before is a leap
into the unknown. We need to give up the
known and secure for the unknown and dan-
gerous. What incredible intellectual courage
Einstein must have needed to give up the only
two certain things that make the foundation of
physics, the time and the space!? (quoted by
[37: 66]):
“It was as if the ground had been pulled out
from under one, with no firm foundation to be
seen anywhere, upon which one could have
This is what it takes to be creative. And then,
you have your intellectual child, your creative
result and you are responsible also for how it
affects the lives of others. If you make a medi-
cine, that is great. But if one starts killing
people with it? The same creative accomplish-
ment can be used to build a power plant and to
make a bomb…
Creation is often described by creatives as an
act of love. This is in perfect harmony with be-
ing responsible for what you create. You also
love it. The one does not exist with the other;
the Hungarian poet Tibor Déry said: “To love is
to take responsibility.” It seems promising to
explore the conception of love in order to heigh-
ten our understanding of creativity.
Fromm [38], investigating the role of love in
our lives, explained that essentially love is a
capability of a person, not something that hap-
pens to her/him (ibid: 36):
“Love is not primarily a relationship to a spe-
cific person; it is an attitude, an orientation of
character which determines the relatedness of
a person to the world as a whole, not towards
one objectof love.”
Fromm identifies five objects of love and five
types of love accordingly: brotherly love, mo-
therly love, erotic love, self-love and love of
God. The following categorization largely fol-
lows Fromm’s description but Lewis’s [39] in-
quiry is also considered. The different types of
love have different essential characteristics;
thus, understanding the types of love will help
understand the essence of love. This will, at the
end, lead us to understand what the muse is.
Philos, the brotherly love, is the most essen-
tial type of love; the other types do not exist
without it. Philos is our sense of responsibility
and care, our curiosity to know about other
people and our respect towards others. It is the
capacity to love. It is love between equals,
which does not imply that we are the same but
that we are one. The culmination of Philos is
the friendship in its greatest and noblest sense.
Philos is not exclusive; moreover, two is not
even the best number for it. Using Lewis’ [39:
74] example, if A, B, and C are friends, and A
dies C does not only lose A but also A’s part in
B; e.g. how B used to laugh on A’s jokes. Self-
love also belongs to Philos. Self-love emerges
from emotional maturity: we cannot love others
without loving ourselves, and thus self-love ac-
tually defines the brotherly love: “love thy
neighbour as thyself”.
Eros, the erotic love, is much more than
sexuality; sexuality, Venus, belongs to physio-
logical needs. Though all kinds of love make us
become one with other people, the total union
is Eros. This is a complete fusion with another
person. As we are not capable of total fusion
with all other people, the erotic love is exclu-
sive; a union with a single other person. The
phenomenon of oneness and individuality that
we can see on a personal plain is repeated in
erotic love one loves all the people but loves
someone in a special, individual way. Eros, like
Philos, is love of equals. Eros without Philos is
only passion.
Storge, the motherly love, seems to be
somehow a mixture of the previous ones; it is
unconditional as Philos, exclusive as Eros and
non-equal as Agape (see next). However,
Storge is not examined in this paper.
If love governs us towards unity with other
people, than Agape, the love of God, governs
us to embrace the whole of nature, the whole
universe. In purest form it can be observed in
saints who go among people to help them and
hermits who leave the world of people to be
united with the general force of life. Another
pure type is the inspired enthusiasm of a per-
son doing… well, doing anything. What is cha-
racteristic for all three versions, is that the per-
son experiencing Agape is consumed by it. The
last version of Agape is the same as the flow
experience of Csíkszentmihályi [40] and the
peak-experience of Maslow [41]. We need to
describe this Agapean inspiration that is so typ-
ical to creatives [42: 101]:
“The term peak experiences is a generaliza-
tion for the best moments of the human being,
for the happiest moments of life, for expe-
riences of ecstasy, rapture, bliss, of the great-
est joy. I found that such experiences came
from profound aesthetic experiences such as
creative ecstasies, moments of mature love,
perfect sexual experiences, parental love, ex-
periences of natural childbirth, and many oth-
ers. I use the one term peak experiences as
a kind of generalized and abstract concept be-
cause I discovered that all of these ecstatic ex-
periences had some characteristics in common.
Indeed, I found that it was possible to make a
generalized, abstract schema or model which
could describe their common characteristics.
The word enables me to speak of all or any of
these experiences in the same moment.”
Csíkszentmihályi (ibid: 71) portrayed the flow
experience in activities (such as work) as a
state in which:
“Concentration is so intense that there is no
attention left over to think about anything irrele-
vant, or to worry about problems.”
Now we can understand the well-known
phrase of being kissed by the muse. The in-
spired state of flow requires Agape but Agape is
not readily available; it is easier to get dissolved
in it if accompanied by Eros. After all, it was
Eros who was characterized by the strongest
sense of unity. The inspiration is brought by the
Muse, who is actually a form of love her-
self/himself: Muse=Eros+Agape.
The flow state is the perfect state; more pre-
cisely one of the two perfect states. Besides the
peak experience, which corresponds to creativi-
ty, Maslow in his journals [43] also describes
the plateau experience, which corresponds to
wisdom. We do not investigate the conception
of wisdom in the present paper, but it is inter-
esting to note that the two are related. (See [17]
for more details.) The flow state also means
establishing a complete harmony with our-
selves, with our discipline, with the world, and
with the whole universe. The flow state is har-
mony realized in the mind of a person. When in
such state, we also search for harmony, and
the creative idea is also the embodiment of
harmony. Or indeed it is beauty, as harmony
and beauty is just an aspect of harmony. So
creativity is also often perceived as the
achievement of harmony or beauty.
The conceptualization of harmony can be
traced back as far as to the ancient Greece,
and probably further. It is notable that Heracli-
tus, whose writings seem to be the earliest writ-
ten discussions of harmony in the Western phi-
losophical tradition, derives the conceptualiza-
tion of harmony from music. [44] It is notable
because music appears to be the very source
in which we experience harmony as a dynamic
phenomenon. [45] As creativity brings about a
new harmony, we certainly need a dynamic
picture of harmony. There are various characte-
ristics of harmony, the proper discussion of
which is beyond the scope of this paper. How-
ever, it is worth noting that harmony is frequent-
ly regarded as an essential intrinsic feature of
the nature and, as such, it transcends the ob-
jective-subjective dichotomy. (Cf [46]) It is often
related to truth [47] in the sense that something
is true as it is harmonious (although we prefer
to avoid the true-false dichotomy as we believe
that there are many possible truths), it is also
understood as transcendence [48]. All of these
features are essential to perceive creativity as
the creation of a new harmony.
When James Clark Maxwell invented his
famous four differential equations describing
the electromagnetic fields, in the first version he
included all the facts he knew, all experimental
results. But he was not satisfied. He argued
that the equations are not beautiful. He added a
new component to make them more beautiful,
although there was absolutely nothing that
would require that new component. However,
years later, the new component (today we call it
the magnetic shift) was proven to be right.
Maxwell sensed the lack of harmony and he
also sensed where the deeper harmony laid.
We still use the second form of Maxwell’s equa-
tions today. Leonardo is often quoted as recog-
nizing that a machine did not work as it was not
beautiful. Because of its lack of harmony. For
all creation, whether belonging to arts, science,
or engineering, delivers a new harmony that
was not seen before. Using the words of Herac-
litus (quoted by [44]): “The hidden harmony is
better than the obvious.”
In this paper we have managed to cover only a
few aspects of creativity, though important
ones. We talked about knowledge, in which the
creative should achieve high levels before be-
coming able to achieve significant creative re-
sults. In relation to this, we examined what it
means to be giftedand saw that the creative
needs to be talented in the discipline as well as
in creativity. This led us to query the creative
thinking process, and we have found that it
should be lateral, the same way as in jokes. We
have realized that to be able to think laterally,
the creative needs to be free; but this also
means that (s)he has to take responsibility. Re-
sponsibility, in turn, leads us into the area of
love and understanding of how the Muse
works; that (s)he is Eros and Agape together.
Finally we identified the inspired state, when
the creative is kissed by the Muse, with the
concept of harmony and beauty and so, due to
that, the creative process with the quest for
We know a few other things about creatives
and their creations. We know, for instance, that
the creatives are often not the most pleasant
people to work with. There is no single typical
personality that we have seen in all creatives.
Some are lonely wolves and others have active
social lives. They often have many friends but
they can never fit into the anxious world of me-
diocrity, it is not rare that they lead a louche life.
If one examined life stories of great creatives,
one would find that many, if not most, of them
had problems in school. Based on the discus-
sion above we come nearer to understanding
why. Our schools do not support looking at
things differently (lateral thinking), they are
about control rather than freedom. If harmony
or beauty are mentioned at all, it will be in the
less importantclasses which are typically not
even graded. And it is quite rightly so, because
we can only mark what we can unambiguously
check against a predefined set of expectations.
We teach pupils, and even our students, that
there is a single right answer or, at least, that
they can get to the right result by applying cer-
tain existing tools/methods. In our Western
schools only the convergent thinking is nur-
tured; creativity is in the best case tolerated
and most often persecuted. The only type of
teaching-learning that does not work against
creativity, at least the only one we know of, is
the master-apprentice relationship in the Pola-
nyian [49] sense.
We conclude with words of John W. Gardner
(quoted by [50: 313]):
“When Alexander the Great visited Diogenes
and asked whether he could do anything for the
famed teacher, Diogenes replied: ‘Only stand
out of my light.Perhaps someday we shall
know how to heighten creativity. Until then, one
of the best things we can do for creative men
and women is to stand out of their light.”
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Viktor Dörfler gained his masters degrees in Mathematical
Engineering (1995), in International Business Relations
(1997), in Engineering Education (1998) and an MBA
(1999) from Hungarian universities. He holds a PhD (2005)
from the University of Strathclyde. After working for five
years at the Budapest University of Technology and Eco-
nomics he joined the Management Science Department at
the Strathclyde University in 2003. He also holds a visiting
professor position at the Department of Management of the
Zagreb University and works as an independent software
development consultant in association with Doctus, Hun-
gary. He regularly attends the Academy of Management,
the British Academy of Management, and VIPSI confe-
rences. Viktor published two books, several journal papers,
and a few dozen conference papers, one of which (coau-
thored with Zoltán and Jolán) won the best paper award at
VIPSI 2007 Tokyo. His current research interest is focused
on two interrelated areas: the first covers the modeling of
personal knowledge and knowledge increase in organiza-
tional context; the second covers knowledge-based expert
systems, in particular Doctus KBS, and related intelligent
applications. Viktor is member of the Academy of Manage-
ment, of the British Academy of Management, of the Op-
erational Research Society, and of the Higher Education
Zoltán Baracskai holds a BSc (1977), MSc (1980) and
PhD (1983) in Economics. Currently he works mostly as an
independent executive coach and holds a number of visit-
ing professor positions at various Hungarian and Croatian
universities. He has written over a dozen books on decision
making, creative problem solving, leadership, and execu-
tive coaching as well as over a hundred conferences and
journal papers. Zoltán, with his team, developed the Doctus
knowledge-based expert system to support decision takers.
Recently he designed and led a post-MBA executive coach-
ing MSc and a leadership program based on dramas. In his
latest research, Zoltán focuses on the ethical aspects of
executive decision taking and how this can be supported
with coaching and knowledge-based expert system.
Jolán Velencei obtained a BSc (1976) as Programming
Mathematician and another BSc (1998) in Human Man-
agement as well as an MSc (2002) in Informatics Educa-
tion. Jolán holds a PhD (2008) from the Budapest Universi-
ty of Technology and Economics, where she currently
works. Joláns publications include four books, over two
dozens of journal papers and a similar number of confe-
rence papers. Apart from her academic position, Jolán is
also affiliated with Doctus as a knowledge engineer, and
she also contributes to the development. She co-designs
and is teaches coaching and leadership courses with
Zoltán. Jolán’s latest research focuses on the current mod-
es of knowledge sharing and the possible role of facilitation,
mentoring and coaching in these areas.
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Creative leadership has been studied in different collaborative contexts that can be summarized as facilitating employees' creativity, directing the realization of the creative vision of a leader, and integrating different and diverse creative contributions. In this paper, we present the findings from a qualitative meta-analysis of literature-based accounts of chefs’ creative leadership practices from the context of haute cuisine. We bring together both the leader-chefs’ and academic authors’ understandings of practices available in scholarly papers to achieve a credible picture of creative leadership practices in haute cuisine. We present our findings as a meta-vignette introducing nine prototypical characters representing patterns of practices that leader-chefs perform as they are fostering creativity. We further demonstrate when and how leader-chefs employ practices that are more typical of facilitating and integrating contexts. The nine characters afford an immediate intuitive understanding of the creative leadership practices in haute cuisine, helping scholars to look for and analyze creative leadership and support creative leaders to understand better and be more mindful of their practices.
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RESUMEN La creatividad es una cualidad importante que todo emprendedor debe poseer, y es gracias a esta que ellos pueden desarrollar otra cualidad igual de importante, la innovación. Estas dos características imprescindibles siempre deben de ir de la mano, para un mejor crecimiento, creación de una buena base de negocios, y poder mantenerse estables con el pasar de los tiempos. El presente trabajo aborda, con un análisis diferentes puntos de vistas, de diferentes autores sobre la creatividad y la innovación, y como está influye en los estudiantes universitarios. La formación que los estudiantes debe ser fomentada por los docentes de una manera que, desarrollen creatividad, que den inicio a un proceso que fomente la las capacidades creativas y de innovación, para futuros emprendimientos de estudiantes. Palabras claves: creatividad, innovación, estudiantes universitarios, emprendimiento. ABSTRACT Creativity is an important quality that every entrepreneur must possess, and it is thanks to this that they can develop another equally important quality, innovation. These two essential characteristics must always go hand in hand, for better growth, creating a good business base, and being able to remain stable with the passing of time. The present work addresses, with an analysis of different points of view, from different authors on creativity and innovation, and how it influences university students. The training that students must be encouraged by teachers in a way that they develop creativity, that they start a process that encourages creative and innovative capacities for future student ventures. Key words: creativity, innovation, university students, entrepreneurship
Conference Paper
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Skype innovated the communication and was acquired by eBay for nearly $4 billion altogether. They did something good and now they also do well. There are companies which reject any kinds of change but also seem to be doing well. How are both possible? In this paper we attempt to answer this question by establishing an evolutionary framework to examine organizations and particularly their approach to creativity and innovation. We reexamine the Neo-Darwinian school of evolution and formulate some objections while accepting some ideas, mostly from the Neo rather than from the Darwinian part; thus establishing our own evolutionary framework. Within this framework we discuss the evolution of ideas and the knowledge increase to understand the educational background of new generation decision takers. We also review the changes of the organizational strategy in the e-age; to get a picture of the organizational context of creativity and innovation we discuss the role of the dynamic and static quality in e-age organizations. Pulling all these together we describe four fitness categories of innovation; we use animal names as metaphors of the categories: the first swallows, the parrots that repeat, the bear awaking form the winter-long hibernation, and the frog that enjoys itself in the changeless swamp. One fitness is not better than another, only your fitness and your habitat (fitness landscape) must be in harmony. That we need for survival. Business Creativity: An Evolutionary Approach Introduction Csíkszentmihályi (1997) distinguishes two kinds of creativity, for distinction he writes one of them with capital C: Creativity. The difference between the two is that creativity is needed to arrive at a novum, to create new knowledge but Creativity also includes pitching the new idea (Elsbach, 2003), i.e. transforming it into a new value. So the Creativity is more near to innovation. As we will discuss it, creating a new value may include doing good and doing right as well. (Gardner, Csikszentmihalyi, & Damon, 2001) in the present paper we shall examine the various possible approaches of organizations to doing good and doing right and also how these relate to doing well. To do this, in the first section we reexamine the idea of applying the conception of evolution to organizations and thus we will establish our framework for the investigation. This framework will be used to investigate the evolution of ideas in the second and the evolution of innovations in the third section; to finally present our model of four fitness categories of innovation in the fourth section.
The article discusses a study that argues that the development of intuitive awareness is an important but neglected area of management education and that managers who possess an understanding and appreciation of intuition may be better equipped to cope with complex, dynamic and uncertain environments. The article states that its purpose is to report on the implementation and validation of a program that aimed to develop managers' intuitive awareness. The article defines intuition, staying that it is not instinct, insight, lateral thinking, or the opposite of rationality.