Dark Side of Creativity: Divergent Thinkers More Dishonest Vs. Convergent Thinkers: Managing Dark Side of Innovation…

Creativity is valued as one of the most important qualities that a leader can have, yet research has shown that while creative people are skilled at coming up with new ideas, there is also a dark side to their divergent thinking…

According to William Lee Adams; a growing body of research suggests that there is merit to the assumption that– madness, dishonesty… may lurk where creativity lies… According to Francesca Gino and Dan Ariely;  series of experiments have demonstrated that a creative personality and a creative mindset may promote a person’s ability to justify any bad or unethical behavior, which suggests that there might be an association between creativity and dishonesty…

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Psychological research has begun examining the dark side of creativity, and it has already turned-up some interesting findings, e.g.; creativity isn’t all upside– creative individuals are more likely to be– arrogant, good liars, distrustful, dishonest and maybe just a little crazy, or some call it– unusual or eccentric…

In study by Lynne C. Vincent and  Maryam Kouchaki; creative people just don’t think outside the box they believe they deserve a bigger box than others, and as result they often behave counter to acceptable norms. Hence, researchers suggest that leaders must better understand the creative process, and more important understand behavior characteristic’s of creative (or divergent) thinkers, and define and enforce what is considered to be acceptable behavior for everyone in the organization, for both– creatives and non-creatives…

In the article Dark Side of Creativity: Original Thinkers Can be Dishonest by Francesca Gino and Dan Ariely write: The ability to generate novel ideas and think creatively about problems has long been considered important skill for– people, organizations, society… Creativity is the foundation for business success; it creates exciting products, services… which in turn generates jobs. Divergent thinking enables organizations to solve difficult problems so that they can better cope with– advantages, opportunities, technologies, and rapid changes of a highly competitive global economy… Business and society needs new inventions, new solutions to old issues, novel business and social programs… and organizations need to adapt to the ever-changing consumer preferences and business environments…

However there is a dark side with creativity: In several studies participants with creative personalities who scored high on a test measuring divergent thinking tended to cheat more… researchers are suggesting that this dispositional creativity enables divergent thinkers to justify dishonest behavior… the study results also suggests that individuals who work in more creative positions are more morally flexible… Hence, the overall study results suggests a linkage between creativity and dishonesty, and between creativity and rationalization…

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In the article Value of Divergent Thinking by Arun Kottolli writes: Convergent thinking is a natural process for most people… People are often forced to think in terms of conformity, or what is known as convergent thinking. Convergent thinking generally means ability to engage in activities that don’t require much creativity. Whereas  rather than endorsing conformity of an organization or society, the ability to think divergently (divergent thinking) gives an individual or organization the opportunity to be creative in devising a solution and catalyst of change…

The term ‘divergent thinking’ was coined by Joy Guilford… divergent thinking is the ability to conceive many ideas, to produce unusual and original ideas, and to take an idea and elaborate variants of the idea… Not all ideas generated by divergent thinking are no necessarily correct or even workable; the ideas may be fanciful, outlandish, impractical and even absolutely wrong…

In a typical business scenario, the normal practice is jump into a final solution as quick as possible… But this limits the options and it often relies on past experience and almost never considers the– new, untested ideas… Divergent thinking on the other hand, forces people to think of all possibilities and in that process generate new ideas or solutions… Another way to look at the value of divergent thinking is to look at competitive markets; when two companies are competing their product lines often are very similar, so if one wants to outsmart the competition, then one must think of ideas that are dramatically different then that of the competition… Business success (or even social change) is highly dependent on the execution of creative ideas or divergent thinking…

In the article Does Creativity Have a Dark Side? by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic writes:  Creativity involves disrupting status quo and doing things differently. But if you are OK with the existing order of things, you will have no incentive to change, and if you see things like everyone else, you probably are not creative… However, there is a down-side to creativity; recent research suggests that creativity increases a person’s likelihood to cheat– the more creative you are the more likely you are to fool not just others but also yourself…

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In the article Do Companies Want Creative Thinkers or Problem Solvers? by Leticia McCadden and Alyssa Brow write: Companies are constantly grumble that they do not have enough creative thinkers,  schools try to teach it, and job-seekers almost always mention it on their resumes… However, when business leaders say they want creative thinkers, they often mean they want problem-solvers… According to Johnny Taylor; business wants to innovate and solve problems so they can attract customers… Hence,  it’s less about the theoretical, education-based concept of thinking, and more about the business of developing better, different solutions for customers…

So while companies say the need creative thinkers to grow and thrive, but what they really mean is they need more problem-solvers… According to Jim Clifton; to grow and prosper business, more often than not, needs people who are problem-solvers… so next time the business says it needs a ‘creative thinker’– stop and think; the business might actually need a ‘problem-solver’, rather than a ‘creative thinker’…

Creative people by definition are divergent thinkers, which means that they break ‘rules’– they break rules so they can construct new associations between previously unassociated elements… According to Jenna Rodrigues; majority of people conform to the world as it exists, whereas divergent thinkers see the world in ways that many others cannot– they seek problems, conceptualize solutions… that others don’t even find to be problematic.

dark AAEAAQAAAAAAAAMrAAAAJDg4NWYwZGVjLTQ2Y2QtNDliNi1hMmQzLWY4ODUzNGVmY2ExYgDivergent thinkers may behave and talk like the convergent thinkers that surround them, but they constantly challenge assumptions that are the foundation for the world as it exist… When set in the right context, thinking divergently enables organizations to more effectively embrace, implement change… It’s never too late to start thinking differently. Everyone holds the power to use imaginations as a tool to innovate…

The imagination is a creative gift and once it’s allowed to run wild– through divergent thinking… you have the basic tool to change the status quo… while at same time managing the dark side of creativity…