Whilst tests measuring the creative or innovative personality exist, there are a number of inherent flaws. Some are noted below:
a) Whether a creative or innovative type exists at all is highly contentious. Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation - universal abilities. Creativity can be defined as producing a number of ideas, a number of diverse ideas and a number of novel ideas - universal abilities. Traits are not stable or transferable across situations. Motivation is a critical factor.
b) Due to the numerous relevant definitions of creativity and innovation, it is clear that a number of differing and distinct competencies are involved. It is unlikely (or rare) that all competencies are present in single individual.
c) Creativity is a cognitive process and case dependent. Not all people produce equal quantities of ideas across tasks and, importantly, the same people do not produce equal quantities of ideas across tasks.
d) Too many assumptions are made. Some have been indicated : the assumption that creativity and innovation are stable and transferable across situations ; motivation and competencies are not accounted for etc etc etc.
e) Collaboration, networking and such are ignored. Intellectual cross pollination results in a higher degree of creative output than is produced by individuals alone.
f) The generalisability, variability and reliability of the test paramters can be disputed.
These topics are covered in depth in the MBA dissertation on Managing Creativity & Innovation, which can be purchased (along with a Creativity and Innovation DIY Audit, Good Idea Generator Software and Power Point Presentation) from http://www.managing-creativity.com.
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Kal Bishop MBA, is a management consultant based in London, UK. He has consulted in the visual media and software industries and for clients such as Toshiba and Transport for London. He has led Improv, creativity and innovation workshops, exhibited artwork in San Francisco, Los Angeles and London and written a number of screenplays. He is a passionate traveller. He can be reached on http://www.managing-creativity.com.