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Original work in the world of commerce

In the early 20th century, original work entered the world of commerce. Chemical, pharmaceutical and electrical companies hired large numbers of academically trained scientists, believing that innovation was vital to commercial success and that science belonged in commercial organisations.

Companies such as General Electric and Eastman Kodak didn't think creative and productive work had anything to do with hiring awkward geniuses but with finding the organisational forms that allowed ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things.

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Marketing expert Theodore Levitt published an essay in 1963, 'Creativity is not enough.' Levitt stated that creativity might be a source of new ideas, but it is not ideal for good business outcomes. There is no short supply of new ideas.

Creativity is having a new idea, wh...

The military was a key factor in creativity's Cold War history, particularly American history.

A psychologist wrote: 'In the presence of threat, creativity could no longer be left to the chance occurrence of genius; neither could it be left in the realm of the wholly mysteriou...

  • Creativity, as a power belonging to an individual, doesn't go back very far. The first recorded usage of the word creativity came from the Oxford English Dictionary in the 17th century: 'In Creation, we have God and his Creativity.'
  • In the 17th and 18th...

In 1950, a leading psychologist lamented that only a small proportion of professional literature was concerned with creativity.

Within a decade, a 'creativity movement' developed. Seminars on 'creative engineering' were held, asking what creativity is, why it's importan...

  • During the 19th and 20th centuries, categories such as original and productive thought were reworked as mundane, manifestations of ordinary abilities, as competences that do not belong to an endowed individual.
  • French biologist Louis Pasteur said in 1854 on origina...

By its nature, creativity is individual, eccentric, and antagonistic to attempts to plan to organise it. An effort to manage creative people might result in only getting the appearance of creativity.

The categories of being creative, or a creative person, transitioned over time fr...

  • In 1920, a reflective director of industrial research at Eastman Kodak acknowledged the reality and value of genius. Well-trained and motivated scientific workers could make valuable contributions even though they were untouched by genius.
  • In the 1950s, employers ...

The rise of creativity has continued since the Cold War. Many expert practices have been incorporated into the everyday life of organisations committed to producing useful novelty.

The specific language of creativity has become normalized just as new and useful making has become normalize...

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