James M. Higgins, author of 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business,defines creativity as the process of generating something new that has value. Creative ideas run the gamut from new associations of existing ideas, elements, or concepts, to radical breakthroughs which extend the boundaries of human knowledge and create paradigm shifts. That is, you don’t necessarily have to make a quantum leap to be creative; you can begin by finding ways to improve an existing product, or by modifying a process to make it more efficient.
Creativity can mean identifying an untapped market for an existing product, finding a new solution to a problem, finding creative ways to resolve a labor dispute, and so on. In addition, creativity is not the sole domain of the arts—whether it’s painting, theatre, music, architecture, dancing, literature, and so on—but is important in any field, from medicine to business, and from engineering to economics.