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MBA Insight: How MBA Students Are Identifying Their Approach to the Creative Process

Study alongside Walden University students with this required reading taken from the Master of Business Administration course Fostering a Culture of Innovation.

Creativity can be the difference between business success and business failure. Some experts even identify creativity as the most important business skill for the future.1

Top MBA programs have taken notice. Many now focus entire courses on creativity and innovation, teaching students how to use management techniques to inspire creativity in others and how to cultivate creativity in themselves.

MBA Insight: How MBA Students Are Identifying Their Approach to the Creative Process

For example, in Walden University’s Master of Business Administration course Fostering a Culture of Innovation, students go in depth into the creative process, analyzing numerous texts and resources, including Creative Leadership, a business book that provides guidance on how to identify which approach to the creative process best fits your personality. The authors describe four primary creative processes, noting that everyone is naturally energized by one of the processes or is energized by a combination of two or more of the processes.

Knowing the process that works best for you requires understanding what each process entails. The authors of Creative Leadership call this understanding FourSight, and they provide detailed explanations of all four processes to help you along. The four are:

[Are] drawn to, and have a great deal of energy for, uncovering facts that determine the most productive way of defining the task or problem. Clarifiers are good at examining the details, analyzing situations, and diagnosing problems. They are not satisfied with a cursory understanding of a situation, and therefore seek information and have a tendency to ask lots of questions to develop a deep understanding. They are cautious about leaping to conclusions or solutions. Because any preference taken to an extreme can become a liability, high Clarifiers run the risk of suffering from “analysis paralysis” by overanalyzing situations to such a degree that they are slow to resolve a challenge or to capitalize on an opportunity. That person in your class or at work who continuously asks questions is likely to be a Clarifier.

[E]xcel at generating ideas. They are fluent and flexible thinkers who find it easy to generate out-of-the-box ideas. If you need ideas, go see an Ideator; they have plenty. They are intuitive, global, and conceptual in their thought process. Because they tend to think in more abstract terms, they sometimes struggle when working with details. They may overlook the details, leave them to someone else, or find that working out the details drains their energy. That friend of yours who has a new big dream every month and who continuously amazes you with his or her imaginative ideas is probably a high Ideator.

[E]njoy refining ideas. They are energized by the kind of thinking required to analyze and critique ideas. Developers may not generate lots of ideas, but they are good at selecting ideas that can become highly workable and practical. Individuals who are Developers tinker with ideas. They enjoy crafting and polishing ideas. The potential downside to this preference is that Developers may sometimes become preoccupied with perfection and not be willing to push an idea forward because they feel it can still be improved. The colleague who seems to get completely absorbed in perfecting an idea, continuously revising, modifying, and improving it, is displaying a clear tendency toward the Developer preference.

[A]re action-oriented people who like to reach closure. They like to see things happen. As a result of their drive toward completion, they may experience frustration when working with others who take time when making decisions. Implementers move quickly from concept to reality. Their ideas have little chance of growing any moss. Though Implementers are adept at getting things done, the potential risk they run is rushing too quickly to action and thus implementing ideas that are not fully developed. Do you know someone who always seems to get the job done, and then moves quickly to the next task? If so, you are probably witnessing a high Implementer at work.

How Else Can You Improve Your Creativity?

The best business schools are increasingly focusing on igniting creativity within their students. If you want to elevate your creativity—and improve your ability to inspire creativity as a business manager—earning an MBA degree could be the perfect choice for you.

While many professionals think earning an advanced business degree might overly disrupt their lives, online education is making returning to school more feasible than ever. Not only do online MBA programs allow you to complete your coursework from home or anywhere else you have internet access, but they also let you choose when in the day you attend class.

Online graduate degree programs are changing how working professionals like you acquire new skills and gain advanced degrees. If you want to elevate your creativity—and improve the rest of your business skills—earning an MBA online can help you reach your goals.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,