For many businesses, workplace innovation is becoming increasingly important. Generating ideas, finding new markets, taking a different perspective all help to differentiate products and services for businesses. Originality and innovation are phenomena whereby something new and valuable is formed. The created products may be intangible (like an idea, a theory, or an artistic inspiration) or tangible (like an invention, a new service, or a new business). There is a vast body of research on originality and innovation, yet there are numerous problems with assessing it as a talent. Originality has always been a primary interest of corporations, entertainment businesses and the arts. You can find numerous research articles on the creative process, creative individuals and creative environments. There are hundreds of ways that originality and innovation have been conceptualized. Here are a few of them:

  • Over the course of the last decade, however, we seem to have reached a general agreement that creativity involves the production of novel, useful products. (Mumford)
  • The production of something original and worthwhile. (Sternberg)
  • The process of becoming sensitive to problems, deficiencies, gaps in knowledge, missing elements, disharmonies, and so on; identifying the difficulty; searching for solutions, making guesses, or formulating hypotheses and finally communicating the results. [Torrance)
  • Solves problems, fashions products, or defines new questions in a way that is initially considered novel but that ultimately becomes accepted. (Gardner)

Talent Assessment Strategy

Assessing originality as a talent is an attempt to identify creative characteristics or abilities among people (candidates) in order to differentiate their creative strengths and potentials. Here are some of the human qualities we have identified as useful in assessing originality and innovation:

Divergent thinking - The ability to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. It typically occurs in a spontaneous, free-flowing, non-linear manner, such that many ideas are generated in an emergent cognitive fashion.

Verbal Fluency - the number of ideas or responses given within a specific time-frame.

Flexibility - the diversity of categories and perspectives offered.

Originality - the extent to which responses are novel, unconventional and rare

Elaboration – the amount of detail given in a specific response

Analyzing - examine methodically and in detail the constitution or structure of something

Synthesizing - to make something by combining different things or substances. Combine separate things into a complete whole.

Reorganizing - to organize something again in order to improve it.

Aesthetic Sensitivity – the degree to which a person is aware of aesthetic value, as well as their ability to analyze and communicate the properties that make something attractive to the senses.

Curiosity - the desire to learn or know about something; inquisitiveness.

Imagination – extravagant, unrestrained forming of mental images, especially wondrous or strange conceptualizing of a vision.

In our talent assessment strategy USA originality is distinguished from innovation. Originality is the production of novel and useful ideas. Innovation is the implementation of creative ideas so that others can use them.

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