Creativity is that which separates human beings from beasts. It is more than just building a tool or expressing one’s “self” or drawing a picture. The ability to be creative involves an understanding of nature that we then change and adapt based on our needs or to solve a problem.
An educational process should involve encouraging the human mind to conceptualize ideas, and then use our minds, our tools, and our free will to actually transform the physical characteristics of our environment to adapt to our ideas. Animals adapt to nature. Human beings change it. Human beings are the creative force of nature.
An effective educational system is one which encourages the students to be able to use existing knowledge in order to make new challenges. It is tempting for a teacher to dictate to a student what is already acknowledged to be true. But if this is the accepted norm of education, then innovation is precluded. Instead, the wise teacher will encourage the student, preferably a group of students, to discover among themselves what can be independently shown to be true, so that they “own” the truth in the same way that the acknowledged discoverer knows it.
Then the student, who now knows the history of his knowledge, can help to resolve problems by asking the right questions, and envisioning acceptable solutions.
In a work environment, often other members of the team understands the product or the service in a dynamic way that the supervisor, or even the inventor doesn’t understand it. If the team member is encouraged to confront the solutions to problems in design or function, then the questions that he forms, and the suggestions that he offers, will take the form of creativity that leads to innovation.
Does your managerial style encourage creativity, or does it demand conformity? The most valuable assets in your company (or country) are the human minds of your team.