Creativity at Work: A Free Introduction to the 7 Work Traits

  • By Jordan B
  • April 2023

The creativity trait measures a person’s need for inventiveness and original ideas.

Creativity (CR) is the trait which tells us why some people enjoy experimenting, outside-the-box thinking to solve problems, while others prefer applying tried-and-true solutions.

Those who are higher in creativity are more likely to challenge established procedures and conventional ways of doing things, whereas those lower in creativity are less likely to “rock the boat.”

It should be noted that the creativity trait does not quantify whether creative solutions to problems are actually effective solutions. The quality of ideas is more dependent on knowledge, experience, and general intelligence. The creativity trait simply quantifies a person’s desire to think creatively.

People who are high in creativity are often drawn to roles in marketing, graphic design, interior design, or as executive chefs, but are also often valuable in corporate/directorial roles.

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People low in creativity tend to prefer roles involving established processes such as data entry, analysts, reception, or line cooks.

When considering the degree of creativity required for a particular role, it is necessary to consider whether creative, outside-the box thinking, or a more rigid adherence to established processes is preferable.

It is also important to consider the risks and challenges associated with high and low creativity.

High Creativity can be Rebellious

While a strong tendency to look for creative solutions to problems is invaluable in situations where solutions are not obvious, people high in creativity may look “outside the box” when practical, conventional solutions are perfectly serviceable.

Their desire of high CR people for innovative thinking can outweigh the importance of making the best decisions for the organization and cause them to be less efficient and productive.

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Low Creativity can be Resistant to Change

While those lower in creativity tend to be productive and efficient in their areas of expertise when well-established processes and guidelines are available, they can be resistant to new ideas and approaches even in more ambiguous situations.

They can be stubbornly unwilling to support new ideas until they’ve been demonstrated to work, even when established methods are not working.

People low in creativity have an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset, but may fail to challenge established methods when they are not working optimally.

When deciding the appropriate level of creativity necessary for a particular role, it is important to reflect on which behaviours are essential for the role, and which behaviours may be detrimental to that role.

It is worth noting that a particularly high or particularly low level of creativity is not needed in most roles in most industries. A more average level of creativity, someone who appropriately considers whether a situation calls for an established or ingenious solution, is usually a good fit.

We hope this blog has provided some helpful insights you can incorporate into your personnel decisions.

Interested in learning more? Check out the other guides in our free introduction to the 7 work traits.

  • Assertiveness: Directiveness, independence, willingness to take risks, and accountability.
  • Sociability: The need to communicate and influence others.
  • Patience: The need for established processes and predictability and one’s sense of urgency.
  • Detail Orientation: The need for structure, order, and accuracy.
  • Behvaioural Adaptability: Flexibility and versatility in behaviour across environments.
  • Emotional Control: The need to express one’s emotions.
  • Creativity: The need for innovation and ingenuity.

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