Creativity is defined as the ability to think of unconventional ideas. Risk Taking is the willingness to push your ideas forward, even in the face of adversity. While IQ may be a predictor of academic success and a safe bet for success on certain kinds of jobs, it provides no guarantee as to a person's ability to make a uniquely fresh contribution to industry or to any other field of work.
And while it's true that we are products of our genetic and social origins, the difficulty is that we are most often in situations, which demand repetition rather than creativity, conformity rather than diversity. These restrictions on experimenting with new ideas are imposed on most of us from early childhood. In our jobs we may be caught in a variety of binds. The company wants coordination, implementation and follow-through pretty much in the same old ways.
An implicit assumption of this instrument is that over a lifetime people develop a general predisposition toward creativity and risk taking. Having no evidence to the contrary, The Creatrix Assessment allows individuals and organizations to benchmark their current levels of creativity and risk taking.
Individuals and organizations often ask whether they can change their creativity and risk taking orientations. People sometimes find that they have an orientation that they don't like. Our answer is that we all have choices and by understanding what drives your creativity/risk-taking propensities and what gets in your way of being more creative and taking more risks is what makes the difference. The Creatrix Assessment provides individuals not only with their current orientation profile Sustainer, Dreamer, Planner, Modifier, Practicalizer, Synthesizer, Challenger, Innovator but clarity as to what drives that orientation eg.. the seven drivers of creativity and risk taking.
One of the primary motivations for developing the Creatrix Assessment, created by Dr. Richard E. Byrd in 1974 and updated in 1986 and again in 2000 by Dr. Jacqueline Byrd, was to measure the creative sense and risk taking of individuals in organizations. Understanding the creativity and risk taking of individuals in organizations helps us to better understand why one organization stagnates and another takes excessive risk and lands in bankruptcy, and another is moderately to extremely successful.
The Creatrix Assessment has no right or wrong answers. Scores for both creativity and risk taking are plotted on relative scales. In order to provide a context for interpretation of the results, it was necessary to set norms for creativity and risk taking which reflect the general population. With this in mind, normative data needed to be collected, and over time reviewed, to ensure that the norms continue to reflect the populations. Thus when scores are plotted on the Creatrix, they are done so in context of a much larger population.
Continued development and refinement of the Creatrix Assessment consists of several studies that provided necessary guidance over time. The norms for the Creatrix Assessment were originally developed from a sample of over 500 employees representing seven organizations. The original development took place in 1974. In 1986, these original norms were retested based on a population of nearly 200 employees from several organizations, including manufacturing, consulting, and one architectural firm. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of the respondents were female, 61% were male, and 1% did not state gender. Twenty-three percent (23%) were in technical support (engineering, research, and development), 18% were from salaried support (human resources, marketing and business development), and 7% were hourly support (secretary, clerk). Based on the results of the retest, the scales were adjusted to reflect the normative data.
Another sample was drawn in 2000 to reexamine the norms and calculate reliability for the risk-taking and creativity scales. Data from 279 subjects was used in this analysis. The respondents were from several large manufacturing firms, government, a large university, and several small organizations. The sample included: accountants, artists, educators, engineers, nurses, upper level managers, and people from sales and marketing. Slightly over 50% of the respondents were female (140) and slightly less than 50% of the respondents were male (138). One respondent did not state gender. The scores from this sample were quite similar to the results gathered in 1986. The following figures reveal the similarity. The scores plotted in Figure 1 Frequency of Creativity Scores (1986 Sample) are very much like the ones reported in Figure 2 Frequency of Creativity scores (2000 Sample)
The scores for Risk Taking from the sample drawn in 2000 are highly similar to the 1986 scores.
The results of the sample drawn in 1986 (Figure 3) are quite similar to the results of the sample drawn in 2000 (Figure 4).
The high similarity between the two samples suggests that the norms established earlier are valid and can still be used to establish the baselines when graphing the creativity and risk-taking scores on the Creatrix.
The scales have been constructed with the assumption that individuals will take it when things are "going well" for them. Although it is possible for a recent traumatic incidence in a respondent's life to impact the way he or she scores, the norms given here have been judged as an accurate rule of thumb for interpretive purposes.
In assessing the validity of this instrument, it is important to consider its intention. The Creatrix Assessment is not designed to be a test. No attempt was made to avoid the "halo effect" in the construction of the instrument and, consequently, if it were a test, it might be possible for respondents to determine the "right" answer. The Creatrix Assessment is designed for self-assessment and educational purposes. Since the practitioners we have interviewed have confirmed this as a purpose, we have no reason to doubt its validity if respondents using it answer honestly which they should in an educational/self-assessment situation.
Users have reported a new or greater understanding of the following:
These user reports establish face validity. In addition, the results are consistent with what researchers tell us are typical of individual's behaviors in organizations. New organizational members tend to be greater risk takers than those who have been in organizations for more years. The salaried support staff made up of human-resource, business-development, and marketing professionals scored the highest on risk taking, with top management scoring the lowest on risk taking. After the age of fifty- five, risk-taking scores decreased in this sample. Newcomers to the organization scored highest on risk taking, with a large drop in these scores for organizational members who had been in the firm for over five years. As was verified in the initial norms assessment, women tended to score higher on risk taking than did men.
- The underlying determinants of creativity and risk taking
- The value of this understanding in creating new ideas and taking risks being more innovative
- Themselves and their own career needs
- People for whom they have worked
- How to deal effectively with individuals whose orientations are different from their own
- How to effectively manage a diversified group in order to best utilize their talents and increase innovative capacity
Creativity measures suggest that creativity decreases in the first year a person is in an organization. Hourly support, secretaries, and hourly administrative personnel scored much lower on creativity than did any other group. Creativity was highest in people 26 to 35 years of age, and men scored higher on creativity than did women. The most recent analysis revealed that men scored higher on creativity than did women, but no significant differences with age.
Reliability is defined as the level of consistency of the measuring device. That is, can the results of the Creatrix Assessment be replicated consistently (across individuals and populations)? Factor analysis revealed five clear constructs. Reliability analysis produced reliabilities ranging from .81 to .55:
Three of the five factors were grouped around creativity issues and two of the factors were clearly grouped around risk-taking concerns. A higher order factor analysis of the five groupings indicated two clear factors with factors 1 and 3 grouping around risk-taking and factors 2, 4, and 5 grouping around creativity issues. This suggests that 32 items correlate with creativity and 24 items correlate with risk taking.
- Factor 1 yielded .81
- Factor 2 yielded .79
- Factor 3 yielded .73
- Factor 4 yielded .65
- Factor 5 yielded .55
The five factors were used as a baseline for the clearer explanation of constructs combining to make up creativity and constructs combining to make up risk taking. Some items were recorded; some deleted, and other items were clustered to provide additional insights when reporting the results. Therefore, two new constructs were added, one for creativity and one for risk taking.
Therefore, the Creatrix Assessment as now constructed is a reliable instrument that yields a clear index of creativity and risk taking.
Summarized by Richard Bents, Ph.D., Future Systems Consulting and Jacqueline Byrd, Ph.D., Richard Byrd Company