When artist and matter become together. A new materialist perspective on creation processes and the lessons that organizations can learn from artists
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Despite the more than adequate and significant scientific literature on organizational creativity and creative thinking, no consensus has been established regarding what creativity actually is. In this paper, I move away from both the general idea that creativity is psychological, and the context of organizations that seem to homogenize creativity. Through a new materialist perspective on creative processes, I am aiming to generate a more comprehensive understanding of creativity that can be beneficial for organizations. The conceptualizing of creation that is proposed in this paper, is based on the idea of thinking in the virtual by Deleuze and intra-action by Barad. Creation is not ‘just’ the creative person, but is a combination of the artist in intra-action with matter. The terms, that I have recognized in this research, to be able to think in the virtual and get into an intra-active creative process are: working without a final product and approaching matter as if it is granted agency. Several creative behaviors that go hand in hand with intra-active creation are described; sketching, working with physical material, postponing the fixation of an art work and a flow-state of working. The approach to creation as described in this paper gives rise to creative freedom; artist and material intra-act and become something (truly creative) together. Adopting this approach to creativity in organizations can help to move from the capitalist narrative of creativity towards a narrative in which creation is honored for its other advantages regarding for instance employee satisfaction in the workplace.