Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 19 January 2007

Model 28

The Influence Model 

Social psychologists tend to see creativity as simply one particular type of influence strategy (Davis, 1993; Frank, 1988; Barron et al, 1999; Ford and Gioia, 1995). It is influence by surprise, that is, by producing explosive disillusionment with existing frameworks. Creative people select some target community (the field Csikszentmihalyi would say), study up on its masterworks, traditions, and tools, then select something  to contribute to the target community to shake it up, get it aroused in certain ways. All steps and substeps in this process are managed so as to influence a particular group. All the tactics and accomplishments are deployed to achieve that influence, the intended change of the group. Creativity is an influence strategy, pure and simple, in this model. This allows decades of detailed research results on how people influence groups to be immediately deployed to explain creativity phenomena.    

The intellectual conditions, the social conditions, the competition conditions–all can be either favorable or unfavorable at some point in time for shaking a community up with exciting new contributions. Creative people often shop around for fields ready for such influence. They latch on the first such field whose “contribution” skill requirements match their own personal interests in what skills to develop in themselves. 

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