©Arlene R. Taylor PhD

altWebster’s Dictionary defines creativity as artistic or intellectual inventiveness. When most people talk about creativity, they are often referring primarily to musical, artistic, or literary talents. This partial definition tends to assign creativity to one portion of the brain only and is far too limiting! True creativity may really be the capacity to use functions from all four divisions as appropriate in whatever endeavor is undertaken.

Some consensus exists for four stages of creative problem solving:

  • Preparation
  • Incubation
  • Illumination
  • Verification

All cerebral divisions possess intellectual inventiveness. That is, they are creative within their own functional spheres. Remember that creativity can be blocked when the brain is under prolonged stress or when the brain is downshifted due to fear, crisis, trauma, or anxiety. 

Following are examples of the contributions that each cerebral division may offer to creative efforts.

altPrioritizing Division

altEnvisioning Division


  • Setting goals
  • Abstracting and analyzing for functionality, and managing time and money effectively
  • Solving problems using data-driven brainstorming
  • Dividing processes into manageable steps
  • Prioritizing steps and making decisions / delegating (typically based on prior analyzing of functionality)
  • Achieving goals


  • Seeing the big picture
  • Trending, noticing when things are changing
  • Solving problems using intuitive brainstorming
  • Being willing to take risks and try something new
  • Engaging in artistic endeavors in almost any form
  • Moving toward innovation and/or novelty in almost any form, sometimes changing just for the pleasure of changing

altMaintaining Division

altHarmonizing Division


  • Following routines accurately
  • Managing and tracking data, recalling labels and retrieving data
  • Handling self-care
  • Paying attention to details
  • Maintaining the status quo


  • Nurturing and encouraging
  • Honing relationships
  • Harmonizing colors and sounds
  • Fostering harmony between people and the environment, and between people and animals / birds and the environment
  • Developing peaceful foundations


The outcome of a collaborative effort (e.g., the four cerebral divisions working together) can be exponentially greater than the efforts of each section of the brain working independently. In order to achieve outstanding outcomes, synergistic brainstorming is a must and really is a whole-brain exercise.

Refer to Brain References: Creativity and the Brain for additional information.