Eight Myths About Creativity and Innovation

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 10-22-2013 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Why are the concepts of creativity and innovation such elusive mysteries? Perhaps because, unlike a tablet, smartphone or USB cord, you can't pack these two qualities in a case and take them to work. However, they're intangible yet essential assets for any truly impactful IT department. In the recent book, The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas (Jossey-Bass), author David Burkus explores these and other myths that have emerged as conventional wisdom about creativity and innovation. (Given that we all know conventional wisdom is often wrong. Or at least somewhat distorted.) To offer a contrary perspective, we're presenting the following "realities" from Burkus here as well. You may be comforted to find, if you and your teams are willing to put in the work, that winning innovation is, indeed, a reachable goal. Burkus is assistant professor of management at the College of Business at Oral Roberts University, where he teaches courses on creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and organizational behavior. He is also chief strategy officer for Vast Learning Systems, a Web-based creativity learning and assessment company. For more about the book, click here.

 
 
 
  • Myth: Some Folks Have a Creative Gene, and Some Folks Don't

    Reality: Creativity isn't a gift bestowed upon the fortunate few. Everyone is capable of contributing to a good idea.
    Myth: Some Folks Have a Creative Gene, and Some Folks Don't
  • Myth: If Innovation isn't Happening, Just Wait for a “Eureka!" Moment

    Realty: Sorry, but winning concepts are built through hard work over time.
    2-Myth: If Innovation isn't Happening, Just Wait for a “Eureka!
  • Myth: You Can Motivate Employees to Think Inventively Through Various "Perks" and Rewards

    Reality: Extrinsic tools generally do not produce impactful thinking.
    3-Myth: You Can Motivate Employees to Think Inventively Through Various
  • Myth: Brainstorming Sessions Always Generate Great Ideas

    Reality: While brainstorming has its place, especially for collaboration, it's unrealistic to think that you can come up with something novel during one 60-minute group session.
    4-Myth: Brainstorming Sessions Always Generate Great Ideas
  • Myth: Dazzling Creativity Only Happens When Teams are Unleashed to Pursue It

    Reality: All innovative initiatives must be checked by reasonable constraints, such as deadlines, market realities and stakeholder expectations.
    5-Myth: Dazzling Creativity Only Happens When Teams are Unleashed to Pursue It
  • Myth: You Have to Bring in Experts to Nail a Breakthrough

    Reality: No, it's more effective to gain from the insights of those with a genuine connection to a strategic need, as opposed to a self-designated expert whom you pay to whip up a flimsy theory.
    6-Myth: You Have to Bring in Experts to Nail a Breakthrough
  • Myth: All Great Concepts Are Original Thoughts

    Reality: They're rarely exclusively unique to themselves. Remember that the Beatles were heavily influenced by the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds while recording Sgt. Pepper.
    7-Myth: All Great Concepts Are Original Thoughts
  • Myth: Fabulous Creations are Instantly Recognized as Such

    Reality: Actually, they're rarely celebrated at first. Which means your organization needs to give them time and support to gain traction.
    8-Myth: Fabulous Creations are Instantly Recognized as Such
 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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