Eight Myths About Creativity and Innovation

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 10-22-2013 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Previous
    Myth: Some Folks Have a Creative Gene, and Some Folks Don't
    Next

    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.
  • Previous
    2-Myth: If Innovation isn't Happening, Just Wait for a “Eureka!
    Next

    Myth: If Innovation isn't Happening, Just Wait for a “Eureka!" Moment

    Realty: Sorry, but winning concepts are built through hard work over time.
  • Previous
    3-Myth: You Can Motivate Employees to Think Inventively Through Various
    Next

    Myth: You Can Motivate Employees to Think Inventively Through Various "Perks" and Rewards

    Reality: Extrinsic tools generally do not produce impactful thinking.
  • Previous
    4-Myth: Brainstorming Sessions Always Generate Great Ideas
    Next

    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.
  • Previous
    5-Myth: Dazzling Creativity Only Happens When Teams are Unleashed to Pursue It
    Next

    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.
  • Previous
    6-Myth: You Have to Bring in Experts to Nail a Breakthrough
    Next

    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.
  • Previous
    7-Myth: All Great Concepts Are Original Thoughts
    Next

    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.
  • Previous
    8-Myth: Fabulous Creations are Instantly Recognized as Such
    Next

    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.
 

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.

 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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